Find the Best Camping Near Houston: Top 6 Campgrounds Near Houston TX

Places to Camp Near Houston

The city of Houston is surrounded by a vast metropolitan area, and sometimes people need to get away from the bustle and kick back in the great outdoors. Luckily, there are many great options for relaxation, fishing, and camping near Houston only a short drive away. The best places for camping in Houston, Texas, offer plentiful amenities and activities to help you reconnect with nature before returning to the big city. If you're looking for the perfect Houston area camping sites, try a few of these on for size.

Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park Amenities

  • Hiking & biking trails
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rentable picnic pavilions

It's no surprise that one of the best state parks near Houston is also an excellent Houston camping site. With quick access down TX 288 in Houston, Brazos Bend is less than an hour away. It's billed as a "Nature Lover's Paradise," and it is an excellent place for camping near Houston. You can even spot alligators in the park, so be sure to read the alligator safety tips!

Hike the nearly 40 miles of trails, from paved, wheelchair-accessible wetland tours to multi-use trails that wind into the hardwood forest. Visit the viewing platforms or observation tower for great views of the sky, the wetlands, and the wildlife. Check out the 0.6-mile long Creekfield Lake ADA Interpretive Trail, designed to show off a little of everything the park has to offer for everyone.

Fish at the park's three lakes, with good fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish. Birdwatch to see the waterfowl and many species of wood-warblers in the area. Observe the galaxy at the George Observatory, where you can bring your telescope or relax on deck and watch the real-time camera feeds from the telescopes.

Brazos Bend State Park Additional Information

Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park Amenities

  • Beach and bay campsites
  • Fishing
  • Boat launches
  • Hiking & biking trails
  • Paddling trails

Some of the best camping near Houston can be found on the coast, with salty breezes and sunny beaches greeting you each day. Driving just over an hour on Interstate 45 South in Houston will get you across the bay into Galveston. While the seawall has many attractions, Galveston Island provides a more natural refuge. Fishing and kayaking are big draws to the area, but multi-use trails, boardwalks, and bird blinds offer other activities that don't require getting in the water.

Fish from the shoreline or wade out a bit to try for something bigger. Many species have large bag limits or no limit at all, including some species of catfish, marlin, and snapper. Paddle out in a canoe or a kayak to enjoy the paddling trails in the area, which go through several different coves and small bayous on the bayside. Take the 5-mile Oak Bayou Paddling Trail to see seagrass beds and ongoing wetland restoration work. Or, stay on the shore and hike the Prairie Trail to enjoy the wildlife in the salty water of the bay to a freshwater pond at the heart of the park.

Galveston Island State Park Additional Information

Huntsville State Park

Huntsville State Park Amenities

  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Canoe, kayak, and paddleboat rentals
  • 160 campsites

In the other direction, about an hour north on Interstate 45, Huntsville is another of the best places to go camping near Houston. Deep in the East Texas Pineywoods, this park has an abundance of trees and wildflowers, as well as a lake to enjoy and trails to explore. With hikes rated from easy to challenging, there's something for everyone.

Enjoy two different habitats on the Prairie Branch Loop, which takes you along the shore of Lake Raven before looping into the pine and hardwood forest. For a view of the whole park, hike the challenging Chinquapin trail, which encircles the lake. The CCC trail is long (more than a third of the park's total trail miles), diverse in wildlife habitats, and showcases the Civilian Conservation Corps' legacy in the area.

Check out the headwater boardwalks above the wetlands and marshes to view birds and other wildlife. Make sure to stop in at Gator Junction for supplies, treats, and souvenirs!

Huntsville State Park Additional Information

Sam Houston National Forest

Sam Houston National Forest Amenities

  • Boat ramp
  • Hiking & multi-use trails
  • Hunting & fishing
  • Water sports

Also, north on IH-45, the Sam Houston National Forest is a little less than an hour north of downtown. The forest is more than 163,000 acres, which provides long multi-day trails, primitive camping, and 22,000 acres of water recreation.

Observe the abundant deer, quail, and ducks that live in the area. In the winter, take in the sight of the majestic bald eagle in its cool-weather habitat. Enjoy the rivers and lakes that wind through the forest and the wildlife that live there. Kick back at one of the recreation areas or camping sites, which provide scenic views, paddling and fishing areas, and wildflower and dogwood blooms when the season is right.

Take the opportunity to hike one of the best trails in Texas—the Lone Star Hiking Trail spends 96 miles winding its way through the forest. Plan to take your time, as camping is allowed anywhere off the trail (as long as it's not deer hunting season). The trail is split into three sections, with potable water and recreation areas available at the splits. The best time to hike the trail is January-March, after deer hunting season but before the weather starts to warm up.

Sam Houston National Forest Additional Information

Lake Livingston State Park

Lake Livingston State Park Amenities

  • Fishing
  • Swimming area
  • Boat rentals
  • Geocaching

About an hour to the northeast on I-69, Lake Livingston offers a wide variety of camping options near Houston. With one of the largest lakes in Texas, the park has plenty of area for fishing or boating, as well as several short hikes of varying difficulty.

Take your boat out, or rent one of the park's double kayaks or stand-up boards, to enjoy the exotic water hyacinth found in the area. Fish from the shore for excellent chances at blue catfish and white bass. Once you've got your haul, use one of the park's cleaning stations to pack up conveniently. Hike out on the Pinewoods Boardwalk Trail at night to hear the symphony at the frog pond, or take the short Oak Flat Trail to enjoy the nutmeg hickory stand, a rarity in Texas. If you're bringing kids, borrow a Junior Ranger Explorer Pack with all the tools kids need to explore nature.

Lake Livingston State Park Additional Information

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Amenities

  • Archery range
  • Joe Turner Nature Center
  • 13 miles of equestrian trails
  • Canoeing, kayaking, & fishing

Only about 45 minutes from downtown Houston via I-69, Lake Houston Wilderness Park offers one of the best camping spots near Houston for nature enthusiasts and camping aficionados alike. The camping experience here is a harmonious blend of rustic charm and modern convenience, with well-maintained campsites and cabins offering a chance to disconnect from the urban hustle.

While there are no equipment rentals on-site, visitors are welcome to bring their own mountain bikes, fishing equipment, canoes, kayaks, and horses—there are over 20 miles of trails to explore. Also in the park is the Joe Turner Nature Center, where there are ecosystem displays with fish, turtles, lizards, and more. Take advantage of up to two free naturalist-led programs included in your park entrance fee, including guided hikes, birdwatching, basic fishing, campfire skills, and learning about various kinds of native species.

Whether you're taking a scenic hike along the forested trails or enjoying the peaceful glow of a campfire, Lake Houston Wilderness Park offers a perfect retreat to reconnect with nature.

Lake Houston Wilderness Park Additional Information

  • Address: Lake Houston Wilderness Park, 25840 FM 1485, New Caney, TX 77357
  • RV Sites: $30, plus entrance fee ($3)
  • Individual/Primitive Campsites: $7, plus entrance fee ($3)
  • Group Campsites: $40, plus entrance fee ($3)
  • Cabins: $85 (Rustic) or $125 (Lakeside), plus security deposit ($125, refundable) and entrance fee ($3)
  • A variety of other camping sites are available

Find Your Favorite Houston Campgrounds

Though highways and highrises are probably the first images that come to mind when people think of Houston, the city is right in the middle of many beautiful and diverse natural areas. Houston residents looking for the best camping in Houston have lots of camping options to choose from, from pitching a tent near the sea to going RV camping in the woods near a lake. Houston makes it easy to have an excellent camping experience and truly enjoy what Texas has to offer.

Ready to find your dream Houston home? Reach out to The RealFX Group at (512) 956-7390 to contact an experienced local real estate agent and discover your new Houston home today.

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