Description - Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area was built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It surrounds a picturesque 45-acre lake that was once a log pond and a source of water for the Central Coal and Coke Company sawmill which operated from 1902 to 1920.
The facilities at Ratcliff Lake are open year-round. The area includes 77 camping units, 17 single-family picnicking units, two picnic shelters, swimming area, concession stand, bathhouse with showers, fishing piers, and playground. There is also an amphitheater for evening programs during summer months. The 1-1/2 mile "Tall Pines" hiking trail can be accessed from the campground or the picnic area.
In the camping area are flush toilets, cold showers and centralized garbage containers. Electrical hook-ups are available in the Dogwood Loop. Visitors must swim only in the designated area delineated by buoys. There are no lifeguards on duty.
Fishing is permitted (except in the swim area) under applicable Federal and State laws. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake.
Visitors may want to hike the 20-mile-long Four C National Recreation Trail, which originates in the Ratcliff Recreation Area and goes to the Neches Bluff Overlook.
- Attractions to the Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area are closely linked to the picturesque 45 acre lake.
Recreation - Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area offers visitors, camping, picnicking, a swimming beach and bathhouse, concession stand, an amphitheater, an interpretive forest trail, cold water showers, boating and fishing in a beautiful forest setting. No utility connections are provided in the area.
Climate - The average annual rainfall of 35 to 50 inches in the Pineywoods region is fairly uniformly distributed throughout the year. Humidity and temperatures are typically high, during the summer months especially, and the area is comparatively free from persistent winds.
From Lufkin: Take Hwy. 103 west for 16 miles where it merges with Hwy. 7. Continue west for 12 miles and turn right at entrance to the recreation area.
From Crockett: Take Hwy. 7 east for 15 miles and turn left on entrance road ($3 parking fee when parking at Ratcliff Lake).