State forests are an excellent place to find peace. They were designed to protect land unsuitable for farming and provide habitat for wildlife. Many state forests have become popular with birdwatchers and other nature enthusiasts in recent years. Do you know of a hidden gem state forest in your area? More on us. If so, this article is for you. IN NORTHERN CONROE, TEXAS, W. G. Jones State Forest is located and was established in 1987. The forest offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, picnicking, and hunting. Unfortunately, it's a bit off the beaten path, so many people don't know about it. If you're looking for a state forest that's more secluded, more remote, and less visited, then Jones may be the place for you.
A state forest is a protected area in each U.S. state established by state law. These forests are different from national forests, which are under the control of the U.S. Forest Service. The National Forest Foundation helps maintain national forests and monitor their condition. There are currently about 260 state forest systems in the country. Each state can decide how much forest land to set aside for conservation. The average state forest covers about 2,000 acres.
Jones State Forest is one of only four state forest systems in the Houston area. It's located in an unincorporated area outside city limits. That means it's a little more secluded than parks in the city but still close enough that you can visit a friend and hop back on the trail right away. The forest is also very accessible. If you have a two-wheel-drive vehicle, you can quickly get to Jones by driving north on I-45 or I-10. However, if you have four-wheel drive or are heading to the forest in winter, now is an excellent time to check out the area. The Conroe city government has recently resurfaced the trails with a great deal of work, making them much more accessible than they used to be. The forest has 36 miles of trails, including one that's wheelchair-accessible. It's the perfect place for a family hike or a spiritual retreat. The paths are well-worn, so those familiar with them will be able to move at a casual pace. However, Jones is an excellent place to start for those who are new to hiking.
There are several ways to access the forest, depending on where you are from and where you're headed. For example, if you're coming from Houston, you can head north on I-45 to Conroe and then turn right onto FM 2490 and follow that road until you see the forest entrance on your left. If you're coming from either direction, take the Houston Metro's Eastside line to Conroe/Montgomery and then hop on one of the green recreational vehicles that travel along the trail (more information is available at Hiking in Jones). If you're from Dallas, take I-30 East to I-45 North to FM 2490 East to Conroe/Montgomery and follow the directions above.
The nature center is open on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center features a great gift shop, outdoor exhibits, and indoor exhibits with live animals. The nature center is also home to the Conroe Eco-Transportation Center, which makes the area an excellent place for families with young children. Another Place to Visit.Check out the Interpretive Exhibit:
There is an interpretive exhibit near the entrance to the forest that's a great way to get started. And the exhibition includes educational signs about the forest and wildlife. It's open from 8 a.m. until Dusk, seven days a week.Pitch a Tent:
If you want to get away from it all, there are more than 100 campsites throughout the forest. Each camp has a fire ring, picnic table, lantern post, and high grass area for your tent. Wood is available at the reception office, but you'll need to bring your water. Unfortunately, there are no showers or bathhouses in the forest, so plan accordingly.Hike the Nature Trail:
This moderately difficult trail features interpretive signs about the forest and wildlife. It's a great introductory trail for first-time hikers.Bring a Horseback Riding Group:
If you want to get away from it all, there are more than 100 campsites throughout the forest. Each camp has a fire ring, picnic table, lantern post, and high grass area for your tent. Wood is available at the reception office, but you'll need to bring your water. Unfortunately, there are no showers or bathhouses in the forest, so plan accordingly.
The interpretive exhibits near the entrance to the forest are a great place to start learning about the forest and wildlife. You can also pick up a trail guide at the office.Experience Texas Outdoors:
Texas is known for its wide-open spaces, and Jones State Forest is the perfect place to experience that feeling. More than 100 campsites throughout the forest, and most are very secluded.Get Away from it All:
If you're looking for a place to get away from it all, Jones is the perfect place. There are no roads connecting the sites, so you'll truly feel like you're in the middle of nowhere.Hike and Camp:
Jones has a wide range of recreational activities. More than 100 campsites throughout the forest, and most are very secluded. You can also pitch a tent, camp out under the stars, and make a fire.Experience Texas Wildlife:
The Texas Hill Country is known for its wide variety of wildlife, and Jones has plenty of opportunities to see animals in their natural habitat. The forest has an abundance of trees, open spaces, and water, so animals are likely to pass through. Look for black bears, bobcats, coyotes, deer, elk, squirrels, and birds.
If you're looking for a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, look no further than W. G. Jones State Forest. This beautiful forest is located in Conroe, Texas, and offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages. So whether you're a nature lover or an adventure seeker, there's something for you in W. G. Jones State Forest.
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