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Sam Houston Jones State Park - Lake Charles, LA

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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 and 73 campsites. 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.

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.

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 bass.

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.

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 two 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.

Activities & Amenities

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Nearby Attractions:
Creole Nature Trail National Scenic Byway
Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
Cameron Prarie National Wildlife Refuge
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge

$2 per vehicle with up to four persons and 50 cents for each additional person.
Campsites: $12 per night
Annual Permit: A $30 Annual Day-use Permit is available at the park's entrance station. The permit is valid at all State Parks.

Hours and information:

107 Sutherland Road
Lake Charles, LA 70611
318-855-2665 or

Louisiana State Parks are open 365 days a year. State Historic Sites and Preservation Areas are open 9 am to 5 pm daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Information provided by Louisiana Department of Recreation and Tourism


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