“A long secluded hike in the shade of the forest.”
— Tom Peacock
Birding · Wildlife
Pedestrians must yield the trail to horses.
This loop follows a 13-mile path through the gently rolling East Texas forests.
Need to Know
These are horse trails, so the creeks are easily approached but not bridged. Hikers can expect dry foot crossings most of the time, but the stream crossings may be wet foot or completely impassable after heavy rains. Camping is available at the nearby Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area or at the two primitive horse camps in the Piney Creek area.
The Piney Creek area of the Davy Crockett National Forest has 53 miles of well-marked trails that meander through the gently rolling forest lands. To make the trails useful for those on foot, the trail system is designed with various loops that combine multiple trails and short sections along forest service roads. This loop is the longest of the six loops in the area.
The trails are wide, clear, well-marked, and lightly used. We have always had them to ourselves. The majority of this loop follows the White Trail
with one cut through on the north end along a forest service road.
Flora & Fauna
This is notably a pine forest with seasonal flowers visible in the sunny areas. The American Beautyberry is prolific. A quiet hiker in this area is likely to see white-tailed deer.
History & Background
The area was timbered by the Central Coal and Coke Company (4-C) many years ago. The remains of the old mill are located at the nearby Ratcliff Lake Recreation area where you can also camp or stop by for a swim in the lake after a hike.