I had so much fun on my last trail run on the Lone Star Trail that I decided to check out another section before my departure back to California. This time I chose the Little Lake Creek Wilderness at the west end of Sam Houston National Forest. This small wilderness area protects a mature stand of pine and hardwood forest. The main Lone Star Trail runs through the center of the Wilderness while the South Wilderness and North Wilderness trails pass through the south and north respectively. The difference between the wilderness area and surrounding forest is immediately noticeable – the pine trunks are much larger and the understory is thick with brush and small trees.
The trails here are awesome. The whispering pines, the lushness, the solitude, it’s an amazing place to run. On this day, there was even some great fall color. Since these trails and the entire Lone Star Trail are only open to foot traffic, they are not eroded and are well padded by leaves and needles. The terrain is gently rolling with some short steep bits climbing out of creek drainages but otherwise generally flatter so you can really pick up the pace and I was moving under 7 minute pace most of the time. It’s an exhilarating feeling to move fast through a thick forest on single track. The North Wilderness trail was my favorite section of this run with twisty and extremely tight single track, branches to duck under, and logs to steeplechase.
This area has numerous loop possibilities off the main Lone Star Trail and I did an 11.7 mile loop combining the North Wilderness Loop and the Sand Branch Loop. Other loops in the area that can be added on include the South Wilderness Loop, Richards Loop, and Lake Conroe Loop. A single loop of over 40 miles can be designed in this area! I look forward to checking out the South Wilderness Trail and other sections of the Lone Star Trail next time I am in Houston!
More photos after the jump!