U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Sabine National Forest


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Forest Information

The Sabine National Forest, located on the eastern side of Texas, is comprised of 157,951 acres. There are six developed campgrounds, five of which met the selection criteria.

The history of the Sabine National Forest stretches back some seven thousand years. Beneath the adjacent Toledo Bend Reservoir are sites of ancient Native American villages and religious mounds. The presence of earlier Europeans is more apparent in the Forest today. During the 1800's, when Spain and the United States contested the area's boundaries, this area was a no-man's land where only the most hardy would establish a home.

With the establishment of Texas as a state, the area saw the establishment of settled, agriculture-based communities. However, the "cut and get out" logging practices of those early settlers and their heavy farming of cotton and corn, depleted the land of it's strength. By the 1930's, the land was exhausted. As the farmers defaulted on their land, the land was acquired by the Federal government and turned over to the Forest Service. Since than a concentrated reforestation program has re-established the land's productiveness and natural beauty. With it healthy woodlands and robust wildlife, the Sabine National Forest is becoming a popular locations for recreation and ideal for a family camping vacation.

The Sabine National Forest is a small forest, particularly by Texas standard, but it contains some really big surprises. One of these surprises is Boles Field campground with its water and electric hook-ups and National Hall of Fame Cemetery for Foxhounds. While this camping location with its undefined sites under towering pine has a rustic, near dispersed camping feel Boles Field is great for recreation vehicle (RV) and motorhome camping enthusiasts.

The sites of Red Hills Lake campground are nestled into the hills around the Lake. Only about 19 acres in size, Red Hills Lake is one of those places children learn about fishing and canoeing. Build in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), there are area in the campground where the CCC influence can still be seen in the bank hugging car and tent-friendly campsites. One loop has been "modernized" with longer level parking aprons and electric hook-ups. But over all, Red Hills Lake is a pleasant camping experience for the whole family.

One reason for less crowds at Red Hills Lake and its adjacent campground is Toledo Bend Reservoir. Separating Louisiana and Texas, Toledo Bend Reservoir is an enormous 137,498 acres and offers a wide variety of water-based recreational activities. The Sabine National Forest has four different campgrounds along the west bank of the Reservoir. Each campground has easy access to the Reservoir and a little unique special something. Willow Oak campground is the most southern and with all walk-in sites, great for car and tent camping enthusiasts. The best sunrise views can be enjoyed at Lakeview campground. And Ragtown campground has the wide selection of recreational opportunities.

The recreational opportunities found in the Sabine National Forest vary from viewing immigrant birds, canoeing, fishing and wildlife watching to hiking and camping. The rich diversity of recreational opportunities found in the Sabine National Forest are related to Forest Service efforts of land recovery and await you.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 415 South First St. Suite 110 Lufkin, Texas 75901-3801 936-639-8501 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Sabine 5050 Hwy 21 East Hemphill, Texas 75948 409-625-1940

Fred and Suzi Dow