Best Campground - 2012
Huntsville State Park
Huntsville State Park is only about 90 miles north of downtown, but a world away in terms of the pace of life. Skyscrapers are replaced by towering pines, and the sound of traffic gives way to birds and the rustling of leaves. This fairly small, heavily wooded state park is heaven in the warmer months, thanks to the swimming area at Lake Raven (named after Sam Houston, whose nearby likeness almost resembles a skyscraper) and the tree cover, which gives plenty of shade. The park offers activities such as horseback riding, paddle boating, canoeing and hiking — the trails often play host to Houston-area footraces. Facilities range from primitive to screened shelters with electricity and are offered on a sliding scale, starting at $15, plus the daily entrance fee of $20. That may seem high, but camping at Huntsville State Park also puts you in close proximity to the 130 miles worth of the Lone Star Hiking Trail, Sam Houston National Forest and several other nearby outdoor delights.