Adventures on dry land
Lone Star Hiking Trail
Texas is home to four national forests, including Conroe’s Sam Houston National Forest. This 160,000-acre property is home to the hiker’s “Jewel of Texas”—the Lone Star Hiking Trail. The trail has a dozen access points and is less than 30 minutes from downtown Conroe, making it a convenient location to get to. The natural trail is mostly sandy with some grassy areas and creeks, and it is an excellent location for you to spot wildlife, including white-tailed deer, turkey, foxes and quail.
W. Goodrich Jones State Forest is a popular site for bird-watching, which is a huge draw for people visiting Texas. This 1,773-acre property is used by the Texas Forest Service to study forest management techniques and ecology, so you might stumble upon research projects as you bird-watch. No hunting is allowed in the forest, making it a peaceful spot for you go horseback riding on the Sweetleaf Nature Trail and enjoy a picnic. Keep your eyes open for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, which Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife is working to protect within the forest. These black and white birds create nests inside of pine trees. If you’re looking for a guided-birding experience, check out Darrell Vollert Birding Tours. Vollert, a birding expert and Texas native, leads private-birding tours throughout the state. He has decades of experience in the field and is an active member of the National Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy. Vollert’s tours are usually limited to 10 to 15 people at a time, so be sure to book yours in advance. A tour will take you through one of several different forests and preserves in the Conroe area, and Vollert will give you a good idea of which bird species you can expect to see on the tour based on the area you all hike in.
When you’re at home, it can be hard to do something as simple as enjoying a walk in the park. You might not even live near one. When you visit Conroe, that won’t be an issue. Take a break at one of its many idyllic parks. Candy Cane Park includes ADA compliant playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts and the Conroe Aquatic Center. If you’re more interested in a pickup game of soccer, softball or baseball, Carl Barton Jr. Park will be a great fit for you. It also has a 10-mile jogging trail and a fishing pond. Heritage Place Park is 2.5 acres and is a popular site for craft fairs, festivals and concerts, with plenty of green space for you to take in. Finally, if you’re looking to brush up on your history on your stroll, check out Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park. This outdoor museum features more than a dozen historical battle and rally flags, similar to those flown during the Texas Revolution. It is also home to a 14-foot bronze sculpture, the “Texian.”
Finally, what better way to connect with the great outdoors on your adventure than by sleeping under the stars? The Lake Conroe/Houston North KOA has both premium campsites, which include water and electrical access, and sites with no hookups available if you’d prefer a traditional camping experience. Campsites are available at many of the area’s parks and forests including Sam Houston National Forest. Sam Houston National Forest has three developed campgrounds with access to a hot shower—which you will definitely earn after your outdoor adventures in Conroe.