Day Hike: Lake Houston Wilderness Park
We were looking for a quick day hike under an hour from our home and came across Lake Houston Wilderness Park, with several miles of easy to moderate trails.
Notes: Entry is $3 per person as of this writing and they take cards. There are primitive walk-in camp sites as well as more "tame" pad campsites with water, hookups and access to showers and facilities. There are nifty A-frames, recreation areas, and larger cabins.
Pros: The trail was easy for all ages and leashed dogs, with cell reception in case you wanted to take a quick call or post and share pics. The pine forests smelled great and the creek is a lovely surprise when you come across it. Stargazing at night is great. There are longer, more primitive trails, or you can hike the Peach Creek Loop. It was also not crowded.
Cons: It was easy to hear the park traffic from some of the trail (annoying if someone had engine problems or loud bass) and it got a bit boggy from the recent rain in the lower areas. Our shoes were muddy but we were testing Husband's new waterproof trail runners, so it was ok with us! (His feet stayed dry.) The lake, however, is pretty small.
Cons aside, for Southeast Texas, it is pretty and large enough where we can go a few times and still have room to explore. That combined with the convenience to get there, I am giving it three and a half stars ( a bit above average).