East Texas is one of the state's - and at the very least, the Houston area - best kept secrets even though it is home to The Texas Big Thicket National Preserve hosting 10 different ecosystems, one of the most diverse in North America! Artesian Lakes is located on the very edge of the Big Thicket and about an hour from the National Preserve's Visitors' Center, directly across FM 787 from the town of Romayor and 18 miles northeast of Cleveland.
This part of East Texas offers closer proximity to everything Houston has to offer while allowing city resident to completely disengage from big city life after driving only 60 minutes.
The community is located almost equidistant from fine arts and major sporting events in downtown Houston, shopping and dining in The Woodlands, water sports in Clear Lake, Lake Conroe or Galveston, and gambling in Lake Charles.
East Texas is also a bird-watchers paradise designated by the American Bird Conservancy as a Globally Important Bird Area (IBA) with abundant populations of great blue herons, little blue herons, snowy egrets, cranes, cormorants, hawks, owls, palliated woodpeckers, barn swallows, purple martins, cardinals, tanagers, black-bellied whistling ducks, mallards, wood ducks, robins, blue jays, wrens, vireos, warblers, hummingbirds and many other varieties.
Wildlife is also abundant and includes river otter, rabbits, raccoons, alligators, turtles, possum, armadillo, deer and fox.
Even the insects are fascinating: fireflies light up the sky on dark winter evenings, a wide variety of butterflies and giant multi-colored dragonflies abound in gardens, and banana spiders hang suspended from fantastic webs spanning between trees in dense woods.
East Texas, the Big Thicket, the Piney Woods...you get the idea: towering loblolly pines everywhere; ancient bold cypresses along the Trinity River, the bayous and the lakes; cottonwoods, maples, willows, red oaks, river oaks, sycamores, cedars, dogwoods. Technicolor green in the spring and summer...rich gold to vibrant red in the fall...evergreens in the winter.
Travel+Leisure Magazine has written about the area as an eco-tourism destination because of its multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation while supporting the natural environment: bird watching, camping, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, biking, fishing, and swimming are among the most popular.
SMALL TOWN FLAVOR
Discover the charm of small town living: friendly neighbors, no-lines at the DMV, inexpensive services—from salons to veterinarians. A simple drive down the numerous country roads leads you to fresh eggs, local honey, vegetables grown in family plots, a variety of berries, and Christmas tree farms.
Shop quirky antique and casual nurseries and feast on mouth-watering barbeque or chicken- fried steak at tiny family-owned restaurants.
Nacogdoches, Liberty, Coushatta Reservation