Boating and Paddling Rentals
If you are looking for a fun and relaxing way to spend a day or a weekend in the beautiful East Texas Pineywoods, you should consider boating and paddling at Huntsville State Park. This park is located in the Sam Houston National Forest and surrounds the 210-acre Lake Raven, a manmade lake that offers plenty of opportunities for water activities. Whether you want to fish, swim, or just enjoy the scenery, you will find something to suit your taste at Huntsville State Park.
One of the best ways to explore Lake Raven is by renting a boat or a paddle craft from the park. You can choose from kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, and even stand-up paddle boards. The rentals are available near Raven Lodge, and you can pay by credit card through a self-service system. The prices vary depending on the type and duration of the rental, but they are generally affordable. For example, kayaks are $15 an hour, $40 for four hours, or $60 for all day1. You can also rent them overnight for $751. The park provides life jackets and paddles for all rentals.
You can also bring your own boat to the park, as long as you follow the rules and regulations. The park has a boat ramp, and motor boats are allowed on the lake, but only at idle speed. You can also fish from your boat or from one of the fishing piers or fish cleaning stations in the park. The lake has crappie, perch, catfish, and bass2.
Swimming and Lounging
If you prefer to cool off in the water, you can swim in the designated area from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no lifeguard on duty, so you should swim at your own risk and follow the swimming safety tips provided by the park. The swimming area has a wooden platform that you can lounge and jump off from. You can also rent inner tubes from the park store to float on the lake2.
Other Activities and Amenities
Besides boating and paddling, Huntsville State Park has many other attractions and facilities for visitors to enjoy. You can hike or bike on 21 miles of trails, picnic at one of the many tables or pavilions, geocache, or study nature at the bird blind or nature center2. You can also camp at one of the 160 campsites or rent one of the screened shelters or shelters with amenities2. The park also has a group recreation hall and a boat house that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s2.
If you need to buy anything during your visit, you can stop by Gator Junction, which sells camping and fishing supplies, groceries, ice cream, cold drinks, ice, souvenirs, and more2. You can also treat yourself to some shaved ice from Karsan’s Kona Ice of Huntsville, which sells a variety of flavors throughout the park on weekends2.
How to Get There and When to Go
Huntsville State Park is located about six miles southwest of Huntsville on Interstate 45 at exit 1092. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but you can enter after hours if you have a camping reservation2. The entrance fee is $7 per person for adults (13 years and older), but children 12 years and under get in free2. You can also buy an annual Texas State Parks Pass for $70 that gives you unlimited access to more than 90 state parks for a year3.
The best time to visit Huntsville State Park depends on your preference and what you want to do. The park is open year-round and has something to offer in every season. However, some activities may be more enjoyable or available during certain times of the year. For example, swimming may be more comfortable in the summer months when the water temperature is warmer. Boating and paddling may be more pleasant in the spring or fall when the weather is milder and there are fewer insects. Fishing may be better in the winter when there are fewer people on the lake.
Whatever time of year you choose to visit Huntsville State Park, you are sure to have a memorable experience boating and paddling on Lake Raven. It is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature and yourself. So pack your bags, grab your paddle, and head to Huntsville State Park for some fun on the water!