Jones Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This hike alternates between trails in the deep woods and dirt park roads. Go by areas set aside for colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers, an endangered species. Cross a unique land bridge that divides Middle Lake into two parts. This section is interesting because the lake is on both sides of you. The lake is clear and shallow, allowing small fish to be seen from the shore.Pick up a map at the park office and check with the ranger that the gate at Gravel Pit Road is open. Drive about 1 mile west on FM 1488 to Jones Trail Road. Turn left onto Jones Trail Road and continue a short distance to Gravel Pit Road, which is on the left. Go through the gate to the parking area, fill out a registration card, and deposit it in the collection box. Middle Lake Hiking Trail is one of the few hiking trails in this 1,733-acre forest, as most of the acreage is used as a demonstration and working forest."
--Keith Stelter, Best Hikes Near Houston (Falcon Guides).
"On this short interpretive trail, go past a colony of red-cockaded woodpeckers, an endangered species. Investigate 60 informational signs telling about the plants, trees, and environment. Cross over several bridges, including a suspension bridge. The lush woods offer solitude as the trail traverses the north and south sides of the Rice Branch of an unnamed seasonal creek. The state-champion common sweetleaf tree, from which the trail gets its name, is located near the trail."
Very well marked and maintained trail with little use. Local Eagle Scouts have improved and maintained the trail. It is completely forested and follows a small creek. There are some interpretive exhibits, plant identification markers and outdoor classroom seating. To access the trailhead you must get the gate combination from the forest service office or park across FM1488 and walk across the highway. Getting the combination is a much safer option as FM1488 is a busy 4 lane road. The only downside is that the swinging bridge has been illegally painted some garish colors, ruining the natural theme of the trail and bridge in the area of the bridge.
Sign in/up to upload photos.