Ragtown Recreation Area
in Sabine National Forest
Ragtown Recreation Area offers something for everyone…camping, hiking, fishing, bird watching and viewing nature at its best! The Ragtown Recreation Area is located along the Texas shoreline of Toledo Bend Lake, one of the South’s largest reservoirs. The campground is nestled high on a bluff that faces the east; the panoramic view of the lake makes sun rises spectacular!
The Ragtown Recreation Area was developed in a remote region of the Sabine National Forest, and is approximately 10 miles from a grocery store or gasoline station. Because of its remoteness, the campground offers the visitor an uncrowded camping experience. The campground is seldom filled to capacity and usually has only a few visitors per week.
There is a boat launch facility, as well.
Fees are: $5.00 per single campsite, $8.00 per double campsite, $2.00 per day for day use (picnic, swimming, hiking & fishing), $2.00 per day for boat launch (Campers that have paid for campsite do not pay to use launch). While you should check on fees, from 2000 – June, 2010 they have held steady at, generally, $4 per campsite and $2 per vehicle for day use.
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From the junction of Texas Highway 87 and Texas Highway 21/103 in Milam, Tx.:
- Take Highway 87 North 20 miles to Highway 139
- Turn East on Highway 139 and go 6.5 miles to Highway 3184.
- Turn Southeast on 3184 and go 4 miles to Ragtown Recreation Area
The recreation area was constructed in the years 1974 and 1975 with United States Forest Service Recreational Construction funds. A sewage treatment plant was also constructed within the recreation area. There are 12 double-family camping units and 13 single family camping units. A double-laned public boat ramp is available with a parking lot capacity of 33 vehicles/boat trailers. Also available to campground users are drinking water hydrants, hot showers, indoor toilets, sewage disposal stations for trailer holding tanks, a lift station and the former fish-cleaning house has been remodeled to become a picnic pavilion.
Campsites are surrounded by southern pines and hardwood trees. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, level pad, parking spur and a campfire ring which can be used as a cooking grill. In an effort to preserve the beauty of the Ragtown Recreation Area for future campers and outdoorsmen, off-road vehicles are NOT permitted to roam the area. Camping units are usually occupied on a “first come – first serve” basis. Campers must pay a user fee displayed at the self-serve fee station at the entrance. A public swimming beach is available – though technically, it is “conducive and open to swimming” as opposed to being called a swimming beach.
The Ragtown Recreation Area is a bird watcher’s paradise. Seasonal migrations of duck, geese, bald eagles and osprey occur in the area. There is also an abundance of non-migratory native bird species.
The area offers more than just birding. Gray and fox squirrels can been heard clamoring in the treetops. And night time offers a perfect setting for the meddling raccoon and opossum. White-tail deer frequent the area also. Reptiles in the area include lizards, turtles and snakes. The venomous snakes represented in the area are the Eastern cottonmouth, Western pygmy rattlesnake, canebrake rattlesnake, Southern copperhead and the Texas coral snake. Harmless snakes in the area include the Texas rat snake, prairie king snake and the speckled king snake Caution should be exercised with all snakes. The best advice is to simply leave all snakes alone. Tree frogs, green frogs and bullfrogs are among the amphibian species in the area. A variety of toads and salamanders can been found also.
A hiking trail is available. Mother Nature’s Trail loops around the campground for approximately 1 mile. The trail winds through woodlands of magnificent oak and beech trees. Southern pines scattered among the oak and beech create a diverse landscape. The trail then stretches along the shoreline of Toledo Bend Reservoir. Scavenger hunting is possible when the lake levels are low.
If you love fishing — Toledo Bend fishing is fabulous! The lake abounds with large mouth bass, white perch, white bass, stripers, bream and a variety of catfish.
Photos by Frank Dutton – Tolwdo-Bend.Com
USDA FOREST SERVICE
YELLOWPINE RANGER DISTRICT
P.O. BOX F
HEMPHILL, TEXAS 75948
For further information on Ragtown Recreation Area, contact:
Sabine River Authority of Texas
Route 1 Box 270
Burkeville, TX 75932