by Lisa Dempsey, Southeast Texas Chapter Guide
If you are looking for a shady spot to camp this summer, you must visit the Piney Woods. The Double Lake Recreation Area is part of Texas National Forests and Grasslands set amongst rolling hills, forested with hardwoods and tall pines. It was built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and you will still see their work throughout the park.
In the heart of the park is a 23-acre lake for kayaking, fishing, and swimming. The lake is stocked with bass, bream, and catfish. Canoe rentals are available seasonally, but you can always bring your own and launch from the ramp. There is a small sandy beach and bathhouse if you want to swim, picnic, and enjoy the outdoors. If you love to ride, a 20-mile mountain bike trail wraps itself around the lake. The park is part of the Sam Houston National Forest and has access points to the 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail for the hikers out there.
The park has camping sites for all types of vehicles and camping styles. This recreation park makes our tagline, “there is no wrong way to camp like a girl,” open to all the possibilities. There are pull-through sites and back-in sites. If you are car or tent camping, the sites in this area tend to slope down toward the lake. The bathrooms were clean, but a tad dated. The tree cover is phenomenal, and the camping sites are spaced well apart. You will be in the deep woods, so you might take a moment and read up on how to avoid the pesky tick from this recent Girl Camper Magazine article by clicking this link: https://girlcamper.com/tick-primer/.
There may not be an attendant at the office when you arrive. They have a check-in system that includes paying by cash for day use with one of their envelopes. The park host is also available if you have an issue or want to rent one of their available sites.
If you stay at Double Lake, make a trip into Coldspring and be sure to visit the town square. There are several restaurants and shops. One of my favorite stores is Paradise Gardens. It has a little bit of “Everything Under the Sun!” Check the hours; many of these small businesses are closed on Sunday. You will also find a local Brookshire Brothers Grocery Store if you run out of smores or beverages or need to restock.
It is a nice park. I live pretty near in Livingston.