About Houston County
Houston County, the first county established by the Republic of Texas, is east of Waco in the East Texas Timberlands region. It is bordered on the north by Anderson County, on the east by Cherokee, Angelina, and Trinity counties, on the south by Walker and Madison counties, and on the west by Leon County. Crockett is the county seat and largest town. In addition to U.S. Highway 287 the county’s transportation needs are served by State highways 7, 19, and 21 and the Union Pacific Railroad. Houston County covers 1,234 square miles, with elevations ranging from 200 to 300 feet. The Neches River forms the northeastern boundary of the county, and the Trinity River is the western boundary. The terrain is gently rolling to hilly. Soils are generally light colored and loamy, with very deep reddish clayey subsoils. In the southwest and west the soils are sandy with clayey subsoils. The predominant vegetation is mixed pine and hardwood forests. Between 21 and 30 percent of the land in the county is considered prime farmland. The climate is subtropical and humid, with cool winters and hot summers. Temperatures range in January from an average low of 36° F to an average high of 58°, and in July from 71° to 94°. The average annual rainfall is 42 inches. The average annual snowfall is less than one inch. The growing season averages 260 days a year, with the last freeze in early March and the first in late November. As of 2015 the population was 22,785.
Houston County Lake is a 1,330 acre spring fed lake. It is bordered by the towns of Crockett, Grapeland, and Latexo. The lake is a constant level lake and has more consistent water levels than most area lakes. It’s a great lake for recreational boating and fishing with an almost 60/40% split of open water and fishing structure (fishing is approx. 60%)
The first thing most people notice is the water clarity, though it is stained from iron ore deposits it has much better clarity than almost any lake in the area. The lake has been a popular swimming hole for locals since it was impounded in 1965. Legend tells a story of workers clearing the main part of the lake after construction of the dam. Locals tell of heavy rains causing the lake to fill up much quicker than hoped for. Due to the rapid filling of the lake they were unable to get some of the machinery out and the lake filled burying the tractors under the waters of the newly formed lake.
The lake has many subdivisons and is becoming increasingly developed as growth in the major cities spreads. Locals feel it’s one of the best kept secrets in East Texas. If you enjoy fishing, you will be impressed.