Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

State Forests

View looking up at tree
Big Pine in Montgomery County


Most Texans know about our national forests but what about our state forests? Texas hosts five state forests and two state arboretums, all located (naturally) among the woodlands of east Texas.  The two thousand-plus acre I. D. Fairchild State Forest, acquired in 1925, provides forest resource education, recreational opportunities, and nature studies in Cherokee County. Jasper County’s five hundred nineteen acre Masterson State Forest, a game sanctuary, focuses on perpetuating native flora. Eastward in Newton County, the seventeen hundred acre E. O. Siecke State Forest, acquired in 1924, is a working forest owned and administered by the Texas A&M Forest Service. The six hundred acres comprising the John Henry Kirby Memorial State Forest in Tyler County provides both educational and recreational opportunities. The Jones State Forest Project on the seventeen hundred acre W. Goodrich Jones State Forest features the Sweetleaf Nature Trail with the State Champion Sweetleaf Tree. Helping to expand forestry education and research are the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum in Jacksonville, where groups from local schools learn about our native forests, and the Olive Scott Petty Arboretum in Hardin County where forestry development includes the opportunity to plant your own tree.


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Read more about forests in the Handbook of Texas Online.