doubletrack; singletrack; wide path
Sweet Leaf Nature Trail
| Jones Tr. | Jones Lake Tr. | Park Tr.
Gravel Pit Tr. | Cochran Tr. Deep Gully Tr. N & S | Cutoff Tr.
Nature Tr. | Well Tr. | Buckhorn Tr. | Surcey Tr. | RCW Tr.
Upper Horsepen Tr. | Middle Horsepen Tr. | Lower Horsepen Tr.
N & S Boundary Tr. | Lookout Tr. | W.G. Jones State Forest Tr.
• Picnic tables
• Fishing pond
• Nature classroom/outdoor gardens
• Bird viewing (red-cockaded woodpecker)
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W.G. Jones Forest is a
decent place to ride in its current state; however, if GHORBA or the
Northwest Cycling Club could successfully work with the Texas Forest
Service, this could potentially become one of the area’s best mountain
bike destinations. The potential for 10+ miles of singletrack, added
to the miles of dirt road and doubletrack, well, I am sure you can imagine
how nice it would be. Unfortunately, turning potential into reality
isn’t always so easy, but the fact that biking is currently
allowed is a good sign. Yet another reason to support your local club
Many of the main trails are apparently cleared on a regular basis and appear to be wide dirt roads. Don’t let that deter you, though, as there is plenty of singletrack and doubletrack out here to keep you entertained for a while. Beginner riders can stick to these wide dirt roads if they choose, but even the singletrack shouldn’t be an overwhelming challenge for them.
Not all of the singletrack is marked on the map; however, one of the best sections I came across is. If you head east on Gravel Pit Trail from the main parking area, then turn left on Deep Gully Trail South, you’ll notice that the trail is more like wide singletrack. A little ways down you will see the singletrack pick up to your right. Though not a long stretch by typical measures, it is true singletrack. You will eventually come back out to Gravel Pit Trail, where you can then go left or right. There is certainly more singletrack out here, but like I mentioned, not all of it is represented on the trail map.
Also, just east of the main parking area is a turn-around for horse trailers. There’s a stretch of singletrack here, as well, that eventually comes to a ‘T’. If you go right at this point you will come out onto Park Trail; left will bring you out to Deep Gully Trail South. This particular section can be somewhat of a challenge as it isn’t traveled much, so vegetation, downed branches and face slappers do pose an inconvenience. Solution? Getting more riders on the trails will make the current trails even better.
Is W.G. Jones State Forest worth making a long drive to? Probably not; at least not yet. But with the likes of George Mitchell Nature Preserve and others nearby, it makes a nice side trip. Again, if area advocates can get the State Forest Service to allow the development of singletrack goodness, W.G. Jones State Forest could easily become a destination well worth the drive!
~ MountainBikeTx.com(Apr 2010)