Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center

  • kids viewing nature
  • sun setting in Sheldon Lake
  • Sheldon Tower
  • Cypress trees, tower view from lake
  • Sheldon Lake
  • girl fishing in Sheldon Lake
  • kids getting nature tour

Natural Oasis

Just 15 minutes from downtown Houston you’ll find a park with a lake, ponds, wetlands, woods and prairie. Your family will love exploring this nearby oasis.

Things to Do

Come out for the day to fish, hike, paddle and nature watch. You can visit for free: We don’t charge an entry fee!

All facilities and trails are ADA accessible.


Walk two miles of trails through various habitats in the park. The Pond Loop Trail takes you past 28 hatchery ponds returned to nature. Along the aptly-named Prairie Trail and Wetland Loop, you’ll see examples of coastal habitats.

Explore the park’s “green” side while hiking. Look for solar panels, water collection tanks and recycled steel pipes. Download our Guide to Alternative Energy and Green Building at Sheldon Lake Environmental Learning Center | PDF.

Take a virtual tour with our interactive trails map.


You can fish without a license here!

Fish the 1,200-acre Sheldon Lake from boat or bank. Throw in a line at the fishing area off Garrett Road. Launch boats from the south boat ramp on Pineland Road; boats must not exceed headway speed. Learn more about fishing at Sheldon Lake.

Families (children with adults) can drop a line in one of our two fishing ponds, which are catch-and-release only. We have a limited number of cane poles you can borrow for these two ponds.


Bring your own kayak or canoe and explore Sheldon Lake.

Nature watching

This park is teeming with things to see, from birds to alligators, prairie grasses to wildflowers, trees to aquatic plants, butterflies to grasshoppers. Bring binoculars to see details and cameras to capture memories.

The 82-foot John Jacob Observation Tower features panoramic views of the park, the distant Houston skyline, and the San Jacinto Monument! The tower has two observation decks, one accessed by ramp and the other by stairs and elevator.

Visit our Wildscape demonstration garden for ideas on using native plants to attract wildlife to your backyard.

Alligators live in the park; read our alligator safety tips before your visit.

Get involved

We need your help! Contact the park to learn what volunteers can do or check our Volunteer page.

 Donate to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.

Ranger Programs

We offer programs on nature and ecology, native plant gardening, fishing and more.

Learn more about park programs.

Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Teachers: This is a Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site.

Kids: Become a Junior Ranger!

  • Borrow a Junior Ranger Explorer Pack, loaded with tools for exploring the park.
  • Pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Journal. Complete tasks to earn a badge.

14140 Garrett Rd.
Houston, TX 77044

Latitude: 29.857461

Longitude: -95.160029

(281) 456-2800

Entrance Fees
  • No Entrance Fee: Free

Open daily:
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Thanksgiving Day

Dec. 24 & Dec. 25.


We often reach capacity, and recommend reservations for day use. To guarantee entry, reserve free passes online or by calling the customer service center before you visit.

Busy Season

Spring, summer and fall


January average low is 46 degrees. July average high is 93 degrees. Average rainfall is 42.6 inches.

National Weather Service forecast for this area

41 to 50 feet