Earlier this summer, a friend of mine convinced me to do the Neches River Rendezvous with him. Actually, it didn’t take much convincing because I love anything to do with being out on the water! The Neches River Rendezvous is a 15-mile canoe trip that takes you down the scenic Neches River, and it attracts people from all over the state to the town of Lufkin in the beautiful Piney Woods area of East Texas.
For a quaint town, it’s surprising how many things there are to see and do here, including top-notch golfing (the Crown Colony Country Club has been rated as one of the top 10 golf courses in Texas), bass fishing, dining at some really fine restaurants, shopping, visiting museums and spending a day at the zoo! Yes, I said zoo…and I’m not talking about the type of zoo you usually find in a town this size - you know, a place with a few squirrels, some local birds and if you’re lucky, maybe a raccoon or two! No, the Ellen Trout Zoo
in Lufkin is home to over 700 animals and has received numerous state and national awards.
The zoo is kept clean and the animals appear to be well cared for. The place has a lot of shade and seating areas where you can take a break and watch the beautiful peacocks strolling around. A major attraction is the train ride, especially popular with the kids, which takes you through the zoo and around Ellen Trout Lake. But keep in mind that the train only runs on weekends during the school year.
The Zoo is open every day of the year from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The cost is very reasonable: $5.00 for adults, $2.50 for children (4 – 11) and free for children under 4.