Lone Star Hiking Trail - Wilderness Section

8.70 Miles
3stars (3.41)18
2point5stars (2.50)
4stars (4.35)
More Info

The western end of the Lone Star Hiking Trail is conveniently located at the north end of a US Forest Service parking lot just east of the town of Richards, Tx. The trail heads off to the east and you soon come to a trail junction with the Little Lake Creek Trail. The LLCT heads south and then east to roughly parallel the LSHT for the next 17 miles before meeting back up. There are several crossover trails connecting them to form a series of linked loops, allowing for the possibility of several different loop hikes of varying lengths. For today I chose to head south on the LLCT for the first three miles before crossing back over to the LSHT. I then followed the LSHT for the next 4.8 miles before taking another connector, the North Wilderness Trail, back towards the west. I finished off the day by again joining up with the LSHT for the last four miles back to the parking lot.

For just about the entire 14.5 mile length of today's hike the trails was well marked but some sections seemed somewhat neglicted. It has gotten quite overgrown in places and needs some TLC. I have been coresponding with someone at the LSHT Club website who explains that with the Texas weather they do most of their trail maintenance in the fall, winter, and spring. With all the rain we have gotten this year the trailside shrubery and underbrush has gotten a little out of control and so it will take some effort to beat it back into shape.

My overall impression is that this trail is mainly for lovers of "the hike". It is fairly flat terrain and completely forested so there are no views to stop and admire. The section that I covered crossed numerous dry creekbeds but also a couple running (trickling!) streams and passed by several small ponds. The terrain and vegetation is very similar to that of Bastrop State Park.

Board Walk
In the low, wet areas, there are boardwalks like this to keep you elevated and dry. (Photo by Blaze)
It rained the day before, so the ground was still damp. Saw a lot of slugs like this one. (Photo by Blaze)
Pines Forever
This section of the LSHT has a lot of nice, tall pines. (Photo by Blaze)
This pond is a popular destination and a nice place to picnic or camp. (Photo by Blaze)
U.S.S. Mushroom
This mushroom was boldly going where nothing mushroom has gone before! (Photo by Blaze)
My friend almost stepped on this baby snake without even noticing. It was a cool day so the snake wasn't moving around. It was just trying to warm up on the trail. (Photo by Blaze)
Interesting Fungi
I'm not sure what this is, but it's fractalized shape caught my eye. (Photo by Blaze)
Good Signage
This section of the LSHT is well-marked. It is hard to get lost, but it is still always a good idea to take a printed trail map since there are Forest Service Roads and unofficial trails running through the area. (Photo by Blaze)
Another View Of The Trail
This section of the trail takes you through a dense pine forest. (Photo by Blaze)
Trailhead #1
This is Trailhead #1 off FM 149. This is the start of the LSHT. It ends a little more than 96 miles down the trail. :) (Photo by Blaze)
Can you see the butterfly in this photo? Hint: It's dead center, on the leaf, above the pine cone. Amazing how well it blends into the scenery. (Photo by Blaze)
Majestic Pines
Sometimes it's nice to stop and just look UP! (Photo by Blaze)

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Log Entries
Loop Thru The Woods
By Blaze on 1/1/2017
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 11.30 Miles Duration: N/A

I hiked with a friend through the woods.  We did the North Wilderness Loop to the Sand Branch Loop.  Weather was cool and nice.  Lot of trees down in the Sam Houston National Forest, but this is normal.  Nothing major that could not be overcome.

By Balam on 11/20/2016
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: N/A

did the Wildnerness loop from TH #2.  Great trail for Fall Weather, trail could be quite hellish in hot humid summer weather. Piney forest, but not too impressive. For me the advangate is that it is close to home, not a place I would make a special trip to visit

Good site for maps:  http://lonestartrail.org/maps.html


By Jamie on 11/16/2016
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: N/A
North Wilderness Loop - LSHT
By Blaze on 9/24/2016
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 8.27 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 5 minutes

Went on a nature hike with a good friend that I hadn't seen in a long time.

Awesome Trail
By Blaze on 3/14/2013
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 11.70 Miles Duration: 5 hours

This was my third hike in the Wilderness Section of the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT).  This time I did both the Sand Branch Loop and Richards Loop to finish the Wilderness Section.

I parked at Trailhead #2 and hiked the LSHT down to the Sand Branch Trail, up the Little Lake Creek Loop Trail to TH1, then back down the LSHT to TH#2.  The trails were well marked and there were several ponds along the way.  Lots of fallen trees across the trails.  Given the millions of trees in the Sam Houston National Forest, I guess this is pretty normal.  Park volunteers do maintain the trails on a periodic basis.  No complaints here.  Wonderful way to spend a day!

Another Awesome Hike
By Blaze on 3/13/2013
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 5.84 Miles Duration: 3 hours

This was my second hike in the Lone Star Hiking Trail - Wilderness Section.  This time I took it a little easier since my legs were still sore from the day before.  I did the North Wilderness Loop at a leisurely pace.

My hike started at Trailhead #3, to the LSHT, up to the North Wilderness Trail, and then back to TH3.  This trail was more populated than the South Wilderness Loop and easier, too.  No major changes in elevation.  I did not like it quite as much as the South Wilderness Loop, but it was still a great hike.


One Of The Best Trails In East Texas
By Blaze on 3/12/2013
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 11.35 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Well, that's my opinion, anyways.  :)  For me, this trail has almost everything I like - hills, distance, solitude, good signage, lots to see, etc.

This was my first venture into the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) and I decided to do the South Wilderness Loop.  I started my hike at Trailhead #4, catch the Little Lake Creek Trail (LLCT), to the Sand Branch Trail, to the LSHT, to the Pole Creek Trail and back to TH4.

The trail was very isolated.  I only saw a few people and that was at the midpoint of my hike.  At times, you really feel like you're way in the wilderness and then you'll stumble across a country home or ranch.  The trail is very well marked and although there were several fallen trees blocking the trail, it was well-maintained overall.

From Richards to FM1374: Fun!
By tbrucia on 11/29/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 22.00 Miles Duration: 9 hours, 40 minutes

The trail was very well marked, and Don Brewington's 'Hiker's Guide' was invaluable ( see http://www.lshtclub.com/Hiker%27s%20Guide.htm ).  An excellent primitive camp spot: at mile 11.5, just before Caney Creek on the left.  Only problem was at (about) mile 21 where trail markers ended (or I couldn't find them); i backtracked and walked around via Stubblefield Lake Road and then along FM1374 to the east.  All bridges were in good repair.  A very flat walk, so I'd call it easy.  I only met three hikers (group of day hikers) and -- crossing an easement -- two horsewomen.  This is a great hike for 'getting away' by oneself!!! (Note: Duration of hike is actual WALKING time, not overall time.  It's a two day hike...)

LSHT - Richards Loop
By loner556 on 9/26/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.10 Miles Duration: N/A

My brother in law and I did this loop a few weeks ago.  My first time on the LSHT (his first time hiking) and I was pleasantly surprised.  I've avoided this trail for a while thinking that it would be thick underbrush amongst pines. 

The trail was well marked and maintained.  Most of this loop was pine forests, but the forest was open enough in many areas to see several hundred yards. Very open but still shaded well.  Passed several ponds along the way.  Great hike all around.  Didn't see a single sole all morning.

Nice summer hike, but HOT!
By omgjoz on 7/12/2008
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours

The last couple times I've hiked this I haven't seen a soul on the trail.  Might have to do with the 100+ degree heat...  BRING WATER! 

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Recommended Item
Recommended Item The Lone Star Hiking Trail: The Official Guide to the Longest Wilderness Footpath in Texas
Karen Borski Somers
List Price: $18.95 Your price: $12.44 Buy Now
One of the hidden jewels of Texas, the Lone Star Hiking Trail is the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in the state. At 128 miles (including loop trails), it is also the state's longest continuously marked and maintained footpath. Located in the famed Big Thicket area in east Texas, the trail is well-suited for both short and long hikes (of up to 10 days), appealing to dayhikers, overnight backpackers and long-distance hikers. The LSHT lies between the major metro centers of Houston-Galveston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio--home to more than 8 million people just a 2-hour drive from the trail. The author, a Texas native, is an experienced long-distance hiker who has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and many other nationally recognized long-distance trails throughout the U.S. This is the first guidebook to the trail and is officially endorsed and promoted by the Lone Star Hiking Trail Club. Read more