Forest Trail Region


Visit Palestine in springtime when magnolias perfume the air and dogwoods bloom and you’ll feel like you’re in the Old South. Davey Dogwood Park north of town attracts crowds during the annual Texas Dogwood Trails Festival in March. If you’re a railroad buff, climb aboard for a steam or diesel train ride at the historic Texas State Railroad. The 25-mile journey offers boarding for one-way or round-trip excursions through the scenic Piney Woods at depots in Palestine and Rusk.

This Texas Main Street City boasts more than 1,800 historic homes and buildings, many located in two National Register Historic Districts. Learn about the architectural history by taking a self-guided walking or driving tour of the city. Maps are available at the Visitor Center, a restored 19th Century train depot, the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce, housed in the 1914 Carnegie Library, and the Museum for East Texas Culture, which resides in the renovated 1916 Palestine High School.

Indeed, Palestine has its share of impressive structures. The 1914 Anderson County Courthouse’s Classical Revival style features a double spiral staircase and a stained glass montage within its dome. One of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Texas is found at the 1848 Howard House Museum, where displays include period furnishings and exhibits. For live shows and other entertainment, visit the Texas Theatre. Built in 1930 in the Spanish Colonial style, it was designed as an atmospheric movie palace and restored in phases. You can’t miss the vertical neon “Texas” sign on the façade.