5 Must Do Things Around Lake Livingston

Biking Trails can be found throughout Lake Livingston State Park | Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

Around 90 minutes from Downtown Houston over in the East Texas Piney Woods lies the nearly 130-square-mile Lake Livingston, the second biggest lake sitting entirely within the great state of Texas.

Hiking and biking, fishing and kayaking, and nights under those big and bright Lone Star skies await.

5 Must Do Things Around Lake Livingston

  1. Get out on the water Located on the Trinity River, the 82,600-acre Lake Livingston rocks open water perfect for sailing, water sports, fishing, kayaking, and more. One of the biggest lakes in the Lone Star State, the lake is known for its white bass population, offering boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, and a fishing pier, plus swimming and boating opportunities. Get the latest on lake levels and fishing regulations on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.
  2. Hike the quiet trails of Lake Livingston State ParkTake the two-mile Babka Trail to loop around the forest path and listen to the tap, tap, tap of the woodpeckers; seek out wildlife on the 1.8-mile Trinity Trace Trail; go deep into the woods on the Fó:si Trail, a popular spot for mountain biking; or stroll through the Piney Woods Boardwalk Trail, which is just under a mile long and offers great views of both wetland and woodland habitat. Check out the trail map.
  3. Spend a night under the stars – There are seemingly endless camping options at Lake Livingston State Park, from the waterfront sites and screen shelters over at Piney Shores to full hookup spots smack in the middle of the Yaupon Loop. See a list of campsites and book a site online.
  4. Explore the massive Sam Houston National ForestOne of four national forests in Texas, this 160,000-acre forest stretches over three counties (Montgomery, San Jacinto, and Walker). It’s a choice spot for fishing, bird and wildlife watching, biking and canoeing, camping, and hiking its award-winning trail.
  5. Get away from it all at the Big Thicket National Preserve Nearby, the heavily-forested Big Thicket blankets 113,000+ acres of land. The area is often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” bringing together swamp, desert, Gulf coastal plains, Midwest prairies, and eastern hardwood forest while offering hiking trails, birdwatching and wildlife viewing, boating, paddling, and fishing.
One of several screened camping shelters on the banks of Lake Livingston | Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .