WG Jones State Forest is a fantastic place to explore if you live in The Woodlands or are visiting The Woodlands, TX. It’s such a great place to explore and a really beautiful place to enjoy nature.
About WG Jones State Forest
WG Jones State Forest or William Jones State Forest is a public forest with trails. It is located at 1328 Farm to Market Rd 1488, Conroe, TX 77384. You can find their official page here and their Facebook page here.
WG Jones State Forest is a great place to go for a casual walk, hike, bike ride, or even to go horseback riding if you have a horse.
This is a great trail for novice or intermediate hikers. There are two different parking lots there is a lot on the north side of FM 1488 (you will see a Texas A&M Forest Service building) and then the Marcel Commons parking lot on the other side. I think you’ll enjoy either side of the WG Jones State Forest. I recommend picking one side and sticking with it. It would be really hard to cross 1488 by foot.
North side of 1488 entrance
In my opinion the north entrance is more for walking. I like both sides but I have found that the Marcel Commons side is usually busier. The trails on this side are a little shorter but they offer a really nice walk through nature.
This side of the forest is usually a lot busier than the north entrance on the opposite side of the road. Both are great trails to visit although the Marcel Commons side is a lot larger.
There are several ponds on this side of the forest. You are able to fish in them but there is a catch and release policy. There are also several picnic areas if you want to bring a lunch with you.
There are several different trails to pick from and they are all clearly marked.
It is a really beautiful and peaceful hike. You can even keep your eyes peeled for deer, bunnies, and snakes!
Watch for snakes!
Whichever side you choose, please watch for snakes. Most snakes do not like cold weather and hibernate when temperatures are cooler but since this is Texas and it’s almost always hot, they start appearing as early as February.
Snakes also start breeding in the spring time. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife:
In temperate climates, mating usually takes place in the spring. Commonly a snake will have spent the winter in the company of others of its kind in a large hibernation burrow. Snakes emerge en masse from their dens at this time and can be found basking in the sun, sometimes in significant numbers. The first order of business, aside from eating, is for the snakes to shed their skin.
So, watch out! Wear closed toe shoes for sure.
Not to be confused with blackberries (although, they are closely related) you might see dewberries on your hike in the WG Jones State Forest. These wild berries grow and bear fruit in April and May.
Red Cockaded Woodpecker
This site is home to the Red Cockaded Woodpecker which is an endangered species. We have most often seen them on the north entrance. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are different from regular woodpeckers because they create cavities in living pine trees to make nests. Be sure to keep an eye for them soaring around above you!
I took my kids in our double BOB stroller (which was an amazing investment, be sure to read more about it here). If you have small kiddos, these trails are definitely feasible to do with a good jogging stroller although lighter strollers might not make it.
There are some meadow areas that are good for little ones to walk around. Again, be sure to watch for snakes and other creatures extra closely with kids around.
If you live in The Woodlands or greater Houston area, then just skip this part because you already know. If you are visiting Texas and have never been here before, please know that it gets really, really hot here. It usually starts getting hot in May and it still even be hot in October, it really varies year to year. If you aren’t used to the heat please use caution during these months especially and bring lots of water. Dress in cool comfortable clothing and be careful, heat stroke is very real.
All in all, if you’re looking for something fun to do in The Woodlands, TX, this is a great place to check out and hike. WG Jones offers a little bit of peace from the big city!
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