The Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) is a 96 mile long hiking trail with an additional 32 miles of loop and crossover trails of "foot-path only" trails. Connecting public lands of the Sam Houston National Forest and private lands it is the longest continuous hiking trail in the State of Texas. The trail starts just South of Richards, Texas and ends North-West of Cleveland, Texas.
The LSHT was conceived by the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club in 1966. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) approved construction of the trail and flagging began in 1967, with the first 30 miles constructed in 1968. The Sierra Club, Boy Scouts of America, and many others were responsible for flagging and construction of the LSHT. The entire LSHT was completed and turned over to the USFS in 1972. An extension to the LSHT was approved later and completed in 1978.
The trail is marked with two-inch by four-inch aluminum markers to guide hikers. The Lone Star Hiking Trail may be hiked year round, but winter and spring are the most popular seasons due to the mild southeast Texas climate. During deer hunting season in November and December, hikers should wear highly visible clothing. Primitive camping is allowed off the trail except during deer hunting season when camping is restricted to designated camps. Usually the trail is not crowded, and hikers may observe a multiple-use managed forest with many ages and kinds of trees, plants and wildlife. Trail visitors may also view rivers, creeks, lakes and streams that meander through and around the Sam Houston National Forest. Off-road vehicles are prohibited. Potable water is available at Double Lake and Stubblefield recreation areas.
Lone Star Hiking Trail consists of three major sections (listed from west to east):
- The 40-mile (64 km) Lake Conroe section begins near the intersection of FS 219 and FM 149 east of Richards, TX to the Stubblefield Recreation area  at the north end of Lake Conroe. Four connecting loops in this area are all designated as part of the trail. This part of trail passes through the Little Lake Creek Wilderness.
- The 60-mile (97 km) Central Area of the trail runs northeast from the Stubblefield Recreation Area, to just north of Huntsville State Park. It runs east through the Four Notch area and then turns south east to the town of Evergreen, TX. An on-road section follows FM 945 south to a trailhead parking lot at S Butch Arthur Road. The Four Notch Loop, a 9.2-mile (14.8 km) section, is in the middle of this 60-mile (97 km) area of trail.
- The Winters Bayou/Tarkington Creek Area of the trail runs from FM 945/S Butch Arthur Road trailhead east to Double Lake Recreation Area, then south through Big Creek Scenic Area  and then southwest through the Winters Bayou Scenic area northwest of Cleveland, TX. This 27-mile (43 km) section of the trail has National Recreation Trail status.
Hi, just letting folks know that this weekend my daughter and I are setting off to try for an unsupported FKT on the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) in Texas. We’ll officially be an "unsupported, mixed gender team". Due to the recent rains and flooding on the trail it looks like there will be one or two diversions around high water and washed out bridges (yay bonus miles), but we’ll be on-trail for as much as we can. More rain on the way this weekend so it’s gonna be muddy and waterlogged, but we’ll give it a go. Updates to follow. Cheers.
Update: ok so we gave it a go, unsupported carrying our stuff and only planning to refill water at the two camp grounds and filtering from a stream at about the halfway point. We were a little worried about the recent rains, flooding and mud, but we did have a plan. But as they say the best laid plans and all that.... we couldn’t control the weather. When we started from TH 15 heading WeBo at 6:20am on Sat morning it was 70* and 100% humidity, it quickly went up to 82*, darn the forecast was calling for much cooler. Anyway in the end we struggled and not your normal bonk or bad patch, something worse and weird. So when we got to the Double Lake Campground at mile 22 we took a long break to eat and drink to see if we would come back. After a while we decided to call it, live to fight another day I guess. In the end it was still a pretty good training day and time on our feet. Till next time.
This weekend I'm attempting to set the unsupported FKT on the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) heading eastbound (EABO? is that a thing yet?). I'm planning to be on trail Saturday 12/6/19 – Monday 12/8/19. I'll be documenting times with photo, video, and Gaia if possible. Gotta hit the road – I'll update when I'm back to the computer!
@andrewglenn_ <--- will be documenting real-time on IG story, possibly maybe.
Planning to have a go at the FKT starting early Saturday morning, December 14. This will be a supported attempt traveling West to East, and meeting up with crew along the way to restock and refuel. This FKT has been in the back of my mind for the past couple of years, and I am really excited to finally make an attempt. Weather has been amazing lately, and tomorrow is shaping up to be another beautiful day. Trail conditions were great during recon last weekend, so hoping the one day of rain since has mostly dried. Stubblefield Bridge is still closed to road and foot traffic, so I will be swimming across the lake just north of the bridge to stay true to the route, to avoid violating closures set by the Forest Service, and avoid a lengthy detour. I will be tracking my attempt using a Garmin inreach mini with live tracking (link below). I mapped the route in advance and hopefully the track will appear once I start. In addition I will be taking some Gopro footage and photos to share post attempt.
Link to live tracking:
Congratulations Hunter! So excited to hear about your new FKT and looking forward to reading your trip report.
Thanks Marcy! And thank you for your own contribution and efforts on the LSHT. Your posts and trip report were a big help in figuring out how to go about this FKT adventure. My trip report and video are completed and posted under my time above.
Fun report and video! I enjoyed reliving some of the trail through your experience. Sounds like you had better conditions in some ways - no spiderweb or dog issues? - but then added a swim! That looked really cold. Impressive run. Thanks for sharing the details and congratulations again!
Planning to complete an unsupported yo-yo starting tomorrow on the LSHT. I'll be trying to set the FKT for Unsupported, and get something on the board for an Unsupported yo-yo. I'm anticipating 6-7 days on the trail. I'll be tracking with an inReach and taking photos along the way.