Parks, Trails, and Lakes of Nacogdoches
Parks and recreation amenities are an essential part of a healthy, quality and sustainable community environment. They provide for relaxation and exercise outside of the home, after work and beyond school activities. Whether for passive or active use, parks, trails and recreation areas and facilities are an important part of everyday life for many residents.
Much like streets and sidewalks, water and wastewater systems, drainage facilities, police and fire stations, and other municipal facilities and services, parks, trails and open space are an integral part of the municipal infrastructure. The City of Nacogdoches currently offers 389 acres of parks, over 8 miles of maintained trails, and a 2210 acre reservoir lake.
In addition to the outdoor recreational opportunities available through the local park system, the City of Nacogdoches operates and maintains the C.L. Simon Recreation Center at 1112 North Street, where the Parks and Recreation Department also has its offices. Features of the Recreation Center include an arts and crafts room, dance room, gymnasium, gymnastics area, meeting rooms, and a weight room! The Recreation Center also accommodates various classes and activities enjoyed by all ages throughout the year.
The Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation Department strives to enrich the lives of Nacogdoches citizens by providing quality parks and facilities as well as diverse recreational and educational opportunities. The Recreation Center is open to the public from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Friday, and through 5:00 PM on Saturday (closed on Sunday).
Nacogdoches has a total of 389 Acres of parks! Wooded, open grasslands, small ponds, and recreational equipment— swings, slides, spray station,tennis courts, pavilions, trails, disc golf courses — offer many outdoor activities for people of all ages.
The Parks Advocacy League of Nacogdoches (PAL) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in June 2014 by a group of parents to address the need for low or no-cost public aquatics facilities. To learn more about PAL, click here!
Lake Nacogdoches West Side Park- 40 Acres
3 large group pavilions, disc golf course, picnic tables, swimming area, boat ramp, handicap fishing pier, playground equipment, nature-hiking trail and parking areas.
Nacogdoches Baseball Complex- 31 Acres Baseball fields used by SFA Baseball and Youth Baseball, 2 covered batting cages, covered bleachers and team areas, 2 concession stands and parking facilities. This location also includes a playground!
Pioneer Park- 30 Acres
3 Group pavilions, picnic tables, playground equipment, volleyball court, open playfield, disc golf course and parking area.
Soccer Complex- 24 Acres 15 soccer fields 1 group pavilion, and an exercise trail.
Mill Pond Park- 26 Acres
Basketball court, playground equipment, 1 group pavilion and picnic tables.
Pecan Acres- 23 Acres
Large Pecan Orchard, 1 group pavilion, picnic tables, disc golf course, playground equipment, open playfield and parking area.
Festival Park- 18 Acres
Large event pavilion, open area to accommodate event/festival set-up,
2 Group Pavilions, lit basketball court, playground equipment, picnic tables and parking area.
Pete Smith Athletic Complex- 18 Acres Lighted softball fields used by SFA Softball and Adult Softball, covered team areas, covered bleachers and parking area.
Maroney Park- 17.5 Acres
Jogging-exercise trail, basketball court, 1 group pavilion, playground equipment, picnic tables, parking facilities and Community built playground.
Coy Simms Softball Complex- 16.5 Acres 4 lighted softball fields, bleachers, concession stand area, restrooms, water fountain and parking area.
Robert McCrimmon Park- 14 Acres
1 Group pavilion, picnic tables, playground equipment, lighted and covered basketball court and parking.
Banita Creek Park- 12 Acres
Soccer and football field, 1 lighted roller hockey court, disc golf course, group pavilion, picnic tables, parking area, softball/baseball practice field and exercise trail.
Dog Park- 7 Acres
Large and small dog off leash fenced park with benches and drinking fountain. Click here for more about the Dog Park!
Lakeside Park- 6 Acres
Small pond, swings and picnic tables.
Ritchie Street Park- 6 Acres
1 Group Pavilion, baseball practice field, basketball court and playground equipment.
Lake Nacogdoches East Side Park- 3 Acres Picnic tables, swimming area, boat ramp, playground equipment and parking area.
Liberty Hall/ El Camino Real- 1.5 Acres
East Main St. Access point for Lanana Creek Trail, building used for rentals and parking area.
Blount Park- 1 Acre
Scenic neighborhood park including flower beds, garden, gazebo and drinking fountain.
Temple Spray Station- 1 Acre
Spray station, 3 shade structures with picnic tables and parking.
Eugenia Sterne Park- 1 Acre
Gazebo, park benches and parking area.
SportsPlex- 100 Acres (10 developed)
2 Adult soccer fields and parking area.
The Nacogdoches trail system is over 8 miles of both paved & unpaved walking and/or biking paths. The trails are equipped with water fountains and emergency phones & patrons are encouraged to enjoy the wooded scenery!
The Lanana Creek Trail
This trail passes by a spring known as The Eyes of Father Margil, where legend tells us Father Margil’s 1718 miracle brought water to thirsting people. Also along the way are the Oak Grove Cemetery, where Thomas J. Rusk and other early Texans are buried, the beautiful creek bottom woods of Pecan Acres Park, the Stephen F. Austin State University Arboretum, and Tucker Woods behind the Pineywoods Native Plant Center.
This trail is now more accessible from the North side of Nacogdoches. Grant funding and volunteer power helped to add another 1.8 miles to the existing 5.1 miles of recreational trail. Sidewalk underpasses were built beneath Main Street for access to the Clint Dempsey Soccer Complex and Austin Street for access to the new trail path.
Banita Creek Trail
This trail features tall oaks, hickories, pines, maples, and other shrubs and wildflowers. A highlight of the trail is the 15-acre Banita Creek Nature Reserve, established by the late well-known local author and artist Charlotte Montgomery, and now owned by the Texas Land Conservancy. Lovely waterfalls in the creek offer a stopping point in the Reserve. South of the Nature Reserve along the trail is Ab's Park, named in memory of F.E. Abernathy, founder of the Lanana Creek and Banita Creek trails.
Born Learning Trail
This Trail is an initiative from United Way that consists of a series of 10 interactive signs that offer fun, active learning activities for young children and their families. It helps parents, caregivers and communities create quality engagement opportunities when out on a stroll!
Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest
The Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest features interpretive trails along Jack Creek, a spring-fed perennial stream lined with 100-year-old pine and hardwood trees. The Jack Creek Trail, just under a mile long, has a hard surface, is wheelchair accessible, and is rated moderate difficulty. The Forest Management Loop Trail is a more strenuous two-mile natural surface trail. Visitors will enjoy five different forest types, which support roughly 150 bird species, 80 butterfly species, and 30 kinds of mammals.
Lake Nacogdoches is a 2210 acre reservoir located 10 miles southwest of the City on FM 225. There are three pavilions, a swimming area, a fishing pier, & a boat ramp in the west side park. There are also tables, a swimming area & another boat ramp on the east side of the lake.
692-acre Lake Naconiche gives East Texans yet another option for fishing, swimming, water sports and scuba diving. Initially stocked with thousands of largemouth bass from the ShareLunker program, Lake Naconiche is also home to spotted bass, channel and blue catfish, black and white crappie and bluegill. Recreational facilities also include accessible fishing piers, a swimming area and a scuba platform.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Sam Rayburn is the largest man-made lake located totally within the boundaries of the state of Texas. The lake is located deep in the Piney Woods of Southeast Texas, nestled within the Angelina and Sabine National Forest. Sam Rayburn Reservoir is nationally renowned for its large mouth bass fishery, hosting numerous tournaments each year. Recreation opportunities include camping, fishing, swimming, boating, and hunting as well as concessions offered by marinas.
Jessi Pinkert and is a recent graduate from the Hospitality Administration program at Stephen F. Austin State University, and is currently working towards her Master's degree in Mass Communications. Jessi works for the City of Nacogdoches as the Main Street/ Communications Department Content Coordinator, where she helps plan events, record and edit the NacChat Podcast and department videos, and maintains local Channel 21. Jessi also works for the Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center as a Public Relations Specialist.