Not a good hike since hurricane Rita hit in 05'

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User: JHager - 2/4/2006

Location: Sawmill Hiking Trail

Rating: 1star
Difficulty: 5stars  Solitude: 5stars
Miles Hiked: 10.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: 9 hours

Comments: Before hurricane Rita, the Sawmill trial in the Angelina National Forest was probably a beautiful, easy 10 mile hike. Last year (2006), it was serious obstacle course and large sections of the trail had disappeared completely. This was due to severe damage from Hurricane Rita. Hiking this trail since Rita hit leaves you climbing under and over thousands of huge, uprooted trees or crawling up the muddy banks of several creeks. Most of the bridges are destroyed and many areas are just plain unsafe. If you cannot use a compass or at least carry a GPS receiver, you could easily get lost. The worst part was that there was no notice posted at the park warning that the trail is closed (we went in early February 06'). There was also no warning on the web site of the Forest Service. As a matter of fact, the only warning sign we saw at the Angelina National Forest was one indicating that a single road (inside the park) was closed. It stood just beside another side pointing to an alternate trail head. One two-mile section of the Sawmill trail took us 5 hours to get through. The following 5 miles took only 2 hours. If you want to go, give them time to get it cleaned up (maybe some time in late 2007 or 2008). One more thing, there is no cell phone coverage in just about any direction for nearly 20 miles. If your car breaks down inside the park like ours did, you’ll either have to hitch a ride or plan on walking about 25 miles to Jasper. After we returned, I sent an email to the Forest Service and since that time, they have made note on their web site that the Sawmill trail is closed. They should probably indicate the entire area is closed, but some warning is better than nothing.

Area around Sawmill Hiking Trail