November 13, 2016

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

LHWP Trail Map

LHWP Trail Map


Park entry

Logging loop signpost

Main intersection on Loggers Loop.

summer swamp

One of several cypress slough’s along Ameri-trail.

Difficulty: Beginner
Length: 10.00 miles
Status: Open
Technical Rating: 1-3
Trail Steward
Fees: $3.00 per person. 13-64 years of age. Annual family pass $25.
Hours: Sun. – Thu. 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fri. & Sat. 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The trails in Lake Houston Wilderness Park offer cross country mountain bikers a place to hone their skills, work on endurance, or just spin along all the while through the unique terrain of South East Texas.  These trails can best be described as a cross between the look of inner city trails along creeks and bayou’s (Memorial, Ant Hill’s) and the remote feeling of the national forest trails ( Huntsville SP, Double Lake). The tread is mostly hardpack and sandy loam.  Don’t let the beginner status fool you.  Several short but steep climbs, off camber turns,  exposed roots, along with occasional sandy sections will challenge even the most fit and experienced rider.

In addition to the 10 miles of single-track trails described below, there are 4-5 miles of double-track/logging roads that are closed to motor vehicles and 10+ miles of very low traffic gravel roads.  Using these roads is essential in creating enjoyable looping routes.  All trails east of five mile road allow equestrians,  are less used by cyclists, are not frequently maintained, and require a more adventurous spirit.

There are currently six good singletrack trails in this park, all of which continue to improve on flow from more riders.  These trails can be connected by various gravel roads and doubletrtack to make longer routes. Maps are available at entry station.

Peach creek trail – .7 miles of new singletrack between entry parking area and nature center. Features an upper and lower trail.  The upper bank trail has a great flow. Lower bank trail has some short sandy sections, elevation change, and good views of creek.

Dogwood Trail .4 miles. Starting from the trailhead at Red Oak Rd, follow trail and turn left onto Peach Creek Trail and then follow back to nature center. The following Strava segment includes both Dogwood and part of Peach Creek (lower bank)Trail. (link is external)

Peach creek loop–  A 2 mile, very good beginner trail that offers a little bit of everything without getting too far away from nature center area. The northern half is double track and has been re-surfaced with crushed asphalt to accommodate walkers and is less used by bikers. The southern half is natural surface double track and is commonly included as part of longer routes.

Forest trail – 2 mile trail. Good, hardpacked singletrack through forest. Part of this trail is doubletrack for about 1/2 mile east of 5 mile road. Highest elevation in park with no lasting muddy spots. Trailhead at nature center. Out and back or loop using logging roads (link is external)

Ameritrail – 5 mile singletrack trail. Best trail in park. Trailhead near nature center/peach creek loop. Can be ridden out and back or loop by riding back on 5 mile road. Mix of hard pack, several 20 yard sandy sections, short steep climbs, some tight and twisty. 1 road crossing and 3 utility easement crossings, great views of creek, bayou’s and Isabel lake. The last 1/2 mile contains several muddy spots lasting weeks after rain.

Update fall 2017: Due to Hurricane Harvey flooding, lots of new sand has been deposited along about 1.5 miles of Ameri-trail. The deep sand is mostly between the first and third pipeline. (link is external)

 Yaupon Trail– At 1 mile long, this trail connects 5 mile road to the SE corner of Peach Creek Loop Trail. It also crosses Canoe Launch Road. This trail is a little over a mile long, has a great flow, and is one of the most enjoyable trails in the park.  It also creates more looping options. (link is external)

Suggested route starts at entry parking area. Follow peach creek lower trail keeping right.  Follow trail along creek .8 miles to nature center area. Continue along creek just to left of pedestrian bridge using west side of peach creek loop trail. 5 miles to Ameritrail trailhead. Follow Ameritrail 5 miles to end.  Ameritrail ends into an old logging road loop. Either direction leads to Lake Isabel and 5 mile road. 5 mile road leads directly north to the front of park and is closed to motor vehicles most of the way.  For a little extra turn left onto Yaupon trail and follow back to Peach Creek Loop and Nature center. (link is external) 

Another suggested route: (link is external)

There is a parking area and the trailhead of Peach creek trail just to the right of the entry station. This area has no restrooms or water.

The nature center area has a large clearing and parking lot.  Restrooms are across from parking lot.  An outdoor water fountain with cold water is at the south end of nature center building. (Press and hold the button then wait for water to come on, It’s freeze-proof.) Cross the pedestrian bridge to access a  beach/deck for cooling off in peach creek.

There is also a new restroom with nice showers on Red Oak Rd. near the camping shelters.

More info: (link is external) (link is external)

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