Just a few minutes northwest of Jasper, Lake Sam Rayburn, or "Big Sam" is the crown jewel of recreation in the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area. Comfortably located approximately halfway between the cities of Beaumont and Longview and running 79 miles long, Lake Sam Rayburn is the biggest reservoir within the state's borders. The lake is the perfect place for a plethora of activities. Residents and vacationers alike flock to Lake Sam Rayburn for popular outdoor fun in fishing, boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding and swimming. For those of who prefer to stay dry and still have a good time, camping, bird watching, golfing, and hiking are among the most common attractions.
Lake Sam Rayburn
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park, until 1965 was known as the Dam B State Park, is a 705-acre recreational area in Jasper and Tyler Counties between Woodville and Jasper on B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir (15,000 acres). Visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, wildlife and bird watching. There are canoes, bicycles, flat-bottom boats, volleyballs, and horse shoes for rent. There are naturalist activities on the weekends and outdoor educational facilities. Canoe trips down the Angelina or Neches River are taken on the third Saturday of every month, except in August. Call the park in advance to make reservations for scheduled canoe trips.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
For the birding enthusiast, there are a vast array of birds on the Big Thicket Loop for all seasons. You can journey through Sam Rayburn, Boykin Springs, Jasper State Fish Hatchery, Martin Dies, Jr. State Park, and B. A. Steinhagen Lakes. You can catch a glimpse of the bald eagle, red headed woodpecker, blue jays, hummingbirds, mocking birds, and various other beautiful feathered friends.