Ratcliff Lake camping loops reopen after years of natural disasters

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Finally open for use.

"We've been waiting a very long time," said Gerald Lawrence, District Ranger, Davy Crockett.

The Ratcliff Recreation Area has weathered its fair share of storms.

"A hurricane back in 2008 and then a tornado on 2011, in the beginning of 2012 a drought kicked on killing 500 to 600 trees," said Lawrence.

Leaving the 1,000 acre park closed to the public for about four years.

Damaged and hazardous trees once filled these camping loops and forest service officials say their removal was vital to get community back in to the recreation site

"We had a contractor come in and cut down and remove 4 to 600 trees out of our camping loops and along our trails," said Lawrence.

The day use area in Ratcliff reopened in 2012.

Davy Crockett District Ranger Gerald Lawrence says the forest service utilized funds for the project through a resource advisory committee.

And Lawrence says everyone pitched in.

"We put a great deal of time and effort working with our community it wasn't just a forest service doing this work," said Lawrence.

Trinity County Judge Doug Page says he's looking forward to promoting Ratcliff in Trinity County and getting his community out there as well.

"These campers and fisherman their going spend money at the local stores and we encourage them to come in," said Page.

Lawrence says Ratcliff opened in the 1930's and houses 65 single and group camping sites, these areas provide access to, fishing, boating, trails and swimming opportunities.

"Hopefully it will be something people can greatly appreciate and come back and enjoy the amenities we have here," said Lawrence.

The camping loops will open to the public Thursday April 3rd.

Many volunteer opportunities, such as campground host, working on trails, or a variety of other volunteer projects for individuals or groups still exist for the recreational area.

For more information on becoming a volunteer at Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area, call the Ranger's office at 936-655-2299 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/texas.

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