Located just east of Lufkin, the 153,179-acre Angelina National Forest is one of East Texas’ most popular destinations for fishing and boating excursions, thanks to the enormous Sam Rayburn Reservoir within its boundaries. Angelina’s landscape is similar to its national forest siblings, featuring gently rolling hills covered mostly with shortleaf and loblolly pine, hardwoods and a swath of longleaf pine. Though the reservoir dominates Angelina’s natural environment, the forest also includes several hiking trails and recreation areas with strong ties to Texas history.
Heritage tourists should consider visiting the Aldridge sawmill ruins, where the walls of enormous concrete structures stand as a testament to Texas’ once-proud lumber industry past. Though they’re now covered in graffiti, the 40-foot walls offer a fascinating glimpse of the grand ambitions of lumberman W. H. Aldridge.
Just down the road is the Boykin Springs recreation area, where CCC crews constructed a sturdy pavilion and massive stone spillway in the early 1930s. Both structures were recently repaired following hurricane damage, and the area is expected to reopen for swimming, camping and picnicking in early 2009.
Visitors also flock to Angelina to view the hundreds of wildlife species, including turkey, deer, quail and woodcock. During winter months, bald eagles occasionally soar over the reservoir.
Angelina National Forest
See website or contact main office for hours of operation and fees in different areas of the forest.