Karen Borski Somers felt uneasy before deciding to pen a book about the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT). The Texas native was concerned that her book might bring too much attention to the trail and ultimately ruin its beauty and solitude. Fortunately for everyone, she chose to share her love of the trail. Now, 10 years later, Karen has put together an entirely updated new edition of The Lone Star Hiking Trail (November 2019, Wilderness Press).
The book, endorsed by the Lone Star Hiking Trail Club, is a comprehensive guide to the LSHT. It begins with a history of the trail and then delves into need-to-know information about hiking it—from weather to water to regulations to trail ethics. The bulk of the book is spent on detailed descriptions of the 128-mile LSHT. Karen conveniently divides the trail into 11 sections, so readers can learn about—and hike—it in manageable chunks.
Entries for each section begin with a general overview of the trail and include information about trail access and parking, GPS waypoints, accommodations, and water sources. In-depth trail descriptions give readers a breakdown of what to expect along the way, with ratings and descriptions of all major water sources and campsites. Full-color photographs and maps further enhance the usability of each section.
For Karen, the book is a way to show her appreciation for the LSHT.
“Thanks to the vision of others before us, we have a protected footpath,” she says. “We can walk quietly and alone with our thoughts. We can take our children and show them what all of East Texas once was.”
The LSHT is hidden in the depths of Sam Houston National Forest, a little more than an hour from the bustle of downtown Houston. It is a little-known trail that many consider a magical retreat. It is limited to foot travel and is the longest continuously marked hiking trail in Texas.
Karen ultimately chose to write The Lone Star Hiking Trail because of the people living in southeast Texas.
“Many believe—just as I did once—that the best long-distance hiking trails were far away, in other states,” she says. “I figured those were the people who would most love knowing that this long footpath is in their backyard.”
The author took a gamble that a guidebook would benefit the LSHT, and the risk paid off.
“The trail is in better shape, and there are more people now who respectfully walk on, care for, and protect this unique hiking trail. More than ever before, the LSHT is a singularity and a treasure, for us and for the wild things.”
The Lone Star Hiking Trail, 2nd Edition ($18.95, softcover) is available wherever books are sold, including bookstores and gift shops throughout Texas, as well as popular online retailers.
About the Author
Karen Borski Somers is a native of Spring, Texas. She studied biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University and has spent most of her career working for NASA contractors in Clear Lake, Texas, and Huntsville, Alabama. In 1998 she thru-hiked the 2,165-mile Appalachian Trail solo, and in 2004 she hiked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail with her husband, Andy. She has hiked and backpacked in 36 states, logging more than 9,000 trail miles. Karen currently resides with her husband, two daughters, and their hiking Sheltie in northern Alabama.