Davy Crockett may not have slain a bear at the tender age of three, but he was quite the explorer and frontiersman, whose heroics and respect for nature are well documented. It’s no wonder one of the nation’s most treasured parks bears his name. Located off U.S. Highway 69, Davy Crockett National Forest is home to deer, quail, read-cockaded woodpeckers, and other animal species native to west Texas.
“Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee
Greenest state in the Land of the Free
Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree
Kilt him a b’ar when he was only three.
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!”
-Thomas W. Blackburn, The Ballad of Davy Crockett
There are four camping areas for visitors to enjoy at Davy Crockett National Forest: Dogwood, Lakeshore, Loblolly, and Overflow. Each campsite features unique characteristics that help differentiate them to campers. Dogwood is fairly private, provides campers with a wheelchair accessible bathhouse, and electric hookups. Lakeshore, a spur among the loop trails, offers camping by the lake and is very private. Loblolly features a picturesque view of the lake, while Overflow is the most open of the four loops.
There are three hiking trails in Davy Crockett National Forest: the 20-mile long 4C Trail which can be enjoyed exclusively by foot; the 1.5-mile long Tall Pines Trail; and the .75-mile Trail Tamers Trail which is accessible by both foot and wheelchair. Visitors of the forest typically enjoy easy-to-travel Tamers and Tall Pines trails during the daytime. Long distance hikers will call the 4C Trail their new favorite.
Providing nature lovers one of the smallest protected plots of wilderness in Texas, Davy Crockett National Forest offers visitors plenty of wildlife observation opportunities among the flora of wooded habitats. Big Slough Wilderness is a whopping 3,000 acres of over fifty percent hardwoods, free running deer and other small forest dwelling animals.
Know Before You Go
Davy Crockett National Forest is open year round and free of charge to visitors. With certain park restrictions, dogs are allowed in the park. Campsite fees and activity fees (fishing, horseback riding, etc.) vary by specific experience.
There are strict prohibitions for bicycles, removal of naturally occurring items such as plants and stones, and the use of specific motorized vehicles and equipment. It is imperative for all park visitors to properly dispose of trash, to keep the park water clean and free of debris or waste, and to study the area prior to day hikes and camping.