Next Day Hike – LSHT Huntsville Section

I figured out a way to highlight trails on maps using my iPad, so this will be my first post of a pending hike using this capability.   We will be starting at mile marker 35, right next to I-45, hike west to Lake Camellia (mile 35), and then return for a total hike of 6 miles.

For more details about the hike see the November newsletter page 7 at <link>.

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WHERE do our members live?

WHERE do our members live?  Check out this map to see.   Our members come from a wide range of communities in the Greater Houston area.  The 4 most represented communities are The Woodlands, Conroe, Spring, and Houston.   We also have members from Montgomery, Cypress, Willis, and Kingwood.

We are also adding a webpage on general hiking related information.  Check it out at <Hiking Info!>.  AND we have just added the March Newsletter, look to the left!

Details – Day Hike March 23 – Jesse Jones Park to Pundt Park

Details: We will hike from Jesse H. Jones Park in a northwesterly direction to John Pundt Park in Spring, TX. The parks are about 8.3 miles apart. Hikers have the option of walking as far as they wish and then turning back or hiking the entire 8.3 miles to Pundt Park. For those going the entire distance we will have some vehicles parked at Pundt Park to shuttle people back to Jones Park.

We will see scenic areas along Spring Creek, cross over bridges, go alongside Cypresswood Golf Course and pass beside Stahl Preserve. The entire trail is of an asphalt surface. There are restrooms at each park.

Bring: Bring water, electrolytes, and some snacks & a lunch. Make sure you come prepared with good hiking shoes, socks, raingear if necessary, a hat, sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen. Might even bring a camera for those memorable shots and a hiking pole if you prefer one. For those going the entire distance we should be finished around 1-2 PM.

2015-05-02 A Muddy Slog

We have had two types of hikes this spring, cancelled hikes and muddy/wet hikes. This morning was beautiful, and we headed up to Sam Houston National Forest west of Lake Conroe. The sun was bright. The skies were blue. The trails were muddy and criss-crossed with fallen trees. This was the most gymnastic hike we have had during the 3 years that we have been with the club. Hoorah!

We hiked about 3 miles, which took us a lot longer than usual courtesy of the mud, the many trees across the trail, and the several streams we had to cross.

The section of the Sam Houston National Forest we were hiking is called “Little Lake Creek Wilderness”.  The words don’t make much sense unless you are looking at a map. Seehttp://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/texas/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5291448 and it starts to make sense.  

The bulletin boards have some interesting information.  If you want to know more about hiking the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) , check out  http://lonestartrail.org/ where you will find lots of information, including maps and parking locations.  For anyone interested in actually participating in the LSHT, check out https://www.facebook.com/lsht.conservancy.

Photos can be seen at <link>.

2015-04-26 A Very Wet Spring and Lots of Interest in the Club

This spring has been notable for weekend rains.  That is hopefully wonderful for the farmers, but it has been less than ideal for a band of people who like to get out outdoors for hiking and camping.  So far, we have had three Day Hikes cancelled (or postponed, or postponed and cancelled again), and one camping trip.  Technically, we should have cancelled our campout at Dinosaur Valley State Park, which was deluged twice during our weekend stay up in north Texas.  But we were all so anxious to get out that we went anyway.  We got in some good hiking,  but the Paluxy  which runs through the park was running at 6 feet, which made it impassable, and put a lot of the park out of our reach.

We have one more campout scheduled for the spring season at Matagorda Nature Park in May.  Our June campout has been preempted by a weeklong club trip to Colorado.  We should not have to worry about rain in the Rio Grande National Forest, should we?

This website has proved to be quite useful for recruiting new members to the club.  Between the website, our Facebook page, and an article about the club in the Community Impact magazine in November, we have seen a surge in interest in the club.  We are receiving multiple email inquiries about the club per month, and we are seeing as many as 10 new people per month at club meetings.

We love to see new faces and share our joy in the outdoors.  If you are reading this, send an email message to us at thewoodlandshikingclub@gmail.com, or just show up at our next monthly meeting.

If you would like to check us out a bit before reaching out or coming on in, you can check out our newsletters, or peruse some of our photos from recent club activities.

Come join in on the fun.  We look forward to seeing you!

Brazos Bend State Park – Campout and Hike

2015-02-21 TWHC – Brazos Bend SP – Campout and Hike

By Rene Champagne
Brazos Bend State Park is truly wonderful.  The weather was surprisingly nice, considering we were expecting rain.  We did get rain, but not enough to be a problem for our camping and hiking activities.
The campgrounds were very nice, and especially roomy. The hike on Saturday was amazing! The wetlands, including the 2 lakes that we hiked around were incredibly rich. The lakes had very attractive plant life. Not every healthy ecosystem is actually good looking. This one is very much so. We saw 36 adult alligators on the miniature “Alligator Alley” in the park, plus 8 hatchlings. We saw more birds and more types of birds than we could count. PLUS, as an added benefit, we saw thousands of fireflies in the woods around our campsite. They were flickering brilliantly from ground level to treetop.
For photos from our trip, check out <link>.

Day Hike – Kingwood East End Park

*** NOTE: If you are interested in attending this hike, please send an
*** email to thewoodlandshikingclub@gmail.com with your name,
*** email address, and cellphone number.  We need that
*** information to contact you in case of heavy rain or other
*** potential unforeseen circumstances.

Next Day Hike
Kingwood East End Park
Sat. Jan. 31, 2014 – Time: 9:00 AM
Hike Leader:  Chris Hooks

 Meet At:  Parking lot at Kingwood East End Park. NOTE: Kingwood Drive going east from US-59 dead-ends in the parking lot for East End Park.

Directions:  From  I-45 and The Woodlands Parkway, go north on I-45 towards Conroe to the 242 (exit79), go right on 242 Needham Road, several miles to US-59 and take a right and go south to Kingwood Drive exit. Take a left and after going under the freeway, go east until you can go no further about 8 miles until Kingwood Drive dead-ends in the parking lot for East End Park. Lake Houston wraps around the park. It’s close to 28 miles from I-45 and Woodlands Pkwy. So make sure you leave early if you live in the back of the woodlands

158.5 acres of wetlands, woodlands and meadows
– 3.5 miles of developed trails
– 2 miles of natural trails
– 2 miles of Lake Houston frontage
– 141 species of birds including several that are threatened or endangered

Details:  The club last had a hike here in May 2009, I remember the trails as being heavily wooded, with some boardwalks that wind through swamps and marshes. Most of these boardwalks are on the South Loop Trail. Two are on the Eagle Point Trail. One is on the Otter Point Trail. They give visitors a glimpse into an ecosystem rarely seen. There are openings where the San Jacinto River and portions of upper Lake Houston are visible. Numerous cypresses can be seen along with large oaks, Sycamore, Magnolia etc. Deer are numerous and The Lake Houston Nature Club has reported seeing eight rare species of birds in the meadow last November. Also eagles have been seen. We are planning to walk most of the trails which are crushed granite trails which are ideal for hiking, compared to asphalt or concrete, this natural surface has more “give” which reduces stress on knees and backs.

Bring: Plan to bring water/electrolytes, snacks, and a lunch if you wish, as we will eat on the trail.  Oh and please wear good foot protection, the trails here are great but it’s so important to emphasis good protection. We have had some wear sandals and be bare footed in the past.

Length:  We will hike about 4 – 5 miles, and should be finished by 11:30 – 12.

Note: If you plan to go just drop me a line and I will add you to the list. Be prepared as always in case we get a little rain or drizzle. I will look at the weather early Saturday morning and if rain is eminent and we cancel, I will notify everyone that’s signed up.  We usually only cancel if it’s a large widespread rain event, but looks like hopefully the rain will hold off until later in the day.

Hope to see many of you there. Should be a great time, all of our hikes are and I love Kingwood East End Park. It’s a great little Oasis

If you have questions feel free to contact me

Chris, Day Hike Coordinator

 

2015-January Enchanted Rock

Our January trip was to Enchanted Rock over near Fredericksburg in the wonderful Texas Hill Country.  It’s a bit of a haul for us at about 4 hours, but Enchanted Rock (and Fredericksburg) are worth it.

It’s a bit cold for camping.  Last year we had a January campout at Mission Tejas up in the Davy Crockett National Forest.  I’m betting that most of you did not even know there was a Davy Crockett National Forest.  I certainly did not.  That said, the temps were down to 26 degrees in the hollows,  and the club decided to do “hotel camping” for January 2015.

If you have been to Enchanted Rock before, you probably did the Summit Trail which is a nice hike with some good elevation.  We were all feeling pretty good last Saturday, so after the Summit Trail, we took the trails that immediately surround Enchanted Rock, which gave us a good 3.5 miles of hiking.  After that some of us decided that we needed to do even more hiking.  So we did the Loop Trail as well, which added another 5.2 miles, but mostly flat.  So, we got in a good 8.7 miles of ‘hiking’.  When you add in other mileage for the day, we got in about 9.3 miles all told.

The club took a variety of routes on the way home, and being somewhat die-hard hikers several of us hit other trails on the way home.  My wife and I headed over to Pedernales Falls.  Another club member stopped at Buescher State Park.  Another option would have been McKinney Roughs, which has some nice elevation, including real bluffs and ridge hikes.

Day Hike – Lake Houston Wilderness Park

On Saturday, Dec 6, we had our monthly  Day Hike at Lake Houston Wilderness Park.  At 10 miles, This was the longest Day Hike that I can recall from my 3 years in the club.  To date, all of our hikes have started at 9AM and ended by Noon.  That makes the longest realistic hike about 6 miles, and in reality most of our Day Hikes are 5 miles or less.   This hike actually started at 9:30, and we finished at 2:50PM.

We had 4 new members with us.  Two have been participating in club activities since September/October.  Two contacted us within the last week, and joined on our hike just a few days after first contact.  Interestingly, 3 of our new members are women, and 1 was male.  That does not reflect the demographics of the group.  Overall there is a roughly even balance.

The skies cooperated with us.  It was a cloudy day, but we did not get rained on.  Air temps started in the mid-60’s.  Most of the hikers started out wearing jackets.  After about 1 mile of hiking, the jackets came off and went into backpacks.  We hiked along Peach Creek, which merged with Caney Creek.  Then at the southernmost tip of the park, Caney Creek merges with the East Fork of the San Jacinto River.  We had lunch on the eastern side of the park overlooking the San Jacinto.
We then hiked north to Isabell Lake, did some sightseeing, took a few pictures, then we took a very direct hike along 5-Mile-Road back to the Nature Center.
For more information on coming activities, please visit our web page at http://woodlandshikingclub.com/.

Kicking off another season of camping and hiking

Well, our hiking season is off to a fine start, and I suppose it is about time for me to add a few words.  We started our season with a campout at Galveston Island State Park.  That campout is more of a mini-holiday than a hiking sort of expedition.  Members partake of various activities including beach time, shopping, dining, kayaking, and even some hiking.  Since then the group has done Day Hikes in Downtown Houston, exploring one of the 10K hikes from the Houston Happy Hikers.  We have been to Dennis Johnston Park and hiked a bit of the Spring Creek Greenway from the park to Pundt Park and back.  That makes for a 6.4 mile round trip hike.  The group also headed way west for a weekend at Lost Maples.

If any of this sounds interesting, check out the “Meetings” link to the left, and join us to learn more.

Rene Champagne
Vice President

Hiking and camping in Texas and beyond