Lush And Vibrant!
By Lone_Star on 3/15/2013
Distance: 11.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes
The Winters Bayou Section of the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) is the last section of the LSHT when hiking from west to east. It includes mile markers 91-96. You can catch this section of the trail by parking at Trailhead #14 (N30 26.311 W95 07.248) along FM2025 and hiking southwest or by parking at Trailhead #15 (N30 23.584 W95 09.47) along FM 1725 and hiking northeast. If you hike down and back, it is 11.2 miles roundtrip.
I parked at TH14 and hiked down to TH15 and back. However, before starting I cached some food and drink in the woods near TH15 so I didn't have to carry as much in my pack. It's a pretty long hike if you're making a roundtrip, so you may want to consider doing the same.
The first part of the trail involves some hills and elevation change. Nothing major, but enough to get some cardio. You go down a hill, then up and down another hill before finally getting down to the lower elevations. Down along the creeks and bayous, the vegetation is lush and vibrant. I made this hike in the Spring and everything was very green and alive.
The trail takes you along some scenic banks, through wetland areas filled with palmettos, along some ponds and over a few bridges than span the east fork of the San Jacinto River as well as Winters Bayou further down the trail. There are some massive (>100 feet) magnolia trees and many things to appreciate. Sections of the trail are so densely vegetated that the trees and shrubs form shaded "tunnels" that keep you cool. It's a very nice hike overall and a wonderful way to end the LSHT if you're thru-hiking. I made this hike on a Friday during Spring Break and I had the entire trail to myself. That's solitude!
There are a couple of places where you have to cross some roads, but otherwise you feel fairly isolated from civilization.
Note: At this time, several sections of the LSHT have been closed by the U.S. Forestry Service due to a lot of fallen dead trees. Click on the "More Info" link to get the current status of the LSHT, including trail closures.