Sitting on the boundary between Texas and Louisiana, the Sabine National Forest is the easternmost of the four national forests in Texas. This ecologically diverse environment and expansive forest have a long history of human civilization. The popularity of this special place continues to draw visitors today. The Toledo Bend reservoir (or lake) is the largest man-made body of water in the state of Texas, putting water related activities at the very top of the “to do” list. However, camping and hiking adventures in the forest remain equally attractive!
The Sabine National Forest is located north of Jasper and east of US 96. Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Jasper, and Newton counties are all within the forest. Day-use and developed campgrounds require a fee, but there are many opportunities for primitive (or dispersed) camping throughout the forest.
Located by Lakeview Recreation Area, the Trail Between The Lakes offers 28 miles of scenic hiking through the Sabine National Forest. This exclusive hiking trail heads east towards US 96, near the eastern point of Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The trail is well marked with aluminum triangles and crosses several roads, facilitating the option to plan shorter hikes. A second recommended hike is located in the Ragtown area, on the northern section of the forest.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Red Hills Lake on Toledo Bend Reservoir offers camping and non-motorized boat access. The rest of the access points to the water are open to powered boats, a sign that this reservoir is known for some of the best bass fishing in the country. However, with over 1200 miles of scenic shoreline to paddle and explore, endless adventures await!
After miles of hiking, taking a dip at Red Hills Lake is a great way to cool down! Use precaution when swimming, there are no lifeguards.
Know Before You Go
Dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash at all times. From early spring to summer the U.S. Forest Service conducts controlled burns in the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. It is important to know which areas are affected before planning a visit to the park. Early spring and fall provide the best hiking weather, including a wonderful array of blossoms and colorful leaves.