Day hike to see the San Jacinto
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
[View Log Page]
Distance: 8.50 Miles
First of all, there are not any trail maps of the park online. I scanned in the trail maps and have them online at http://ross.wright.org/Hiking/
(Robert, feel free to grab these images and host them yourself.)
Here's the trail map:
This is an awsome park. We headed straight out toward the river, took the south side to TM1, then east to TM2, up to TM3, over to TM4, up to TM7 then finally over to the river at TM6. Had lunch by the river and then hiked back along the northern route.
If you are looking at the trail map, you might wonder what the deal is with going from TM4 to TM7 - TM7 is actually at the intersection of the north trail and that little leap from TM4.
The trails nearest the head were all very nicely maintained woods. The straight bit on the map that the trail breaks out onto after the first mile is actually a dirt road in a clearing for power lines - that was kind of lame, but then at TM1 the trail went back into the woods. The southern trail was mesquito-ville. Up until TM2 it was a nice wide yet overgrown path through the woods, possibly a dirt road long ago, although it looked rarely traveled. From TM2 up to TM7 was a narrow foot trail through the woods. The north trail was visibly once a dirt road, but now is a nice wide trail. from TM7 to TM6 is narrower trail but better than the south trail.
Encountered nearly zero wildlife, plenty of mesquitos as mentioned above, and some awsome fat spiders (carry a stick in front of you!) Also encountered a 6' long bull snake sunning himself on the north trail, but he grudgingly went away after a few pokes from a stick.
The river was brown, like all Texas rivers. The trail ended at a bench on a high point of the bank, there is a short cliff down to the water (be prepared to get muddy if you want to make it to the water's edge) I hiked south along the river for a few hundred feet, there was some trash on the banks, an old car engine, but not an entirely disappointing end of the trail.
If you like tromping through the swamp...
Brazos Bend State Park
[View Log Page]
Distance: 5.50 Miles
Seriously, this was an enjoyable afternoon hike. We went around Hale Lake, headed north across the road along big creek, then cottonwood bayou, along the bluestem trail, kept straight onto the whiteoak trail, followed the river all the way south, then came back up on the red buckeye to the parking lot by hale lake.
Well maintained trails, didn't see any aligators on this route like I've heard in reviews for the more western trails. Encountered many armadillos though! Only came across a couple other groups of people. The terrain is flat, but densely wooded for most of it.