Primitive Camping Sites Angelina River


Staff member
Primitive camping sites on the Angelina river south of Lake Sam Rayburn offer some great fishing, hiking, and hunting opportunities. The most popular camping site is named Angelina 1, and is around a 30 minute boat ride south of Bevil Port, and around a 20 minute boat ride north of Martin Dies State Park Walnut Run. Those time estimates are based on a flat bottom aluminum boat with a 30 hp Evinrude motor.

When you arrive at the Angelina 1 primitive camping site there is a spot to tie up two boats on the north side of the camping site. Directly in front of the camping site are vertical banks which are difficult to park a boat at. However, I have seen pontoon boats that sit high in the water pulled up to the bank directly in front of the primitive camping site. The area is large enough for several tents, sometimes I see three or four large family tents at Angelina 1 during hunting season. A few years ago two of my sons, a buddy of mine and I spent three days at Angelina 1. Before that I had camped at the site several other times going back to December 2010.

Angelina 1 primitive camping site is situated in the middle of public hunting lands. Directly behind the site there are areas of old growth oak trees that make for good hunting. Deer, wild pigs and various small game animals can be found in the area.

A couple of hundred yards south and to the west of Angelina 1 camping site is the entrance to Bee Tree Slough. The entrance is easy to miss as it makes a hard right turn as soon as you enter the slough, so it looks like a small cut off the river. Once you get into Bee Tree Slough you could spend hours exploring the area. One small cut off the main slough works its way through public hunting lands and finally comes out on the Neches river. However, that cut is often blocked by fallen trees.

South of the Angelina 1 camping site are three more primitive camping sites - Angelina 2 and Angelina 3. There use to be an Angelina 4, but I am not sure if that site is still open. If your party has several members and you wish to spread out, then reserve Angelina 1, Angelina 2 and Angelina 3 then spread out. Boat access at Angelia 2 and 3 is not very good as they have short vertical banks.

Some of the best things about the Angelina 1 primitive camping site is the view both during the day and night, and the peace and quiet. The Angelina river in that area is several hundred feet wide. The view as the sun goes down is beautiful. Then there is the peace and quiet. Once hunting tampers off in December and deer season closes in early January there are usually only a few people on the river. One my three day camping trip in December 2010, during those three days I only saw a couple of boats on the river.

At one time there was a lot of trash at the Angelina 1 primitive camping site, but it looks like a lot of that has been cleaned up over the years. The camping site has 2 large picnic table, a fire ring, and two poles to hang lanterns.

I would recommend launching your boat Martin Dies Park, Walnut Run, which is on the north side of Hwy 190. Directly across from the boat launch is a small cut that will take you to the Neches River. Once at the Neches River turn north. When you arrive at the forks of the rivers, which is where the Neches and Angelina meet, stay to your right which is the Angelina river. Angelina 1 primitive camping site will be on the east side of the river.

I also recommend bringing a good mosquito proof tent, plenty of water, and a water filter. While camping and boating on the Angelina and Neches River I filtered the river water using a Katadyn hiker water filter and had no ill effects.

The Angelina 1 camping primitive site is only accessible by boat. There are no modern bathroom facilities, no running water, and no electricity. Camping is by permit only, but the permits are free. For more information call the Town Bluff Army Corp of Engineers offices between M-F 8am - 4:30pm; Phone: (409) 429-3491.


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