The City of Zavalla is located in southeastern Angelina County in Deep East Texas on U.S. Highway 69, and Highways 63 and 147, southeast of Lufkin, north of Woodville, and northwest of Jasper. Sam Rayburn Reservoir lies just to the east of Zavalla.
Zavalla was established in 1900 on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. The community was named for its location on the impresario grant made to Lorenzo de Zavala. In the early 1900s timber and cotton were vital to the economy. In 1975, Zavalla was incorporated when population growth associated with Lake Sam Rayburn prompted the organization of a city government.
|Population||603 residents in the 2020 Federal Census|
Interactive Map of Zavalla Texas (courtesy of Google)
Map of East Texas
Lake Sam Rayburn
Sam Rayburn Reservoir is located just to the west of Zavalla on the Angelina River, and its dam is located in Jasper County approximately 15 miles north of Jasper. The lake has a surface area of 114,500 acres, and a maximum depth of 80 feet. The lake was impounded in 1965.
The most popular game fish at Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the largemouth bass; an excellent year-round fishery exists. Habitat in Sam Rayburn Reservoir consists of submerged aquatic vegetation, standing timber, and flooded terrestrial vegetation.
Shown to the right is an overhead view of the Lake Rayburn dam (photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
East Texas Attractions
While visiting the Zavalla area, you may want to take other interesting day trips in several directions:
- Livingston - Polk County Memorial Museum, Pedigo Park, Trade Days, Locomotive No. 5, Lake Livingston, Sam Rayburn Reservoir
- Coldspring - Davy Crockett National Forest, Sam Houston National Forest, Lake Livingston, Double Lake Recreational Area
- Groveton - Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area, Davy Crockett National Forest
- Crockett - Houston County Museum, Monroe-Cook House, Houston County Lake, Silsbee Drive-Thru Safari, Piney Woods Fine Arts Association
- Center - Toledo Bend Reservoir, Shelby County Museum, What-A-Melon Festival, bird watching
- Lumberton - Big Thicket National Preserve, Village Creek State Park
- Jasper - Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sandy Creek Park, Azalea Festival in March, Air Show in April, Jasper Lions Club Rodeo in May, a Fourth of July Celebration, and the Fall Festival in October.
- Woodville - Tyler County Dogwood Festival, Festival of the Arts and the Harvest Festival. Outdoor activities abound in the nearby Martin Dies Jr. State Park and the Big Thicket National Preserve.
- Newton - Toledo Ben Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir
- Hemphill - Recreational opportunities abound in the Hemphill area, with its closeness to the Sabine National Forest, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir and the Trail Between the Lakes. Also popular attractions are the Sabine County Jail Museum and Vergie Speights Memorial Library. In town is the Patricia Huffman Smith NASA "Remembering Columbia" Museum
- Port Arthur - Pompeiian Villa, Sea Rim State Park, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park, Dutch Windmill Museum and the French House
- Orange - Frances Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, Sangri La Botanical Gardens, W.H. Stark House, Stark Museum of Art, Blue Elbow Swamp & Tony Houseman WMA
- Nacogdoches - Spring azalea trails, Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, Mast Arboretum
- Rusk - Texas State Railroad, Cherokee Civic Theatre, Silsbee Drive Thru Safari
- Lufkin - Ellen Trout Zoo, Cotton Square Heritage Park, First Street Arts Center, Texas Forestry Museum
- Beaumont - Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center, Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Crockett Street Entertainment District, McFaddin-Ward House and Museum, Texas Energy Museum, Fire Museum of Texas, Babe Didrikson Zaharias Memorial Museum, St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, and the Big Thicket National Preserve