Sam Houston Jones State Park
107 Sutherland Road, Lake Charles, LA 70611
Directions: From I-10 westbound at Lake Charles, take LA 171 north toward Deridder. Turn west onto LA 378, then north (right) onto Sam Houston Jones Parkway. From I-10 eastbound, take LA 378 east then north (left) onto Sam Houston Jones Parkway. GPS Coordinates: N 30 18.1246, W 93 15.5163.
Hours of Operation: Gates are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. April-September, entrance station is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; October-March, entrance station is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All park sites close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and days preceding holidays.
Entrance Fees: $1 per person; Free for Seniors (62 and older) and children age 3 and under
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 for both day-use and overnight visitors.
Because the caretakers of this 1,087-acre park have worked to keep the land in its natural state, abundant wildlife inhabits the area. Tree-filled lagoons and a mixed pine and hardwood forest combine to create a unique natural environment. 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 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. But it's not necessary to fish to enjoy the water. Rental boats are available those who simply wish to take in the serene beauty of the park's ponds.
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.
|Standard Cabins||6 available, 2 are ADA compliant||$85/night, sleeps up to 6 people with 1 double bed and 2 bunk beds|
|Standard Cabins||6 available||$85/night, sleeps up to 6 people with 1 queen bed and 2 bunk beds|
|42 Improved Campsites (water and electrical hookup)||$16/night, Oct-Mar; $20/night, Apr-Sept|
|20 Premium Campsites (pull-through sites with water and electrical hookups)||$18/night, Oct-Mar; $26/night, Apr-Sept|
|19 Improved Tent-only Campsites (water and electrical hookup)||$16/night, Oct-Mar; $20/night, Apr-Sept|
America the Beautiful Passes (formerly Golden Age & Golden Access Passports) (Available through the National Park Service. Visit www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm for more information)|
Holders of the Passes, whose state of residence also honors the America the Beautiful pass, are entitled to a 50% reduction on camping fees at Louisiana State Parks. (Passport holders are allowed one site per passport).
Rental Boats (State Park operated rentals)
|Boats||$15 per day||includes 2 paddles and 3 life jackets|
Trails at Sam Houston Jones State Park:
South Toledo Bend State Park (16 miles west of Anacoco, off LA Hwy. 191) - Set on the scenic bluffs of the southern end of the Toledo Bend Reservoir, the park offers cabins, campsites, a visitor center with meeting room facilities and a paved nature trail. A boat launch provides a route to some of the best fishing in the nation.
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 watching location.