Wildflowers · Wildlife
Use caution and common sense during deer rifle season.
This loop follows a 12.3 mile path through the gently rolling, East Texas forests.
Need to Know
If you get the hike done early on weekends, try the local restaurant, Larry Bruce Gardens, for a freshly prepared lunch.
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 hike is designed as a loop, utilizing the orange and blue horse trails, combined with a short section along forest service roads. The directions shows a counterclockwise loop that covers the road section first, but it can be done in either direction.
While the starting point is not an official USFS trailhead, there is a small parking area at the start, and plenty of clearance on the road for more cars. The trails are wide, clear, well-marked, and lightly-used. We have always had them to ourselves. Because these are horse trails, there are no bridges across the creeks. While the creeks are usually easily crossed, after a heavy rain, some crossings may be wet foot or impassable.
This hike can be combined with other loops in the area for a long weekend of day hiking or running. The whole trail system can be used for a more freeform backpacking trip.
Flora & Fauna
This is notably a pine forest with both new and old growth areas, interspersed with oak and other trees native to the region. There are seasonal flowers visible in the sunny areas, and the American Beautyberry is prolific. A quiet hiker in this area is likely to see numerous birds and sometimes 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 lumber 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.
Shared By: Tom Peacock