Living in a National Forest


Before purchasing our property, we didn't know that someone could buy property in a National Forest. Isn't it owned by the government? 

Apparently something exists called an inholding, which is private land inside the boundary of a national park, national forest, state park or similar public owned, protected area.  In our case, our property is inside the Sam Houston National Forest.

How is it possible to own land inside a national forest?

It's usually the case that the land was privately owned before the protected area was designated.  Our property was privately owned before the Sam Houston National Forest was established in 1936, so it remains private property just like any other property.  We didn't have to get any special approval to remove the trees needed to clear the land, but thankfully we were able to preserve many hardwoods on our property.

163,045 Acres in Our Backyard

One of the goals of moving our family was to have a little more space inside and outside.  We wanted a few acres for privacy and to have room to garden and enjoy a yard.  Finding property in the Sam Houston National Forest was a huge blessing.  Although we only have 2.5 acres, we backup to protected forest land that will never be developed!  A dirt forest service road runs behind our house leading to Lake Conroe, hiking trails and camping.  Having these kind of outdoor features right in our backyard is AMAZING!  We can't wait to explore the "neighborhood" and learn more about the forest that we live in.

Our Natural Neighbors

We're also excited to learn more about what neighbors we have that live in the forest.  We've seen deer and many birds.  Recently we even spotted a bald eagle soaring above our house!


Bald Eagle 🦅 sighting above our house! #letfreedomring #nationalforest #samhoustonnationalforest

A video posted by Amanda Croft (@hellocrofts) on


We know that bald eagles aren't an uncommon sighting on Lake Conroe in the winter months, so we're excited to stay on the look-out for these beautiful creatures.

Learn More About National Forests

What are the Differences Between National Parks and National Forests?

US Department of Agriculture Forest Service SHNF Official Website

Forests Infographic 

Discover the Forest YouTube Channel 

Sam Houston Nat'l Forest on Trip Advisor 

Sam Houston National Park Facebook