• Activities:

    Camping, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    10 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    0 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Lake
Scenic

Escape the big city by taking a journey on the quiet and peaceful 10 mile Four Notch Loop Trail.

The Four Notch Loop is a relaxing ~10 mile hike just north of Houston. The southern half of the loop follows on a 4 mile stretch of the 140 mile Lone Star Hiking Trail while the north part circles back to complete the loop. 

From the large dirt and leaf covered Four Notch and Hunter Camp TH hike .3 miles until you reach the loop junction. From here you can choose to travel left to hike the Four Notch Loop section of the trail OR you can go right and begin on the Lone Star Trail section of the loop. Either way you end up where you started, and the trail is relatively similar in both directions.

The entire Four Notch Loop meanders through tall pine trees, along a soft pine needle and leaf covered single track trail and the elevation remains constant except for the steep ups and downs across the creek ravines. The trail is well marked (silver/red marks for Four Notch Loop and white markings for the Lone Star Trail). Towering trees provide shade throughout. There is not much water along the way, and the water you do encounter is not the most appetizing, so make sure to pack enough for the often hot and humid weather southeast Texas weather.

Four Notch Loop Portion:

This is the northern half of the loop and it brings you through a controlled burn region. Depending on the last burn the amount of vegetation and leaves on the ground can vary. It’s quite a unique experience to see a blank forest floor beneath the pines, and to be honest, a little eerie!

Overnight Camp - On this part of the trail is Hidden Lake, which is a perfect campsite for a relaxing overnight.

Note: This section of the trail crosses several logging roads, which depending on your map, may or may not be marked. Just be aware of these roads and try to not get too turned around! However, in order to find Hidden Lake you’ll need to hike on one of these roads, so use a map with those marked.

Lone Star Portion (mile 45-50)

The Lone Star Trail is well marked (white chips) and covers the southern half of the loop. Be careful as it may inspire you to come back to hike the entire 140-mile trail.   

Note of Caution: During the deer hunting season (September – January) it is open, and a popular spot, for deer hunting, so avoid it during this time!

Pack List

  • Water (2-3 L)
  • Compass
  • Map
  • Snacks for the trail
  • If doing an overnight (enough water or filtration)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Bryan Young

Living the adventure that is life! Always up for an adventure, a camping trip, or a run!

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