The new Spring Creek Nature Trail broke ground on Friday morning, located on the 1,700-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve.
The new trailhead will be in the Village of Creekside Park, off Creekside Forest Drive, at the end of Dr. Ann Snyder Way.
The creation of the hiking trail is made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA), which was then transferred to the Bayou Land Conservatory in 2014.
Collaborators on this project are The Woodlands Township, Bayou Land Conservatory, The Woodlands Development Company, Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA), Harris County Precinct 4 and Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI).
Before any construction, a historical and archeological study was completed by the Bayou Land Conservatory to ensure no natural resources would be impacted. Executive Director of Bayou Land Conservatory Jill Boullion said the project prior to groundbreaking involved over 440 hours of volunteer service.
The natural-surface trail will begin in Harris County and move through Montgomery County along Spring Creek Greenway on an 11-mile path. This is the fourth trailhead in George Mitchell Nature Preserve, and it is set to be completed by June 2018.
"Stop and listen," said President of The Woodlands Development Company Tim Welbes. "All of that hard work results in a moment when you can unplug, leave your cell phone off, walk a few hundred feet and you're in stone silence. And that's pretty magical given the digital world we live in, so that to me is what this facility is all about."
Land Stewardship Director for Bayou Land Conservatory Suzanne Simpson said machinery to make the trail will only be used when necessary, all other labor will be done by "sweat equity." Construction will involve restoring old trails, creating new trails and cutting a few trees, while still protecting the natural values.
"Because we're a conservatory organization and because some of the land the trails are going to be on are on conservation easement, the trails are going to be created using the least impactful methods as possible," Simpson said.
To become a volunteer and help with the construction of the Spring Creek Nature Trail, contact the Bayou Land Conservatory by phone at 281-576-1634, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.