trail running

The Sam Houston National Forest is one of four National Forests in Texas. It is contained within Montgomery County, San Jacinto County, and Walker County. These counties have evidence of human occupation dating back 12 thousand years, making it an interesting historical and archeological site. The forest is located 50 miles north of Houston, making for a great weekend trip. It is also accessible from Austin, which is about a 3.5 hour drive away. The Sam Houston National Forest is a multi-use forest meaning that under the watch of the Forest Service, recreation, fish and wildlife, boating, timber, grazing, soil and water, and minerals, are all utilized so that the public can benefit from the resources and enjoy the conservation aspect as well. Summers in the forest are hot and humid and winters are relatively mild. The Lone Star Trail is in this forest, and hikers can choose from a multitude of trailheads or attempt the 128 mile through hike. There are three camping areas in the Sam Houston National Forest: Cagle Recreation Area, Double Lake and Stubblefield. Double Lake Recreation Area campsite can be reserved, but the other sites are first come first served only. Lake Livingston and Lake Conroe offer fishing and boating opportunities and swimming areas near the lake's beaches.

I started my hike at Double Lake, my plan was to hike the Double Lake Trail, however, i found out the Double Lake trail is mostly for mountain bikers. I decided to hike the Lone Star Trail instead and I was not disappointed. This is nice trail. I did an in and out just to try it out and I enjoyed my experience. I did not come across any other hikers and it was nice quiet hike.

It a good 10 miles total. No one else on the trail on a beautiful March day. There is no lake, just a few creeks. There is no parking lot on either end, but plenty of street parking. In the middle there is a short walk along a road with a home that has a pack of unleashed dogs that were eager to greet us.

6 months ago

Bridges still washed out but with a little determination you can get around it. Everything I look for in a trail, woods, clear markers, and a little challenge! I only went about 3 Miles into this one so far but will definitely be back to do more.

Would have rated higher if weather conditions would have been better. Torrential downpours all day before, so this trail turned into 27 miles of ankle to knee deep swamp crawling. Terrain ranged from to Texas to the Everglades to north Arkansas to Vietnam. Great test of the mind by doing the entire loop in 12 hours.

Live near here and enjoy this trail often!! From TH #1 on Little Lake Creek Loop Trail, all the way to the Sand Branch Trail (about 6-7 miles), and finally on the Lonestar Hiking Trail back to TH #1 is a great 13 mile hike. Relatively shaded from TX sun and mostly a flat trail, minus small creeks and ditches. Great way to enjoy the outdoors!

Very well-marked trail. No good drinking water found on the trail, as an fyi to others. Perfect weather conditions today. Not too sure why I didn’t see anyone else, but two gals at @ mile 9 on the way back during Spring Break. A definite loss for others who didn’t partake. Limited window in TX of ideal hiking weather- cool upper 60s/low 70’s and zero humidity.

Only managed to make it 1.5 miles before encountering a long (50-yard) bridge that was washed out; had to turn back. Boars have really churned up the area.

Parked at Trailhead #2 and hiked north on the Little Lake Creek Loop trail up to Trailhead #1 and went back to our car via the Lonestar Hiking trail. Garmin clocked me right about 7 miles. Had a great time, really beautiful pine areas. There's plenty of fallen trees on the trail so be aware of that, many of them have bypasses but there's a few that don't. This would be a great trail to run on as it's in good shape with very few hazards. Overall great trail.

Fun trail to run on

Great scenic trail. very well marked with many natural highlights like ponds and lots of wildlife. we did this as part of a boy scouts hiking merit badge.

10 months ago

Completed a little over 18 miles of this trail and a little over 11 miles of the LSHT. our total was 36 miles on the 30 mile grand loop. this loop has 4 primitive camp sites spaced out about ever 6 miles. most creeks were dried up but the camp near Kelleys Pond camp had a spring fed creek that had some good water. If you're planning on doing this 30 mile loop I would highly suggest that you stash some water for yourself or bring a good pump filter. We used the MSR pump filter for the mud puddles and the sawyer squeeze filter on the cleaner water. Noticed 2 asps so beware. Those furry caterpillars will sting you. At night the coyotes, owls, and crickets filled the air with a beautiful Symphony. one section of the LLCL has a beautiful area of dwarf Palmettos as far as you can see. The best Thanksgiving ever! #optoutside

trail running
10 months ago

Beautiful trail and plenty of mileage for a long run. Soft footing with pine needles and leaves and sandy soil. Lots of exposed roots to keep your attention. Major river crossings had working bridges but minor creek bed crossings had poorly maintained bridges but no big deal as they were easily crossed. Peaceful and quiet little gem.

I've been through the trailhead #6 3x and I never get tired of it!

Did the full trail; phone says 10.1 miles, Garmin said 9.85. Aside from the distance the trail was easy with most of the elevation on the front half. Met about 10 people on trail and they were all overly friendly.

It was a pleasant hike.

This was my first real hike, as I normally jog on paved trails. If you’re a novice hiker like myself, I’ve listed some of my recommendations/general observations below. To give you an idea of my fitness level, on average, I jog 10-15 miles / week.
1) Wear pants and long sleeves. There were several spots where the brush was shoulder-high with a very narrow trail. My pant legs and sleeves were snagged by thorns dozens of times. The downside to pants & long sleeves, is the heat and humidity… and good lord was it humid, I started at 8am.
2) Bring a walking stick. It doesn’t have to be some official hiking pole. I literally unscrewed the handle to a push broom in my garage before I left in the morning. Early on, the primary role of the “stick” was to knock away spider webs covering the trails. Later in the hike, it did come in handy for stabilization purposes traversing some creeks or steeper climbs, particularly as I became more fatigued. If you hike early, you’ll likely be the one clearing all the spider webs…
3) Backup socks. This may be a non-issue for many folks, but I wore some brand new hiking boots with some of those “wicking” socks. They didn’t like each other and my feet were being rubbed raw after only a few miles. I brought a backup pair of normal cotton socks and they fared much better.
4) I sprayed some “OFF” on, as I assumed the mosquitos were going to be pretty bad. Either the OFF worked great or there just weren’t many mosquitos to contend with
5) Water/Drinks. I brought/wore a 1.5 Liter Camelbak backpack and carried a 20 oz bottle of Vitamin Water to drink from first. My Camelback was nearly empty when I finished the trail. Be sure to leave “post-hike” water or drinks in your vehicle.
6) I brought some cliff bars and beef jerky to eat. I didn’t stop for a formal lunch or anything like that.
7) Maps & Cell Service. I printed and brought a couple maps, but they disintegrated in my pocket from sweat. However, I did download the maps to my phone. The cell service was spotty, certainly not reliable if you’re trying to access the internet (map). I did need the map a few times just to be sure I wasn’t making a wrong turn at the few junctions where a wrong turn is possible. Otherwise, the trail markers worked great. I did bring a cell phone backup battery, just in case. The GPS did seem to work OK.
8) Overall, it was very enjoyable.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Good trail. Not a difficult hike, would rate easier. Only con was a spiderweb across the trail every two steps. But other than that it was a nice quiet trail.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Bridges need repairing. Trail is well marked with blazes, but no mileage markers and little trail maintenance. Other than that, this trail was a pretty good workout. I hiked from Trailhead #14 to Trailhead #15, turned around and hiked back to Trailhead #14.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

7 mile trail run on Easter Morning. Good trail. Several creek crossings. Pretty easy all around but good clean trail for running.

Only hiked the first loop, it was a fairly easy hike. No spectacular view points, but a nice way to enjoy the outdoors on a sunny March day. There were a couple muddy spots and very small water crossings, but nothing challenging.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I took my Boy Scout Troop on a 24 mile, two night hike from Winter's Bayou to Iron Ore trailheads. We hiked in March and the trail was muddy, but enjoyable. There are many water crossings that have missing or damaged bridges that made for interesting crossing - but we made it across.

on Winters Bayou Trail

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bridges were mostly collapsed or on the verge of it. Hikers beware. Otherwise this would have been a great hike. We ended up turning around early due to lack of upkeep. Super bummed out. If they fix it, it would be great.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Great time with my son. Nice trail. Turned around at the 3-4 mile point. Nicely maintained up to that point & enjoyable.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Nice hike with my dad. It gets better the further out you go

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Good easy hike. Easy parking and access.

Great Trail if you like long hiking trips over flat land. Can wash out during the rainy season though so watch the weather and be prepared.

Long hike, but relatively flat and easy. No exciting views, but lovely surroundings. Quick and simple way to get into the outdoors and forget that you are near any roads (except for when you have to cross them)!

It was a short jaunt during February (winter time) with the toddler, but I am curious to explore it some more! I notice some things starting to bloom and some past forest fire indications, but green trees hover above.

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