Woodlands Trail: 3.3-Mile Loop
ElevationAscent: 31' 9 m
Descent: -31' -9 m
High: 254' 77 m
Low: 229' 70 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (1°)
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“The shortest of the three Woodlands loops, including the route to the parking area.”— Karl W
Family Friendly The entire trail is well-made, wide, flat, and offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities.
This section of the Woodlands Trail is the shortest - the 3.3 miles in the National Preserve's naming convention implies you return to the trailhead while the section mapped out here doesn't include that overlap. You can think of the Woodlands Trail as a sort of upside-down-snowperson on a string. This section is the string and the head of the snowperson.
Begin from the parking area and head east. There is an old service road you meet immediately, but the direction of the trail is clearly marked. You'll pass along the southern side of Collins Pond, but views are unfortunately limited. The trail joins a section of power lines' right of way for a very brief period which could result in confusion, but the trail is quite clear where it exits the power line right of way. For the rest of the journey, you'll be in the namesake woods.
The trail heads north for about a mile, occasionally crossing small creeks which have nice bridges over them. You'll also get an occasional view of Big Sandy Creek. The northern section of the trail passes through thinner forest that has a lot of wildflowers on the forest floor. Finally, the trail makes a tiny loop at the northern end. You'll see both ends of the Woodlands Trail: 4.5-Mile Loop trail should you want to extend the hike further.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: NPS - Big Thicket National Preserve