Hiking & Camping at Martin Dies Jr. State Park [Jasper, TX, USA]

Martin Dies Jr. State Park is an amazing landscape hidden away in East Texas near the Louisiana border. With hundreds of lakes and rivers in the area, there is plenty of green life growing around the park and we were able to visit just as fall began.

Websitehttp://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/martin-dies-jr

Admission: $4 daily for adults, $30 per night for screened shelter campsite

Address: 634 Park Road 48 South, Jasper, TX 75951

Home, Sweet Home

Fishing Pier
We were located right next to the fishing pier. I don’t think anyone caught a fish the whole weekend.
Screened Shelter
The screened shelters had electricity, water, a picnic table, and fire pit with grill.

The shelters, at $30/night, were a little more expensive than what I’m used to at Texas State Parks. This is my first time camping without a tent, and you pay a bit of a premium for the luxury of electricity, running water, and shelter!

There are plenty of regular camping pads you can set up on for $14/night.

Early morning fog
Early morning fog over B. A. Steinhagen Lake Reservoir.
Panorama-rama-rama.
Panorama-rama-rama.

It dipped below 50 degrees overnight which was a little chilly for us. Highs during the day of 78-80 made for perfect weather on a perfect weekend.

Breakfast of Champions
Breakfast of Champions. All stuff that doesn’t need to be kept cool, keeping the camping planning easy.

Slough Trail (2.24 miles)

By 10:00am on Saturday morning we headed for the Slough Trail.

River view
River view on the Slough Trail.
Erika
Erika by the edge of B. A. Steinhagen Lake. This was an awesome overlook!
Living life on the edge.
Living life on the edge. Don’t try this at home… or at a State park.

The trail was extremely well-maintained and had lots of shade. It also has sixteen wooden bridges over the rivers and streams.

spider
As close as I’m willing to get to a spider, even though this one is totally harmless. We watched him work this leaf out of his web!
bridge
A super long bridge.
mixtape cover
About to drop the hottest mixtape of the year…

Forest Trail (0.95 miles)

My best photo yet.
My best photo yet? Closeup of tree bark, no post-processing… Just my little Sony Cyber-shot.

Sandy Creek Trail (0.78 miles)

Beauty Berry.Beauty Berry close up.

We dipped down into the Sandy Creek trail at the bottom section of the park and weren’t super-impressed with the scenery. The straight section of the path follows a power line and there aren’t any good views of the lake. I would strongly recommend skipping the Sandy Creek Trail!

Back For Lunch

We hopped back in the car and went back to our site to cook up a quick lunch. We knew that we needed to carb-load before hitting the lake to canoe.

 

Lunch
Spaghetti-o’s, or as I call them, Sketti-o’s.

After lunch we hung up the hammocks to enjoy the beautiful weather. Also, the state park had excellent cell & data coverage the whole trip, the only state park I’ve been to with fast internet everywhere! That’s a bonus for some but also what others are trying to escape…

Lounging
Lounging in the hammock. Takes a little while to digest Spaghetti-O’s.

Canoeing B. A. Steinhagen Lake

Lizard
This lizard tried to stay in the canoe, and kept claiming he could save us “15% or more on boat insurance…”

We rented the canoes for a 6-hour period for $30+tax. You can rent for two hours or six, which means you should probably reserve a canoe for six hours. They are available directly from the Park Headquarters.

Dragon fly life
We named this dragonfly Earl. He was a freeloader.
Action shot
The action shot of an expert canoer. Just kidding, we weren’t very good.
Tree life
This beautiful tree caught my eye so we had to stop.

We canoed for about two and a half hours and got a little lost. We paddled the Neches River Trail and tried to take the shorter route. By the time we paddled towards the end of the route, it was blocked by lily pads and algae. Definitely a bummer!

swampy canoeing
Swampy canoeing.

Campfires and Dinner

Flame&Flare.
Flame&Flare.
Sunset over B.A. Steinhagen
Sunset over B.A. Steinhagen. Below is the timelapse video!

Dinner is served.
Dinner is served. This photo is technically from the first night but it fit the blog post flow better now.

Island Trail (0.75 miles) & Wildlife Trail (1.41 miles)

Deer!
Deer! We stopped and admired the friendly deer on our way to the hike.
Beautiful Fall Colors
Beautiful Fall Colors. This was a breathtaking view.
Conquering.
We do what we do best, conquering. This continues the theme of Erika climbing dangerous dead trees while I film, hoping to capture the next viral video…..
Climbing
Well maybe not just her…
Tree hugger
My best tree hug.

The Island trail was the best trail in the park. It had great views of the lake, beautiful fall colors, and a well-maintained path. The Wildlife Trail, was our least favorite trail and definitely skippable.

The Wildlife Trail

The worst trail
The worst trail unfortunately. Covered with spiders and fairly uninteresting.
Swampy
Swampy, which brought out the mosquitoes. We had a loyal fan base of them follow us during the middle section of the hike.
looking-up-at-trees
Looking up to the sky-high trees.

Review & Recommendations

Wow, what a beautiful park.

We were continually impressed and awed by this natural beauty that is hidden in the East-Texas pinewoods. Granted that the park was busy during our visit, I am totally surprised that this park doesn’t have a larger presence on the scale of Pedernales or Enchanted Rock in Texas.

You must visit it if you live within a four hour drive.

Stick to the Island Trail, Big Slough Trail, and the Forest Trail. The other trails are okay but those three stand out above the rest.

Of the 130 pictures I took I was able to share 35 in this post. Please watch the video as well as subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like it!

Grab your camping gear, any camping buddies, and hit the park. Especially during fall season if you can (in Texas: Mid-October to End-November).

Imagine yourself here.
Imagine yourself here. Thank you for reading and sharing.

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