Kelly’s Pond Campground

Sam Houston National Forest

US Forest Service

Free Camping in Sam Houston National Forest

This is officially a "tent only" campground, where campers must utilize the adjacent parking area and walk into the camping units. However, many vehicle-campers use the adjacent parking area, which provides a wide area, to set up camp. The area is primitive with no potable water or electricity. The official campground has eight (8) campsites with picnic tables, fire rings and lantern posts.


Sam Houston National Forest

US Forest Service

Forest Office

Tel: (936) 344-6205


GPS: 30.5104, -95.6616

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: None

Max Stay: 14 days in a 30 day period

Amenities: Vault toilet, fire rings, picnic tables, trash cans

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Kelly’s Pond Campground

This campground is thusly named for the pond located by the adjacent parking area. You can launch your kayak or canoe, though it’s small enough that you won’t go very far.

There are ATV trails throughout here, and you should expect noise during the day. It’s also a popular campground, particularly with families and kids. Even though the campground itself is restricted to tents only, there are many who use the adjacent parking lot to camp as well, and RVs are permitted there.

In our experience, this is the “nicest” of the free camping areas in Sam Houston National Forest, but it’s also the most widely-used. You can, of course, mitigate that by coming here during the week instead of the weekend.

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