Originally named for the Texas folk hero who traveled extensively in the western reaches of Louisiana, Sam Houston Jones was given its current name in honor of the state's 37th governor, who was instrumental in setting aside this tract of land for the public to enjoy.
Campers and picnickers alike find the same breathtaking beauty that has always attracted people to this nature-perfect setting at the confluence of the West Fork of the Calcasieu and Houston Rivers and Indian Bayou. Tree-filled lagoons and a mixed pine and hardwood forest combine to create a unique natural environment.
For those who wish to stay overnight, the park offers 12 vacation cabins , 62 campsites and 19 tentsites. The cabins include either one or two bedrooms, a living/dining area, a bathroom, and a fully outfitted kitchen, complete with cooking and eating utensils. Bed linens are also provided, and each cabin has central air conditioning and heat.
The two campgrounds, located alongside the lagoons, feature improved sites with water and electricity. Dump stations, restrooms, and showers are located nearby.
Day Use Activities
In the day use area, there are numerous picnic tables, barbeque pits, a restroom, and a playground for the children. The picnic areas, winding along the banks of the river, are particularly scenic and enjoyable.
Because the caretakers of this 1,087-acre park have worked to keep the land in its natural state, abundant wildlife inhabits the area. Quiet visitors may catch a glimpse of a deer, squirrel, bobcat, rabbit, gator, otter, nutria, raccoon, fox, or some of the diverse birdlife of the region. In fact, one can always observe a herd of deer kept in a special area of the park, while ducks and geese are usually found swimming in the ponds.
Fishing and Boating
The numerous waterways in this area make water sports a natural highlight at the park. Two boat launches are conveniently located on the West Fork of the Calcasieu River, providing access to the Gulf of Mexico, only a few miles away. Fishing from the banks of the river or the lagoons is a rewarding way to spend a morning or afternoon at the park. Fishermen have often recorded fine catches of white perch, bream, and bass.
It's not necessary to fish to enjoy the water. Rental boats are available at the park for those who simply wish to take in the serene beauty of the river. A boat dock, in addition to the launch, is provided for visitors who bring their own boats or canoes.
Birding and Hiking
The park is located just north of the most productive birding region of Louisiana. The bird watching is always excellent, but at certain times of year, nearly 200 species of birds can be seen at or within 30 miles of the site.
The three hiking trails winding through this beautiful park make strolling or serious hiking, pleasurable. Particularly interesting is the old stagecoach road, which hikers may travel to explore the park and the banks of the various tributaries to the Calcasieu River. A park naturalist will be on hand to offer exciting nature programs and hikes to bring the site to life for visitors.
Recreation - Camping, fishing, boating,wildlife viewing
Climate - Southern Louisiana experiences a subtropical climate that's warm throughout the year. Winter months bring low temperatures near 40 degrees F and highs above 55 degrees F. During the summer expect high temperatures to reach 95 degrees F frequently, with mid-afternoon showers. Humidity is highest in August and September.
located twelve miles north of Lake Charles off I-10, on LA 378 in Calcasieu Parish. To reserve a cabin, campsite or picnic pavilion, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA toll free (877-226-7652).