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Lone Star Hiking Trail: Texas Hiking at Its Best

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Located in the Sam Houston National Forest is the longest continuous hiking trail in the Lone Star State! Aptly named the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT), it’s a 96-mile-long marked path including an additional 32 miles of crossover and loop trails. With no shortage of wide open wilderness to explore, the LSHT starts just south of Richards and ends North-West of Cleveland, featuring many challenges for the avid hiker.

The brainchild of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club in 1966, the Lone Star Hiking Trail was approved for construction in 1967, and its first 30 miles were completed in 1968. The full trail was completed in 1972, but an extension was approved and completed in 1978, making up the entire 96 miles. Even though the state doesn’t have iconic hiking trail like the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim, a hike of this scale is considered the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in Texas. Winding its way through Sam Houston National Forest, it provides hikers with wonderful East Texas terrain, dense forests of magnolia and pine, views of Lake Conroe in portions, and relatively flat terrain featuring beautiful fall and springtime wildflower showings.

Lone Star State Hiking Trail: Texas Hiking at Its Best

Photo: Facebook/Lone Star Hiking Trail Via Amanda Justice

Spring and autumn seasons are the two best in which hikers and campers can find themselves taking advantage of the trail. These times feature the most reasonable temperatures as well as vibrant colors. Entry points, as well as a comprehensive trail guide, have been prepared by the Lone Star State Hiking Trail Club (LSHTC) and details are available at the link provided here.

Lone Star State Hiking Trail: Texas Hiking at Its Best

Photo: Facebook/Lone Star Hiking Trail Via Matt Bauwens

If you’re new to hiking and want to experience varying parts of the Lone Star Hiking Trail, of note is the fact that there are single loops and day-trails that can be completed in a relatively short time, providing vivid natural scenery. And for those that are avid hikers and are well trained, it’s estimated that the full LSHT (the 96-mile route only) will take roughly 10 days to complete at a moderate pace. This is also projected in reasonable weather and with good resources. Camping is allowed along the trail year-round and there are designated sites available including spots along the trail, however from September through January there are restrictions, so please check ahead. Plan accordingly and happy hiking on Texas trails!

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