The Wallisville Lake Project has two parks and two recreation areas for our visitors.
1. Cedar Hill Park was opened in 2000 and is managed by Chambers County by a lease agreement. On the northeast bank of Lake Charlotte, Cedar Hill Park is named for the large cedar trees throughout the park. Several shell middens in the area around Lake Charlotte show us that this area was used by prehistoric Native Americans. By the time of the Texas revolution, Lake Charlotte was a resort area with two-masted scow schooners plying the waters from the Trinity River through Lake Pass and into the lake. Nicholas Descomps Labadie, physician, pharmacist, and entrepreneur had a plantation home on the shore of Lake Charlotte during the 1830’s. Labadie served as surgeon for Sam Houston’s Army and tended the wounded at San Jacinto. He later traded his plantation to Michel B. Menard of Galveston, Texas, for wharf rights and built Labadie’s Wharf near the foot of 26th Street in Galveston, where he operated a shipping firm that imported lumber. Lake Charlotte is named for Labadie’s mother, Charlotte Barthe Labadie. To get to Cedar Hill from I-10 take the FM 563 exit and go north on FM 563 to Lake Charlotte Road. Turn left (west) onto Lake Charlotte Road. The park entrance is on the left just across from the Sherman family’s cemetery. A pavilion with tables, grills, and trash cans can accommodate large groups. Small groups may also use the individual covered and /or shaded picnic tables. Vaulted toilets are available for visitor convenience. Almost three miles of graveled trails with boardwalks out into the cypress swamp along the bank of Lake Charlotte are excellent for birding and small animal wildlife viewing. Bald eagles are known to fish from Lake Charlotte. The cypress swamps along the banks of Lake Charlotte are also excellent for paddling canoes and kayaks. A hand-launch area is located at the lakeshore side of the loop road in the park. A limited amount of primitive style camping is allowed at Cedar Hill Park. Please contact the Chambers County Commissioner’s Pct. 3 office at 281-576-2243 for permits and fee information. Please utilize trash cans for waste items left over from your recreational use of the park.
2. Hugo Point Park was opened in 2003 and is also managed by Chambers County by a lease agreement. On the west bank of Old River Lake, Hugo Point Park is named for Hugo Franssen, who came to the United States from Holland and became a U.S. citizen in 1844. He and his wife, Metta, came to Texas about 1854 and settled on the west bank of Old River in the Cove community, from where he operated a freight boat between Cove and Galveston. Hugo, Metta, and several other family members are buried in the family cemetery surrounded by a fence in the park. Please respect their privacy during your visit. To get to Hugo Point from I-10 take the FM 565 exit and go south on FM 565 to Gou Hole Road. Turn left onto Gou Hole Road and follow it out to the gate at the end of the public road. Turn left into the park. Day use facilities include a large pavilion, individual picnic tables, restrooms, playground, a two-lane boat ramp, parking for vehicles with or without trailers, and a handicap accessible trail out into the marsh with an accessible observation tower. Hugo Point is a day use park only, no overnight camping is allowed. Please contact the Chambers County Commissioner’s Pct 4 office at 281-383-2011for information about pavilion reservations. Please utilize trash cans for waste items left over from your recreational use of the park.
3. Trinity River Island Recreation Area first opened to the public in 1999, but was not completed until 2003. Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TRIRA is an island between the main stem of the Trinity River and the engineered navigation channel. From the Houston area take the exit 807 off I-10 and follow the feeder road to the large brown USACE sign for Trinity River Island Recreation Area and turn right (south) through the pipe gate onto Lock & Dam Road. Follow Lock & Dam on south to the recreation area across the bridge at the dam. From the Beaumont area take exit 807 off I-10 and go straight at the intersection, following the feeder road around the turn-around. Continue to follow the feeder road to the large brown U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sign for Trinity River Island Recreation Area and turn left (south) through the pipe gate onto Lock & Dam Road. Follow Lock & Dam on south to the recreation area across the bridge at the dam. All facilities here are handicap accessible and include both covered and uncovered picnic tables, fishing access on both upstream and downstream sides of the dam, a two-lane boat ramp, life jacket loaner station, restrooms, trash cans, parking for regular, handicap access, and vehicles with trailers or RV’s, the project office complex with our Visitor Center, and accessible walkways. Please use the handrail areas above and below the dam and the banks along the river for fishing access. For your safety, fishing is not allowed from the bridge or the dam structure. The picnic tables, fishing access, walkways, restrooms, parking, and boat ramp are all open 24/7.
4. JJ Mayes Wildlife Trace is a four- mile all weather road atop the levee along the west bank of the Trinity River. Opened in 2003, the Trace gives visitors a close-up view of the marshes and river bank habitats and many of the wildlife species living within the boundaries of the Wallisville Project. The Trace is named for Joshua Jackson Mayes, one of the early Anglo settlers in the Wallisville area of Chambers County. His ranch grew to be one of the largest cattle operations in the county. Mayes served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War. Both JJ and his wife, Sarah, are buried in the Wallisville Cemetery, just east of the project. A picnic area under a forest of stately old live oaks, planted by the Mayes family, near the entrance welcomes you to the Trace. The Sawmill Trail begins at the parking area just beyond the “four way” intersection. This trail meanders along the river bank down to the lock. About half way down the trail runs into the handicap accessible loop. The loop can be accessed from the main Trace at two parking areas. The loop also has boardwalks, benches, and overlooks on the west bank of the Trinity. The loop is just under a mile in length. At the lower end of the Trace, a pavilion, restrooms and parking area are available. Remember that this is the Gulf Coast area and be prepared for mosquitoes as you leave your vehicle. The Trace is open seven days a week. J.J. Mayes Trace can be accessed via exit 805 from I-10 eastbound only. Westbound will need to exit at 803, loop under the overpass and re-enter I-10 East.