“The longest loop extension in the Woodlands tract of Big Thicket National Preserve.
— Karl W
River/Creek · Wildlife
Although a bit longer, the trail is well-made, wide, flat, and offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities.
The Big Thicket National Preserve is free to access.
The parking area for the Woodlands Trail can be difficult to see: there are no signs on the road before you reach the small, unpaved drive and the signs for the Woodlands Trail at the parking area are a little tucked back. A GPS may not have a result for the trailhead either. The parking area is on FM 1276 on the east side 3.3 miles south of US 190 or 5.9 miles north of Dallardsville. There is parking available for perhaps a dozen vehicles, restrooms, and a kiosk.
This is the longest loop option on the Woodlands Trail. To get to it you'll have to take the Woodlands Trail: 3.3-Mile Loop
to the Woodlands Trail: 4.5-Mile Loop
from which you can find this trail on the northernmost end. The name of the trail includes the distance you would have to travel to get to and from the parking area. If you think of the three trail sections as an upside-down-snowperson this section is the base/legs.
The eastern side of this trail travels closer to Big Sandy Creek than the two other trail sections, offering more opportunities to view it. You can take it in either direction as it both begins and ends off the Woodlands Trail: 4.5-Mile Loop