One of the hidden jewels of Texas, the Lone Star Hiking Trail is the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in the state. At 128 miles (including loop trails), it is also the state’s longest continuously marked and maintained footpath. The trail meanders through flat and gently rolling forests of pine, oak, and mixed hardwood, and cypress swamps and bayous in the famed Big Thicket area in east Texas, in the Sam Houston National Forest. The seemingly endless variation of forests, much of it designated wilderness, provides a paradise for tree-lovers and bird watchers year-round. The trail is well-suited for both short and long hikes (of up to 10 days), appealing to dayhikers, overnight backpackers, long-distance hikers, and others seeking a peaceful outing.
Karen Borski Somers is a native of Spring, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. Since 1994, she has worked for NASA in the field of space life sciences research. Karen thru-hiked the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail solo in 1998 and the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail with her husband in 2004. Her trail name is “Nocona,” a Comanche word meaning “the wanderer.” She has hiked and backpacked on trails in 36 states, logging more than 9,000 trail miles, and has bicycled the 4,400-mile Transamerica route across 10 U.S. states from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Karen currently resides with her husband, daughter, and their hiking sheltie in Alabama. They continue their quest to summit every U.S. high point, plan expedition canoe trips, and wander on and off trails.