Lone Star Hiking Trail and Little Lake Creek Trail

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Sam Houston National Forest

Lone Star Hiking Trail and Little Lake Creek Trail is a 13.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Richards, Texas that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length13.7 miElevation gain580 ftRoute typeLoop
CampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeBridge outBugsMuddy
Description
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Getting There

The Lone Star Hiking Trail is continuously marked with aluminum tree blazes and mile markers. It is well-maintained by several clubs, including the Houston Sierra Club and LSHT Club. Currently, the only major trail obstacle is the downed bridge over the East Fork of the San Jacinto River in the Magnolia Section (the river here can be crossed on a fallen log or by fording; it is about thigh deep and slow-flowing normally). There are ten sections of trail broken up by road crossings where there are usually free trailhead parking areas. The trail is popular among thru-hikers, who seek to hike the entire length in one continuous trek. There are several places to resupply, the most popular being Huntsville State Park about mid-way along the route. The trail is mostly flat to gently rolling; it can be muddy after heavy rains, but only in limited sections. Most of the tread is over sandy soil and stay dry. The forest is very diverse, a mix of pine and hardwood. Creeks are common, most of which are seasonal but some of which are larger and offer good wildlife sighting opportunities. The trail is a hidden jewel in East Texas, the only long distance trail in the state and a treasure of hiking adventures for any age or experience level. It is best hiked in the fall, winter and spring, as summers tend to be hot, muggy and buggy.

Parking is free at all trailhead parking areas. These parking areas are typically gravel and large enough for several cars, include a trailhead information board but do not have water or any other amenities. Vandalism is reported to be low and not much of a concern in the region. There are several parks near the trail where a car can be parked for a fee, including Huntsville State Park, Double Lake Recreation Area and Stubblefield Campground.

Sam Houston National Forest (936) 344-6205 Lone Star Hiking Trail Club http://www.lshtclub.com

The western terminus in near Richards, Texas, 9.4 miles north of Montgomery off of FM 149. The eastern terminus is 6 miles from Cleveland, Texas, on FM 1725. In between are at least one dozen other access points, all of which are described in detail in the guidebook, The Lone Star Hiking Trail: The Official Guide to the Longest Wilderness Footpath in Texas.

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Reviews (218)
Photos (787)
Activities (194)
Completed (374)
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Martin Komm
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Hiking

The trail is great. There’s a few creek crossings that are aesthetically pleasing, and the young bushes around lot 1 are so beautiful. The portion of the hike that takes you near lot 4 is a little outdated, but nothing more than maybe 2% of the entire map was inaccurate.

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Jeff Jeff Francis
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Hiking
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Mark Kelley
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Hiking

Good trail. Very easy.

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Angel Perez
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Hiking

Other than a little muddy trail was great. It is hard to find a area to pitch a tent FYI so take precaution.

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Arthur D Balis
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Hiking

Awesome hike

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Erin Casey
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Hiking

Pretty, clearly marked.

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Brendon Bangert
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Hiking
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Dana Lear
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Hiking

Great trails, well marked and maintained.

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Lupe Sanchez
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Hiking
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Emma Sanchez
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Hiking
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Danielle Fontenot
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Hiking

the trail was muddy and wet from all the rain lately so we had to turn around but the mud made it feel more like an adventure having to avoid stepping in it there was a beautiful lake with a bird sitting on a branch so if you're lucky you might see a bird too!

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Fernando Alvarez
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Hiking
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Camelia Florentina
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Hiking
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Audrey Coggins
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HikingBugsGreat!

Tick caution! We really enjoyed this hike in general. Long, but relatively easy. We definitely recommend it. However, beware of ticks. We stopped for a little picnic and our dog was laying down and we soon noticed her covered in ticks. We must have picked off 10-15 ticks. She’s on preventative, so whatever latched on died, but it was still a very unfun experience. So just check your pups if you bring them with you on this hike. She otherwise really enjoyed the hike.

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Ann Young
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Hiking

Very nice and well marked

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Samer Faysal
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Hiking
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Rick Harman
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Hiking

Great

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Ben Atkins
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HikingGreat!

Hiked today except I stayed along western trail to connect with Sandy Branch then back north on LST (11.7 mi.). These trails are visible on GoogleMaps, so easy to track youself. Trail is in good shape. Volunteers have put in a lot of work to ensure a comfortable hiking trail. As some reviewers noted, it does get a bit monotonous, but you can't beat it for something close to Houston. It has some beautiful, peaceful land. No epic vistas, but quiet trails winding through woods. The northern section is more open with a high tree canopy, which is beautiful. If you want to get some miles in w/o much traffic, this is a great trail for locals. I saw few people today on the Little Lake Creek portion (3 parties) with more traffic on LST portion (~10 parties). Good time of year: moderate temperature, no bugs, no mud.

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Rick Harman
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Hiking

Not bad

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Dano Rossiter
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Hiking
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Bryan Moon
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HikingGreat!
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Charles Davis
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Hiking
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Henry Creamer
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Hiking

If you're looking for a walk (unsure if it can be called a hike) where you see the same scenery, type of trees, and type of plants the entire time, this is the perfect trail for you! The "lake" located along the trail is named appropriately - it's very little. Though maybe it should be named a pond? Biggest-pro is that there were no ticks, very few bugs, and no people with Covid on the trail. It's ok Houston, nature just isn't your thing.

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Sunny Shi
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Hiking
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Ashley Mize
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Hiking

For those that complete this trail, please note the distance is incorrect. If you park at unmarked parking area named after this trail, the hike is more like 15 miles total. Bring good gear in case of unforeseen weather conditions!

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Trenton Van Ooteghem
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CampingGreat!

I did a different route than is on the map there. I did the complete upper loop , and my lower loop was the western most trail, coming back up on the western side of the creek trail, around 12 miles altogether. There is a labeled primitive campsite about 6-7 miles in where i spent the night, has a little fire pit and some benches. It’s about .15 miles from a nice little pond but I didn’t stay there because there was evidence of people drinking there, beer cans and even a little trash bag with beer cans in it. The good: The trail system is intact, easy to follow. Lots of trees for most of it, plenty of shade. Lots of trees with purple berries and a few of those grapes out. Hardly any mushrooms out right now. Only saw two groups on my way out 2-3 miles from the parking. The bad: First of all, if you do this, please take a plastic grocery bag and use a stick to pick up little pieces of paper and wrapper that bad people leave around the trail. It seems like you see it every 1/4 mile or so which is unacceptable. Second of all, it was blaring hot and humid, I had to cut my trip short I was sweating so bad and going through water like a fish. Take a lot a lot of water, at least two gallons per day. Third, there was almost 0 water , just creek beds and shallow ponds/a teeny little lake. Nowhere to get water. Fourth, the trail is a little bit featureless, it gets kind of old with no real views and nothing but trees. Fifth, I could hear this distant train whistle in the distance throughout the night which isn’t ideal in nature. Sixth, didn’t see any wildlife but salamanders and birds. Conclusion: I strongly recommend you drop off gallon water containers on your car where the trail crosses the road. Even though it’s pretty flat, the amount you sweat is nuts if you’ve got a camping pack like I did. Also please take a plastic bag and help pick up some of the litter. Overall it’s a nice trail system , worth doing but not really going to blow your socks off. Set your expectations.

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Chris Miller
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HikingGreat!

Trail is in great shape! It has been cut back. No more logs on the trail. All creek crossings are good, bridges repaired. And not buggy at all!

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Nathan White
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HikingOver grown
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Erin Bass
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RunningBugsOver grown
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