North of Houston, the 96 mile Lone Star Trail is a great route to explore this region of Texas.
The trails are blazed by metal 2 x 3 plates that are red with a white diamond that will have the miles in the diamond. If it has been raining the low lands can be muddy and some of the creeks will be difficult to cross. If there are high wind, find an open area and watch out for falling trees and limbs. In wet weather the Winters Bayou section could be messy and difficult to hike.
The following description is for a west to east hike starting near Richards, Texas. The Trailhead is located off SR 149 on FS 219.
Mile: 0.33 -> Pond on Left (May be dry in summer)
Mile: 0.71 -> Bare Right
Mile: 1.00 -> Mile marker on tree. I will not indicate each mile marker
Mile: 1.4 -> Cross old logging trail. There are many of these you will cross on the trail. Make sure you watch the blaze signs.
Mile: 1.6 -> Old log trail stay to the Right
Mile: 1.8 -> Cross gravel road FS 203
Mile: 2.6 -> Pond on Right Good lunch spot
Mile: 3.3 -> Intersect Western Trail. Stay Left and cross creek
WEST END OF NORTH WILDERNESS SECTION
Mile: 3.4 -> Road FS 211. Parking, Trailhead to left. Cross road and enter Wilderness section sign the card so Forest Service can get a head count.
Mile: 3.8 -> Intersection of North Wilderness Trail to Left. Dont turn. Continue straight. There is no sign at this intersection now but hope to have one later.
Mile: 5.1 -> Trail turns left. Entrance B to Wilderness Section. The trail that goes straight ahead is the Sand Branch Trail
Mile: 5.8 -> Beginning of 2 board walks in this low area. Each about 150 feet
Mile: 5.9 -> Second boardwalk
Mile: 6.3 -> End of Wilderness area. Cross dirt road FS 231 and continue
Mile: 6.8 -> Intersect Pole Creek Trail to Right. Go Left. Head North. The trail will follow along the general area of Pole creek. Water - A shallow sandy perennial creek
Mile: 7.6 -> Small walking bridge
Mile: 8.0 -> Intersect North Wilderness Trails east end. Turn Right and in 200 feet you will cross Pole Creek. No Bridge. If raining hard this could be difficult to cross.
Mile: 8.6 -> Cross under power line
WEST END OF KELLY SECTION
Mile: 8.7 -> Trailhead on Left. Cross Highway 149. Watch blaze signs for next several miles there are some sharp turns.
Mile: 10.8 -> Fence
Mile: 11.3 -> Gravel road (Osbone Road)
Mile: 11.8 -> Intersect Little Lake Creek Loop Trail Which goes Right.
Mile: 11.9 -> Bridge (48 foot) nice to have in wet weather. This is a muddy area and will be muddy for some time.
Mile: 13.1 -> Small footbridge and then cross gravel road
Mile: 13.3 -> Cross Gravel road. Sign pipeline
Mile: 14.3 -> Gravel road. Right goes to Keeps Pond. GO LEFT stay on gravel road and intersect another gravel road FS 204 cross this road and enter woods at the hiker sign.
SOUTH END OF STUBBLEFIELD SECTION
Mile: 15.8 -> Cross Highway 1375. There is a trailhead to the Left.
Mile: 16.5 -> Good Camping Spot. On Lake Conroe. Few nice spots like this one.
Mile: 17.9 -> Foot bridge
Mile: 19.7 -> Enter Stubblefield Campground. WATER and PHONE. Trail goes straight ahead through the campground to gravel road. Turn right and cross 200-foot bridge. Most of the times there are fishermen on the bridge. Both sides. Good catfish can be caught here.
SOUTH END OF BATH SECTION
Mile: 20.3 -> 3 Trail leaves road FS 215 and enters woods to Right. About 300 feet the trail takes a sharp Left. Watch, as there is a trail that goes straight.
Mile: 21.0 -> Cross gravel road and a power line.
Mile: 21.2 -> Sharp left before crossing creek
Mile: 21.5 -> Gravel road leading to house on Right
Mile: 22.1 -> Pass a bearing tree
Mile: 23.1 -> FM 1374. Dogs at house west of trail make a lot of noise.
Mile: 23.5 -> Old Log trail sharp Left then Right
Mile: 24.5 -> Old Road. Turn Right and follow for 0.2 miles where trail turns Left at Hikers sign.
Mile: 26.4 -> Come to Metal Gate and gravel road. This is the old Bath road. Turn Right and walk the road for 1.5 miles and you come to the comer of Bath and Ball road. Turn Right and go about 0.1 miles to gravel road that goes Left. You will go by a new house. Continue straight.
WEST END OF HUNTSVILLE SECTION
Mile: 28.6 -> Trail leaves road into woods. Turn Right
Mile: 28.9 -> Top of pond dam
Mile: 30.1 -> Fence with hikers gate. Wires cut on fence
Mile: 32.0 -> You come to a paved road. Turn Left and in a couple hundred feet you will come to small brick building on South side of dam. The lake on the Left is in Elkins Lake subdivision. Cross the dam. There are metal poles at both ends with openings at the side for hikers to go through. Right after going through the north end of the dam the trail turns Right. There is a new House on the Left. Water from lake
Mile: 32.2 -> After entering woods you will pass under a power One and will see a hikers sign.
Mile: 33.2 -> Cross Alligator Creek and turn Left. The trail will follow the creek fine for about a mile. Water - shallow sandy creek
Mile: 34.2 -> Footbridge
EAST END OF HUNTSVILLE SECTION
Mile: 35.0 -> You will come to parking area off the feeder road of I-45. Turn right and follow the feeder road for 0.7 of a mile to Park Road 40. The trail turns Left and goes under I-45 on Park Road 40. If you turn Right at 40 you will enter the Huntsville State Park. Good camping. Showers. Water and Coke machine. No Food. Through hikers like to stop here and clean up.
Mile: 35.7 -> Continue on 40 for a mile and intersect US 75. Turn Right for 0.1 miles and then turn Left on Evelyn Lane. Sign at corner. Go about 0.3 miles and there will be a Blue Metal gate to private property. To the Right of the gate you will see the Hikers Sign and entry to woods.
WEST END OF PHELPS SECTION
Mile: 37.0 -> Trail leaves Evelyn Lane to Left. About 200 feet you see Mile Marker 37.
Mile: 38.0 -> Power Line
Mile: 38.2 -> Small foot bridge
Mile: 39.3 -> You come to Evelyn Road again. Turn Left and continue on road for 0.3 miles.
Mile: 40.8 -> Old Mile marker 41
Mile: 42.0 -> East end of Phelps Section: 275 feet and you come to FM2290. Turn Left and in 0.5 miles you will come to Four Notch Road. Turn Right on dirt road. It is about 2.4 miles of walking on this road before you turn Left on FS 213 Some times a truck will stop and give you a lift over this section. A few dogs on the road. At FS 213 go about 0.2 miles and you will see the entrance of the trail on the Right.
WEST END OF FOUR NOTCH SECTION
(This section has a loop trail that is marked with red horizontal stripe).
Mile: 45.0 -> Parking Lot on Left of trailhead.
Mile: 45.3 -> Trail will divide. Straight-ahead is a loop trail and to the Right is the main trail. There is a sign at this place.
Mile: 46.5 -> Camping area for hunters. Can be messy. In a 100 feet or so you will cross a gravel road and another 100 feet you I see the hiker s sign. Enter woods
Mile: 47.3 -> Open area. Good camping spot. No water
Mile: 47.8 -> Cross old log road good camping to Right. No water.
Mile: 48.0 -> Watch signs in this area. There are some low spots in the area. HALFWAY POINT
Mile: 48.2 -> Cross Creek. This is Boswell Creek and can be difficult to cross if raining.
Mile: 49.4 -> Loop trail intersects main trail. Go straight.
Mile: 49.6 -> Trail turns Right and follows Briar Creek.
Mile: 49.9 -> Cross Briar Creek. Bridge.
Mile: 50.4 -> Cross Gravel road FS206.
Mile: 51.5 -> Pond on Left. Good Camping Spot.
Mile: 51.7 -> End of Four Notch Section. Road turns Left on gravel road go 0.7 miles and come to intersection of gravel road FS202.Turn Right and (2 miles to intersection of FS 202 and FS 207. There are mile markers on the road #52 and #54.
NORTH END OF BIG WOOD SECTION
Mile: 54.2 -> There will be a mile marker 54.2 on entrance.
Mile: 56.9 -> Bearing tree and old fence one. There are many small creeks in this section. Common to area.
Mile: 58.2 -> Trail comes within 100 feet of FS 202. A mile marker sign is on the road that says #59. You have now come 59 miles. Trail turns Right.
Mile: 59.8 -> Cross gravel road FS 202D
Mile: 60.5 -> Watch for turn to Right
Mile: 62.8 -> Trail head. Mile Marked on tree 62.8.
SOUTH END OF BIG WOODS SECTION
Turn Left on dirt road and walk 0.2 miles and intersect FS 202. Turn Right and walk 1.7 miles on dirt road, watch for dogs. Intersect Highway 150 turn Left and in 0.3 miles you will see the flashing traffic light at Evergreen. The store at the corner (only store) has some food. FM 945 intersects Highway 150 at the flashing fight. Turn Right and walk 2.7 miles to Jacobs Road where the Trailhead is on the corner. The section from here to Double Lake is called the Magnolia Section. I find it nice to have some one meet me at the South end of the last section and take me to this point on FM 945. 1 dont like road walking and this section is just shy of 5 miles
This section takes you to Double Lake. The nature of the forest changes in this section, you will see many Magnolia trees and much of the walk will follow creeks. You will cross the San Jacinto River (east branch of the river).
Mile: 67.4 -> Start of Magnolia Section Trailhead.
Mile: 68.1 -> Watch for Left turn. Trail has been moved away from an oil pumper.
Mile: 68.3 -> Cross a small footbridge. Water from pernnial stream on left
Mile: 68.6 -> Primitive camp site # 2. No Water.
Mile: 69.9 -> Cross a dirt road.
Mile: 70.1 -> Small foot bridge.
Mile: 70.6 -> Hikers gate.
Mile: 71.1 -> Cross East Fork San Jacinto River. Water from shallow sandy perennial creek on left
Mile: 72.1 -> Pipe Line right of way.
Mile: 72.5 -> Bridge with small pernnial stream
Mile: 72.9 -> Metal gate.
Mile: 73.1 -> Watch for turns.
Mile: 73.8 -> Cross FM 2025 and shortly go under power fine. You go through a couple of Hikers gates. There is a trailhead to the Right.
NORTH END OF BIG CREEK SCENIC SECTION
Mile: 75.0 -> Lake Shore Trail around Double Lake. The Lone Star Trail takes a U-turn around the information sign. In the summer the concession stand is open. There are bathrooms and showers at Double Lake. Telephone is near concession stand; You are now 75.0 miles from the start of the Lone Star trail. In this section you will follow a creek line for 4 miles to the Big Creek Scenic Area where you will go west for several miles before heading south.
Mile: 75.6 -> Cross gravel road FS 220 ALL MILE MARKERS WILL HAVE TWO NUMBERS STARTING HERE. THE MILES TO DOUBLE LAKE AND THE MILES FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE TRAIL.
Mile: 75.7 -> Lone Star Primitive Campsite #1. No Water. For the next 4 miles you will pass over several footbridges. Some of these are being rebuilt. If there a heavy rain you might find some areas difficult to pass. There is Water in Big Creek, this is a perennial stream.
Mile: 78.3 -> Hikers gate and information board.
Mile: 78.9 -> Intersection of Big Creek Trail to right. Go Left over bridge.
Mile: 79.0 -> White Oak Trail to Right. about 75 feet you will come to the Magnolia Loop. Follow the main trail signs.
Mile: 79.5 -> The trail takes a right on a raised area that was an old road. The trail now goes in almost a straight line for several miles.
Mile: 79.6 -> Big Sign on Right with map of the Scenic area. You can see all the side trails. There is a trailhead to the Left about 500 feet. In the next half mile you will come to the Pine trail and the Big Creek trail
Mile: 80.5 -> Information sign and gravel road FS 221
NORTH END OF TARKINGTON BAYOU SECTION
Mile: 82.3 -> Trailhead and FM 2666 cross the road. The trail will follow the road for a short distance and then head south.
Mile: 84.8 -> Cross dirt road. Turn Left and then Right.
Mile: 85.9 -> Dirt road. Left then right. You continue to follow Tarkington Bayou.
Mile: 89.8 -> Cross gravel road.
NORTH END OF WINTERS BAYOU SECTION
Mile: 90.7 -> Trail head and FM 2025. Cross the road and start the last section
Mile: 92.0 -> Very muddy area
Mile: 92.4 -> Iron Bridge crossing East Fork San Jacinto River. There is always water in the river.
Mile: 93.0 -> Trail Crosses FM 945
Mile: 93.2 -> Base of old fire tower
Mile: 94.1 -> Base of old fire tower
Mile: 94.4 -> Gravel road
Mile: 94.8 -> Gravel road and foot bridge
Mile: 95.3 -> Bridge on side
Mile: 95.5 -> Iron Bridge crossing Winters Bayou. There is always water in the river.
Mile: 95.6 -> Foot bridge in bad condition
Mile: 95.7 -> Power Line
Mile: 95.8 -> Two foot bridges within 200 feet
Mile: 96.1 -> End of Trail. South end of Winters Bayou
The Lone Star Hiking Trail Club provides much of the trail maintenance and has a great website with several trail maps at http://www.lshtclub.com/
Overall, Lone Star Trail is the 1st most popular hiking trail of all 32 hikes in Texas.