Day 1. Westbound
Miles today: 20 miles
Campsite: On Trail near Double Lake Recreation Area
Water availability: A few muddy ponds and creeks available throughout the day.
Today we started a new trail. The Lone Star Hiking Trail is 96 continuous miles less than an hour away from Houston. It also has over 30 miles of additional loops and trails.
Our backpacking options in Texas are limited but we were lucky to have found the LSHT. Temperatures in January have been perfect for backpacking. A high in the low 60s, we’ve been hiking with a long sleeve shirt. Ahhh, feels just like fall in Wisconsin.
The vegetation even resembles’ Wisconsin. Dead leaves crunches beneath our feet with each step we take. Although, the first few miles looked a lot more like the Florida Trail. Palmettos and all. Today was a good day. We have been cooped up in the RV since we got back from New Zealand and it was the time to get back out there. Although sitting on my ass for the past two week certainly has made me weaker. My ankles and legs are sore from today’s hiking. Time to get this butt back into 20+ miles a day shape. Whew!
Around mid day, we came across some smoke and for a good hour or so, we saw clouds of smoke blocking the sun which in turn gave a tint of orange to the forest. Once we reached a road crossing, we saw the forest service cars and the signs for a prescribed burn nearby. We have to hike back to our vehicle tomorrow so hopefully the burn is over and we can safely traverse.
Nothing to eventful happened. This trail is fairly quiet but we saw most of our fellow outdoor enthusiasts in the afternoon near the recreation area. A few members from the local Facebook page for the LSHT mentioned hearing noise at night in the forest. I am curious as to what it may be. Sasquatch? Ha! Maybe just Bryan snoring? So far there hasn’t been a peep of wildlife and the mosquitoes are no where to be found (thank gawd!!!). We do hear the typical noise of a road nearby, not quite the backcountry experience we’d hope for but it’s good to know that this trail is very accessible.
This would be a great trail for those who have little time for vacation but want to thru-hike a quick trail in the winter! The trail is very easy to follow and this section was very well marked. There was mile markers on a few of the trail posts as well.
Edit: On our hike back to the car on Sunday, 8 miles of the trail was closed due to another prescribed burn. We had to road walk but thankfully the road walking was only 5 miles and got us back on the other side of the burn area.