Five miles of beach on the Gulf, in addition to the bordering marshy wetlands, make up Sea Rim State Park. Known for its naturist beach and landscape, Sea Rim boasts rustic accommodations and little human enhancement to the sand and oceanfront. Beach visitors typically come to enjoy a long walk by the ocean, complete with wildlife observation and beachcombing. Visitors to the marshlands come to take advantage of the extensive paddling trails that allow for scenic trips through the waterways.
Sea Rim is located less than two hours east of Houston, a mere 10 miles from the Sabine Pass. With newly revamped camping options, including a new cabin and multiple new campsites added in addition to existing primitive camping, Sea Rim celebrated a reopening in late June 2014 after several years of rebuilding after back-to-back batterings by Hurricane Rita and Ike. The 4100-acre park is fully re-opened to the public for day use and overnight stays.
Visitors have camping options including tent campsites complete with picnic tables and fire rings, primitive beach camping, RV hookups, and a cabin available for reservation. The new full-service campsites offer an expanded range of accommodations to campers who prefer their overnight beach stays to be a little less primitive.
In addition to the 5.2 miles of open beach, Sea Rim’s marshland is accessible by the Gambusia Nature Trail, a boardwalk less than a mile long that allows visitors to glimpse a bit of the marsh on foot.
The paddling trails are one of the main draws of Sea Rim State Park, with more than 15 miles of navigable waterways that traverse the marsh, ranging in paddling difficulty from “easy” to “advanced.” Maps of trails are available and novice canoe enthusiasts and kayakers are encouraged to warm up with the 1.75 mile Easy Trail before attempting the more challenging sections.
Visitors are welcome to swim from any point on the beach access. As with all state parks, no lifeguards are on duty and guests assume all risks for themselves and their families. Contact the park headquarters ahead of time for the latest updates on tide, weather and beach conditions.
Know Before You Go
Because of the damage sustained by the park from two major hurricanes, Sea Rim is still in the rebuilding process. Phase I, including updated camping facilities, day use center, boardwalk access, and rinsing showers, is complete. A planned Phase II is still to be carried out.
Previous visitors advise checking on beach conditions in advance before planning a trip, as seaweed build-up, trash, and difficulty accessing the beach have been reported.
Vehicles are allowed direct access to the beach, so prepare to advise children accordingly of safety practices around moving vehicles on the beach.