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nlroberts78
#1 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:09:11 AM(UTC)
nlroberts78

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The weather is going to be awesome this weekend....anyone getting out? I am thinking Fri and Sat overnight somewhere. Haven't made up my mind yet.
nlroberts78
#2 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:16:28 AM(UTC)
nlroberts78

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Also, does anyone know where you pay to camp at the designated camping areas on the LSHT during the hunting season? I want to check out Kelly's Pond or Stubblefield and it seems you need to pay at both. Is there someone there to collect money? And insight would be great.

Nick
Lone_Star
#3 Posted : Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:22:12 PM(UTC)
Lone_Star

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Nick,

I've not camped at Kelly's Pond or Stubblefield, so I cannot answer your question directly. You may want to ask that question to the lonestartrail.org folks for an answer. If someone is not there to collect the payment, then there is most likely an honor box (e.g., iron ranger) to deposit the fee (if required). However, you should check to ensure those sections are open (e.g., I think Kelly's Pond CG is now open, but the hiking trails in that section may not be - I could be wrong since the status changes periodically). Stubblefield section was closed last time I checked.

When I mentioned "free camping along the LSHT" earlier, I was referring to primitive/dry camping (i.e., pitching your tent under the stars wherever you please). If you are looking for something more along the lines of a campsite, there are some sites in some (not all) LSHT sections as well as Hunter campgrounds. They are cleared areas to pitch a tent and pits to build a fire, but no water or electricity. Look at the maps closely to see which sections have campgrounds. On the weekends, you may run into other people camping there or young party animals getting drunk. I, personally, prefer my solitude and a good night's rest, so I'll select my own campsite off trail and away from crowds to ensure I can get it. If I don't get a good night's rest, my hiking ability suffers the following day. If you do decide to hike and/or camp in the national forests, bring some DEET or the ticks and chiggers can get you.

I tend to avoid the national forests during hunting season. This is Texas and there are a lot of Bubbas out there, so the place can become a shooting gallery. I'm all for 2nd Amendment Rights - I just get a little paranoid walking through the woods during hunting season. Hunting season hasn't started yet, so go soon if you want to avoid the anxiety. If you do go, you may want to wear a bright orange vest for psychological comfort. Otherwise, wait 'til hunting season is over.

Another spot you may want to look into is Big Thicket. It is north of Beaumont, still within your 2 hour radius, and free camping is permitted (no fires). 2 hours will also get you out to Austin where there are a lot of great places to hike.

Hope that helps!
Happy Trails!

Lone_Star
nlroberts78
#4 Posted : Thursday, October 31, 2013 11:08:42 AM(UTC)
nlroberts78

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Lone Star,

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately gun season opens tomorrow and during this time, you must camp in designated "hunter's camps". I agree with you totally, I enjoy the solitude and would rather be out there by myself with my fiance as we enjoy the nature together. This is the reason I was asking about the camps was becuase I want to avoid a bullet and find the "legal" place the stay for the weekend while the Bubbas are out there.

Thanks,

Nick
Lone_Star
#5 Posted : Thursday, October 31, 2013 11:33:33 AM(UTC)
Lone_Star

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Hey Nick,

Sorry, my bad - I didn't think hunting season started until after Thanksgiving. I'm not a hunter myself so I don't keep up with the exact dates. I've just mentally blocked Thanksgiving through mid-January out in my simple mind as "hunting season", so I appreciate you letting me know as I need to revise my "hunting season" block to be "Nov-Jan" instead.

Just working off of memory, I know there are some hunter campgrounds along the LSHT near Double Lake. It's a nice section, but if hunting season starts tomorrow then you could have some Bubba company. :) Double Lake is adjacent to the LSHT and has a really nice campground with nice amenities, but there is a fee. I think the hike-in rate is less than if you drive in.

Also, you may want to look at the Huntsville section. You can camp at Huntsville State Park which has really nice spots along Lake Raven, then hike a trail that takes you to the half of LSHT trail that is open (the other half is currently closed, so consult the LSHT maps to see which half is open). Huntsville SP has an entrance and camping fee, but it's a nice SP and it has ~17-20 miles of trails you can walk around and NOT have to worry about hunters. If the fee isn't a problem, that would be my recommendation (over LSHT and Big Thicket) since you can hike and camp in comfort.

It's been raining the past two days, so the trails could be muddy.

Hike on,
Joe

Happy Trails!

Lone_Star
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