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Water Recreation

Fish, paddle, splash and swim

Does your ideal weekend include fishing or canoeing? Swimming laps or just hanging out by the pool? When you attend SFA, you’re just minutes away from some of the best lakes and rivers East Texas has to offer. Not the outdoorsy type? No worries. Head to the Rec Center pool, where you can swim laps, play volleyball or float down our very own lazy river.

Lakes and rivers

Looking for an off-campus adventure? The SFA campus is located just a short drive from several lakes and rivers, from the 2,200-acre Lake Nacogdoches to the 9-mile Bevilport Paddle Trail.

Lake Nacogdoches

Only a 15-minute drive from the SFA campus, Lake Nacogdoches has just about everything you need to have a good time. Love fishing? Lake Nacogdoches is home to largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish.

Other amenities and recreation options include:

  • Two lakeside parks complete with pavilions, picnic tables and charcoal grills
  • Swimming area
  • Boat ramps
  • Nature trail
  • Accessible fishing and boat dock for disabled visitors

Lake Naconiche

The best thing about Lake Naconiche? Scuba diving. That’s right – this 692-acre lake is home to a scuba platform. But you don’t have to be a diver to enjoy this lake. Located just 15 minutes from campus, Lake Naconiche has something for everyone:

  • Fishing piers (spotted bass, blue catfish, crappie and bluegill)
  • Swimming area
  • Picnic area

Camp Tonkawa Springs

Need to cool off? Head to this historic campsite, which boasts an ice-cold, spring-fed pond and plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun:

  • White, sandy beaches
  • Campgrounds
  • Volleyball and horseshoe courts
  • Recreation hall
  • Wi-Fi access

Neches River

The Neches River flows 416 miles, from the piney woods of Van Zandt County all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re looking for a real East Texas adventure, you’ll find it here:

  • Opportunities to see natural waterfalls and rocky shoals
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Campgrounds

Angelina River

The Angelina River is home to Sam Rayburn Reservoir and B.A. Steinhagen Lake, plus the 9-mile Bevilport Paddle Trail. With opportunities for fishing, boating, camping and more, it’s 120 miles of outdoor fun.

  • Fishing (largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, crappie and bluegill)
  • Campgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Boating, paddling, wakeboarding and waterskiing
  • Opportunities to see wildlife
  • Hiking

Village Creek Paddle Trail

With 21 miles and multiple access points, Village Creek Paddle Trail lets you choose your adventure, whether you want a day-long excursion or a few hours of fun, making it a suitable destination for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and newbies alike. And because Village Creek Paddle Trail is part of the Big Thicket National Preserve, you’ll find way more than paddling:

  • Fishing (bass, catfish, perch and panfish)
  • Bird watching
  • Campgrounds
  • Picnic areas
  • Opportunities to see wildlife

The Rec Center pool

Sure, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the East Texas Piney Woods – but Lumberjacks don’t have to go off campus to have fun in the water. Head to the Student Recreation Center to cool off, swim laps or just chill with friends.

Lap lanes

Challenge yourself. Race friends. Get fit. The Rec Center’s outdoor pool features three lap lanes with retractable dividers.

Play pool

Unwind in the play pool, which features plenty of room for games and relaxation. Get in on a game of water basketball or hang out in the 30-seat spa area, which features hydrotherapy jets and a peaceful waterfall.

Lazy river

All the fun of tubing – right on the SFA campus. Kick back and let the currents carry you along our 270-foot lazy river. Inner tubes are available for rental at the Rec Center.

Diving well

Perfect your dives in this 12-foot deep, 720-square-foot area, equipped with pebble-flex flooring and a 1-meter springboard.


Campus Recreation
Fax: 936.468.7052

1817 Wilson Drive
Nacogdoches, TX 75962

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