There are 40 acres for tent campers to utilize. Several locations are used more frequently than others, but campers may choose their own location. There is NO electricity and NO running water. There is an abundance of tall trees with accompanying wildlife, hiking trails, and more. Potable water is available at the Mallard Pond Cabin near the entrance gate.
PRIMITIVE CAMPING: The are many tent sites available on the back side of the property, but there is no 'running water' or electricity there. There is an abundance of firewood due to the thickness of the forested area. Small cleared areas are plentiful for providing isolated campsite areas. It does provide a peaceful & private atmosphere where you can gaze at the stars and listen to the coyotes howl at the moon. There are also locations where your tent(s) can be pitched nearby your vehicle, but they are not quite as remote. There are many trees and it is easy to hang a hammock and enjoy your surroundings with a good book. Wildlife includes: deer, raccoon, squirrels, coyotes, rabbits, wild hogs, woodpeckers, possums, foxes, armadillos, snakes, turtles,lizards, skunks, frogs, hawks, and more.
The retreat and associated activities are part of our overall program,which is to provide a refuge away from the frantic pace of daily life. We are somewhat sequestered from the outside world so as to provide immersion in the sights and sounds of nature. The setting is designed to be a place for relaxation and restoration of the soul and body through reading, journaling, quiet reflection, or simple camp activities such as hiking.
Campers and visitors are expected to respect the land and natural features of the property as a gift from our Creator to be used and appreciated. We treat the property in acknowledgement we are the 'stewards' of the land.
MALLARD HAVEN Retreat is located in the Piney Woods area of East Texas and offers 40 acres of availability. Owners live on property. (Usually with 3 or 4 dogs and 2 or 3 calves, an occasional cat, and occasional chickens) There are five (5) spring-fed ponds. A Texas Fishing License is required (exception for small children catching very small fish for throw-back.) The area is thickly populated with pine trees, oak trees, sweetgum, and sassafras. Sassafras is easy to use for making a wonderful tea drink. There are several hiking trails, but biking is usually not possible due to the sandy soil. ATV's & similar motorized vehicles are not permitted. In late spring, wild blackberries (AKA: dew-berries) are thickly available and visitors may help 'pick' for an agreed split.
Mallard Haven Retreat is operated by Haven Ministries, Inc. It is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas. Mallard Haven Retreat is also available for small groups for family reunions, youth groups, or church fellowships. Other services offered include memorable campfire programs, camp recreation and competition activities, airsoft games, and much more. Large 'party-style' tents(with or without sides) are available for large groups or activities. Contact us well in advance for these 'extra' services so as to not conflict with individual campers.
Shopping & stores (Walmart, Tractor Supply, Kroger, fast-foods, antique shops, Walgreen, CVS, etc) are available in both Palestine &Crockett. Palestine is the County Seat of Anderson County and is about 30-45 minutes driving time north. Crockett is the County Seat of Houston County and is also about 30-45 minutes away south. Quick,limited grocery items, gas, post office, etc are available in nearby Elkhart & Grapeland.
The historic CADDO MOUNDS and portions of the EL CAMINO REAL National Historic Trail are east, near Alto – about an hour drive time. The Caddo Mounds is a State Historic Site and hosts various activities during the year such as the El Camino Real del Los Tejas Festival. This features re-enactors, pioneer skills, archeology activities,crafts, games, music, and more. The Caddo Mounds were built by Hasinai Indians about 1,200 years ago and feature remains of a large village and ceremonial center.
Mission Tejas State Park is also nearby and is passed up by most visitors. The park was first established in 1935 and hosts numerous learning and frontier activities throughout the year. It also includes an abundance of hiking trails. A replica Spanish Mission was built by the CCC and is on the site of the historic original location. There are Park Rangers that help with living history demonstrations,interaction for kids, and much more.
Nearby Grapeland hosts music festivals on Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend at the Salmon Lake Park. A Gospel Music Festival in held over the Memorial Day Weekend and a Bluegrass Festival is held Labor Day Weekend. Both events are predominantly bluegrass and gospel.
- Check in: After 1PM
- Check out: Before 11AM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 6 months out Weeknight discount: 33% off