Encircled by woodlands, creeks, and lakes—Wildwood is every bit the natural paradise its name evokes.
Hidden away amid the rambling woodlands of the Big Thicket National Preserve, the gated community of Wildwood is a tranquil spot to escape from it all. Simple pleasures await in the resort town—stroll the tree-lined trails, tee off at the golf course, or head to the lake to sail, kayak, fish, or cool off with a swim. There’s RV and tent camping in town, but for a more adventurous option, seek out remote backcountry campsites throughout Big Thicket. Miles of hiking, kayaking, and bird-watching trails await discovery in the preserve, winding through cypress swamps, creeks, and unspoiled wilderness.
East Texas Forests
All of Texas’ four national forests lie within a short drive of Wildwood, where you can park at remote RV campgrounds or enjoy primitive camping in the heart of the woods. North of Wildwood, the piney woods of Angelina National Forest line the shores of Sam Rayburn Reservoir, where you can swim in natural coves and fish for bass and catfish. To the West, Davy Crockett National Forest is popular with hikers and horseback riders, while to the east, Sabine National Forest sprawls to the Louisiana border.
West of Wildwood, the Sam Houston National Forest is hemmed in by two lakes—Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston—providing campers with a choice of forest or lakeside views. Bring your horse, OHV, or hiking boots to explore the many trails, or challenge yourself to the 128-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail. Further south, there are more options for backcountry camping at the Lake Houston Wilderness Park.
Beaumont and Port Arthur
Driving south from Wildwood on Highway 96, the cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur lie along Texas’ coastal plains. Take a boat cruise along the Neches River, go bird-watching around the Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetlands, or look out for American alligators in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. If you want to stay longer, you’ll find several RV parks along the riverfront and around Sabine Lake.
Campsites stay open year-round in Wildwood, but spring and fall are ideal for hiking and boating in the Big Thicket National Preserve. The Texas sun can be sweltering in summer, so prepare for high humidity and opt for a waterside campsite where you can cool off when it gets too hot. Winters campers visiting the National Forests will need to stick to the designated campgrounds—dispersed camping isn’t permitted during hunting season (November through January).