Training: Lone Star Hiking Trail

In just about a week I’ll start hiking my first real “long(ish) trail” – the Lone Star Hiking Trail – in preparation to hike the PCT. I’ll be hiking with my oldest brother, Austin, who has essentially sectioned hike the entire trail and wants to finally conquer the thru-hike. Neither of us have hiked a trail this long so we’re both excited if a little nervous.

The Lone Star Trail is the longest hiking trail in the state of Texas at just under 100 miles from beginning to end. Certainly a far cry from the 2650 miles of the PCT but it’s the best we’ve got here in the state. It traverses across the Sam Houston National Forest deep in east Texas and meanders through swamp lands, piney woods, and across several waterways.

Unfortunately, due to heavy rains recently, much of the trail is flooded and quite boggy in places. Additionally, the trail is technically impassable at the Stubblefield bridge which crosses the northern tip of Lake Conroe just around 20 miles in. But we’re going to go for it anyways – even if it just means hiking the portions that are dry enough to hike. We’ve even discussed purchasing a small inflatable boat to raft across the impassable Stubblefield bridge section. So we’re very serious about giving this our best effort! Hopefully weather conditions improve over this next week to give the trail a chance to dry out some but it’s a little early to tell.

Flooded trail. Looks like fun right?

Like I mentioned at the beginning, my purpose in doing this hike is primarily to prepare me for hiking the PCT. I want to know what it feels like to do 20 mile days for several days in a row. I want to make sure all of my gear works and there are no real weak points. I want to see how my body responds to the stresses of being on my feet for 8+ hours a day (especially my ankles which I’ve always had problems with). I want to experience the emotional highs and lows that come with doing a long distance hike – even if they are small compared to what I will feel on the PCT. In general, I want to build up some confidence so when I set forth from the Mexican border in April I have at least some experience to draw on.

Additionally, I will be doing a daily blog of this hike so I can get used to blogging on the trail as it’s not something I have ever done before. So bear with me as I figure things out as I’m sure my first few trail blogs will be a little rough.

We’re planning on starting on the 15th of January so keep an eye out then for the first blog update. It is possible I won’t have cell reception so I might not be able to upload daily but I will try my best.

Thanks for reading!

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