Natural Beauty at its Finest
Crystal clear waters, towering trees, and beautiful vistas
along unspoiled rivers and streams make this area a delight
for those who enjoy natural beauty at its finest.
Originally named for the Texas folk hero who traveled extensively
in the western reaches of Louisiana, Sam Houston Jones was
given its current name in honor of the state's 37th governor,
who was instrumental in setting aside this tract of land for
the public to enjoy.
Campers and picnickers alike find the same breathtaking beauty
that has always attracted people to this nature-perfect setting
at the confluence of the West Fork of the Calcasieu and Houston
Rivers and Indian Bayou. Tree-filled lagoons and a mixed pine
and hardwood forest combine to create a unique natural environment.
For those who wish to stay overnight, the park offers
12 vacation cabins, 62 campsites and 19 tentsites. The cabins
include either one or two bedrooms, a living/dining area,
a bathroom, and a fully outfitted kitchen, complete with cooking
and eating utensils. Bed linens are also provided, and each
cabin has central air conditioning and heat.
The two campgrounds, located alongside the lagoons, feature
improved sites with water and electricity. Dump stations,
restrooms, and showers are located nearby.
Day Use Activities
In the day use area, there are numerous picnic tables, barbeque
pits, a restroom, and a playground for the children. The picnic
areas, winding along the banks of the river, are particularly
scenic and enjoyable.
Because the caretakers of this 1,087-acre park have worked
to keep the land in its natural state, abundant wildlife inhabits
the area. Quiet visitors may catch a glimpse of a deer, squirrel,
bobcat, rabbit, gator, otter, nutria, raccoon, fox, or some
of the diverse birdlife of the region. In fact, one can always
observe a herd of deer kept in a special area of the park,
while ducks and geese are usually found swimming in the ponds.
Fishing and Boating
The numerous waterways in this area make water sports
a natural highlight at the park. Two boat launches are conveniently
located on the West Fork of the Calcasieu River, providing
access to the Gulf of Mexico, only a few miles away. Fishing
from the banks of the river or the lagoons is a rewarding
way to spend a morning or afternoon at the park. Fishermen
have often recorded fine catches of white perch, bream, and
It's not necessary to fish to enjoy the water. Rental boats
are available at the park for those who simply wish to take
in the serene beauty of the river. A boat dock, in addition
to the launch, is provided for visitors who bring their own
boats or canoes.
Birding and Hiking
The park is located just north of the most productive
birding region of Louisiana. The bird watching is always excellent,
but at certain times of year, nearly 200 species of birds
can be seen at or within 30 miles of the site.
The three hiking trails winding through this beautiful park
make strolling or serious hiking, pleasurable. Particularly
interesting is the old stagecoach road, which hikers may travel
to explore the park and the banks of the various tributaries
to the Calcasieu River. A park naturalist will be on hand
to offer exciting nature programs and hikes to bring the site
to life for visitors.
Creole Nature Trail National Scenic Byway-- A 105- mile
driving and walking tour touching four state and national
wildlife refuges and a bird sanctuary. Along the way you can
take a chance at fishing, crabbing, shelling, just strolling
the beaches, or observing the birds in the largest birding
area in the South. You can expect to see beautiful marsh flowers
in season, alligators, and marsh animals along the way.
Sabine National Wildlife Refuge-- (Hwy 27 south, Hackberry)--This
125,000-acre wildlife refuge preserves a large block of coastal
marsh. A Visitors Center displays a diorama and exhibits.
A one-mile paved nature trail is open to the public.
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge-- (10 miles south
of Holmwood, 1428 Hwy 27, Bell City near Lake Charles)--The
refuge offers a Visitor Center with wildlife dioramas, a Cajun
Robot, wetlands scenery, and many species of birds. A wildlife
drive is included.
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge-- (Lake Arthur)-- Featuring
more than 30,000 acres of freshwater marsh, the area offers
fantastic views of wading birds and thousands of wintering
ducks and geese. Fishing and hunting are permitted.
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge-- (On LA 82 south of Lake Charles)--The
84,000 acres of coastal marshland offer a refuge for ducks
and geese and a resting place for transient birds on their
way to Central and South America. It is an excellent bird
Houston Jones State Park--(107 Sutherland Road, Lake Charles,
LA 70611; 337-855-2665 or 1-888-677-7264) is located twelve
miles north of Lake Charles off I-10, on LA 378 in Calcasieu
This wooded paradise features lagoons, rivers, abundant wildlife,
boating, fishing, camping, cabins and more.
To reserve a cabin, campsite or picnic pavilion,
toll free (877-226-7652).
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