Sam Houston National Forest

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: July 1, 1995

The Sam Houston National Forest is off Interstate Highway 45 and U.S. Highway 59 about forty miles north of Houston. It comprises some 161,508 acres, with 47,609 acres in Montgomery County, 59,746 acres in San Jacinto County, and 54,153 acres in Walker County. The preserve is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service local headquarters in Lufkin. The national forests in Texas were established by an act of the Texas legislature in 1933 that authorized the purchase of lands for the national forest system. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed these purchases on October 15, 1936. The national forests are managed on a multiple-use philosophy and are used for lumbering, grazing, oil production, hunting, and recreation. In fiscal year 1994, 93.8 million board feet of timber was harvested from the national forests in Texas, providing about 2,098 jobs and $73,108,000 in income to the surrounding Texas communities. In addition, Texas ranchers with special permits could graze their cattle in the national forests. At the Sam Houston National Forest 443 head of cattle grazed in fiscal year 1994. The forest, which includes Lake Conroe, has three parks with campgrounds: Double Lake, Kelley Pond, and Stubblefield Lake. The area is pine-hardwood woodlands with flat to rolling terrain. The forest includes camping, hunting, and picnicking areas as well as boat ramps and hiking trails.

George Oxford Miller and Delena Tull, Texas Parks and Campgrounds: North, East, and Coastal Texas (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1984).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Christopher Long, “Sam Houston National Forest,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 21, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995