Located in Walker County, Huntsville State Park has been open to the public since 1938. Huntsville State Park is a heavily wooded area that encompasses Lake Raven. The park is dominated by shortleaf pines and loblolly trees. It is typical of the East Texas Pine Belt that is so attractive in its scenic beauty.
Park activities include boating, biking, hiking, picnicking, and camping. The park has a group recreation hall that can hold 200 people as well as a group picnic pavilion that can hold 75 people. In fact, Huntsville State Park has its own “Gator Junction,” which is a veritable goldmine of everything a park visitor could need. Gator Junction sells camping supplies, camping groceries, fishing supplies, souvenirs, and more. For a snack, park visitors can also get ice cream or cold drinks from the store.
Hiking trails are featured. Most are under the protective canopy of pine trees while some trail sections traverse sandy soils. The hiking trails have been designed so that hikers can observe natural wildlife along the way. Resident wildlife includes opossums, armadillos, raccoons, white-tailed deer, fox squirrel, birds, and more. An interpretive nature trails that traverses three quarters of a mile is also present.
Camping is allowed in the park and includes tent sites with water as well as campsites that include both electricity and water. The facilities within the park are more than acceptable and include screened shelters, a trailer dump site, restrooms, bathhouse, and showers.
Lake Raven is 210 acres and provides boating opportunities, swimming, and Hydrobike rentals. Nature study activities are also part of this area.
Boating is available on a seasonal basis and features canoes, paddles boats, and flat-bottomed boats without motors. A boat launching ramp and a boat dock are accessible. However, boating restrictions such as speed limitations are in place so it is important to check with the park office before setting out.
While horseback riding is permitted in the park, riders cannot bring their own animals, but must use those provided by Lake Raven Stables. Guided trail rides among the pines feature hour-long rides. Lake Raven Stables provides “Guided Horseback Trail Rides” and “Eat and Rides.”
Huntsville State Park features 19 miles of biking and hiking trails that take park visitors along panoramic views. Fishing can be done at the lake. The most common types of fish to catch are bass, catfish, crappie, and perch.
Huntsville State Park is within close proximity of many other area attractions. These include the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, the Sam Houston Visitor’s Center and Statue, Sam Houston’s homestead (known as the Steamboat House), Houston’s Law Office and grove, the first Texan prison, the Prison Museum, the Walls Unit, and more.
Huntsville State Park is generally open seven days a week year round. However, it is closed during public hunts to ensure safety for all those involved. The busiest season for the park is during the months of February through November.