Copyright: Texas State Parks & Historical Sites
An American Alligator
This park has been affected by Hurricane Rita and is temporarily closed for repairs.
Sea Rim State Park, 4141.1 acres of marshland with 5.2 miles of Gulf beach shoreline, is located in Jefferson County south of Port Arthur. The park was acquired by purchase from Planet Oil and Mineral Corporation and Horizon Sales Corporation in 1972 and was opened to the public in 1977.
The park is named for that portion of the Gulf shoreline where the marsh grasses extend into the surf in a zone termed Sea Rim Marsh. The park's coastline contains a biologically-important zone, wherein salt tidal marshlands meet the Gulf waters. These marshlands formed when silt from the Sabine River delta was carried down the beach by longshore currents.
- The park is a prime wintering area for a variety of waterfowl common to the Texas Coast. Abundant wetlands wildlife include the American alligator, mink, nutria, raccoon, rabbit, opossum, skunk, rare river otter, and muskrat. The park's lakes and bayous are important areas for white and brown shrimp, crabs, and various sport fishes. The marshland waters, rich with abundant plankton and decomposing organic matter, provide fertile nursery grounds for aquatic life and are essential for the productivity of marine fisheries and migratory waterfowl. Once considered unproductive wasteland, wetlands are once again recognized for their economic and biological value.
Sea Rim State park is divided into two units - D. Roy Harrington Beach Unit and Marshlands Unit. Facilities in the Beach Unit include campsites with water; campsites with water and electricity; approximately 2 miles of open beach primitive camping; an overflow camping area; picnic tables; restrooms with and without showers; a Texas State Park Store; a trailer dump station; a visitors' center with exhibits; observation deck; Gambusia nature trail (a boardwalk through the marsh with a self-guided booklet); 6 miles of open beach for bike riding and hiking; .75-mile nature trail; and swimming (permitted only in sandy beach area). The primitive camping area does not have fire rings or tables but does allow ground fires; you can drive to the sites, and even motorhomes can usually drive on the hard-packed, sandy beach.
There is a Marshlands Unit, which is accessible only by boat, has boat ramp which is primarily used for shallow watercraft such as canoes (rented at the park) and kayaks; primitive camping platforms (no fires permitted); observation blinds for bird watching, photography, and nature study; and air boat tours. Fishing is permitted from dawn to dusk. Swimming is not permitted in the marshlands area, as alligators are present.
Nearby attractions include Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park, Village Creek State Park, McFadden National Wildlife Refuge, Pleasure Island, Big Thicket National Preserve, and the J. D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area. A wide variety of festivals are held throughout the year in the Cities of Port Arthur, Nederland, Groves, and Port Neches, which highlight the local heritage. In addition, numerous historic homes, sites, and museums in the area include oriental gardens, early Arcadian homes and turn-of-the-century villas.
Camping fees vary; entrance fee. For reservations call 512/389-8900. Current weather conditions, including fire bans and water levels, can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
Recreation - Recreation includes, bird identification, wildlife identification, hiking, viewing interpretive exhibits at the visitor center, fishing, bike riding, swimming, camping.
Climate - Sea Rim State Park is located at an elevation of 194 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average July high of 93 degrees and a January average low of 42 degrees. September is the wettest month the first/last freeze are normally November 16/March 11. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
Sea Rim State Park is situated within the Gulf Coast region of Texas. The park is located 20 miles south of Port Arthur on State Highway 87. State Highway 87 is closed between Sea Rim and High Island, which necessitates a detour onto Highway 73.