The Beaumont Enterprise will have a Hearst Fellow this summer who is
biking from the newspaper in Albany, NY to Beaumont. He's got a blog
about his trip at....
He started his three week trip on June 17th, 2006. Thought the group might like following his progress.
The Beaumont Enterprise
March 2006 from Bicycling.com ~~ The riding is beautiful in these 21
bike-embracing cities, with miles of rolling asphalt or undulating
singletrack--or both--stunning scenery, buzzing velo cultures,
forward-thinking urban planners that make room for cyclists and the
kinds of two-wheeled festivals and rides that make you want to visit,
if you don't already live there.
"First ride of spring strains my stamina"
Mr. Borders has written a fine piece about a recent ride in the Lufkin
area. He is an "average" cyclist. He wrote about his clip-shoe woes,
dodging roadside debris, and has a paragraph confiming in great detail
that East Texas as less than bike friendly. So we are not alone! 19
Read It Now!
Southeast Texas is a region of contrasts and excitement. Our goals with the SouthEast Texas Hike &
Bike Coalition are to make more of these areas open to everyone.
The SouthEast Texas Hike
& Bike Coalition is incorporated in the state of Texas and are in
the process of applying for non-profit status with the IRS. The SETHBC
was organized for the purpose of creating (or supporting the creation
of) recreational / alternative transportation trails in SouthEast
Texas. We originally started our organization with the goal of
converting the abandoned railroad corridor alongside Hwy. 124 from
Fannett south to High Island. We thought there was a possibility of
reclaiming this (or part) as a hike, bike, wheelchair, bird-watching,
etc. trail. We are still interested in this project but found that we
needed non-profit status to pursue. Meanwhile, we've gotten involved in
other projects north of Beaumont e.g. Hwy. 69, Kountze, etc. Our
long-term vision is a "recreational / alternative transportation" trail
from High Island to Lufkin. But we want to support any endeavor to
promote recreational / alternative transportation trails (urban and/or
rural) in this area, as these trails serve communities in many
different ways such as:
o Make our community a better place to live by preserving and creating open spaces.
o Encourage physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
o Create new opportunities for outdoor recreation.
o Strengthen local economies.
o Protect the environment.
o Preserve culturally and historically valuable areas.
o Promote safety both in safe riding habits and safe areas to ride.
Below are excerpts from some articles about Hike and Bike Trails after the text will be a link to the original article,
and a second link to an adobe acrobat file of the original artile in case the original is removed from the internet.
ORANGE -- Recently released plans for Orange are reminiscent of San
Antonio's River Walk, with a ferry ride down Adam's Bayou and a luxury
hotel hugging its banks.
Then there's a touch of New Orleans, with a trolley skirting a downtown
of quaint shops and historical buildings.
But wait -- there are echoes of Austin's walking trails along a
waterway, and even Galveston's Moody Gardens, with many acres of
It's a little of all these and more, a distinctive package local
leaders hope to develop and market to tourists as Orange, Texas. http://www.southeasttexaslive.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15652307&BRD=2287&PAG=461&dept_id=512588&rfi=6 "Orange" a must-see place to be
One of our members wrote:
It seems to me these projects could easily be connected together via hike-bike trails. That would give locals a new,
nice, safe place to ride. Also, a bike-rental business similar to the one in Galveston could be launched, since they
would have a scenic trail network with restaurants, shops, historic sites, and other attractions accessible by bike.
If they rented those 4wheel 4 seat buggy things and bikes/trikes with large baskets, tourists could easily shop and
haul their loot on the cycles.
Park with lake among ideas for downtown Beaumont --
Three weeks after announcing a post-Hurricane Rita plan to redevelop
Beaumont's waterfront and continue downtown revitalization, the city's
ambitious vision is snapping into focus. One project the city is moving
forward with is a downtown park. The proposed site is bordered by the
Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway to the west, Crockett Street to the
south, Neches Street to the east and an abandoned rail line on the
north. The 16-acre park will include a 10-acre man-made lake with
walking and jogging trails on the lake's perimeter. "What's great about
downtown is that it's everyone's. There's no West End, North End or
South End," Hayes said. "We want to make downtown attractive for not
only the public, but investors. We want the city to be out front with
that effort." http://www.southeasttexaslive.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15570110&BRD=2287&PAG=461&dept_id=512588&rfi=6 Beaumont Downtown Park1.pdf
Another of our members wrote:
My "pie-in-the-sky" thoughts. I've been interested in the Port Neches Riverfront Park project; now downtown Beaumont
proposed park - not Riverfront - 16 acres "bordered by the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway to the west, Crockett Street
to the south, Neches Street to the east and an abandoned rail line on the north". Of course, there's still Beaumont's
Riverfront Park in the plans and we already have Ford Park. ..........Maybe something in Orange - Vidor - Port Authur -
Kountze - Lumberton - Silsbee?
I can visualize a bike trail connecting these together (an abondoned RR is already one border for the Bmt downtown park)
and each area would also have trails. There may be offshoots to this main trail to other parks, entertainment, lodging,
restaurants, etc.). This network would not necessarily have to be all off-road - some of it may be dedicated bike lanes
on the street. I know it won't happen in my lifetime but I would sure like to see "some seeds planted".
Longtime residents, new citizens or visitors alike may enjoy our
beautiful city through its trails. If you like to walk, run or bike,
you are in the best possible place to participate in these activities.
The City of Austin has developed one of the finest trail systems in the
nation. Currently, over 50 miles of well-surfaced scenic paths follow
natural greenbelts into all areas of the city, making an excellent
trail accesible to all. The Trail Directory provides a complete
directory of all the trails throughout the city with site specific
maps. http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/trails.htm Austin PARD.pdf
Reflections on the beating
heart of Austin
Nov. 10, 2005
XL Cover Story, Nov. 10, 2005: Hike-and-bike trail
Click on the map to open a PDF file of the entire hike-and-bike trail.
We see it, but we don't. We walk it, hike it, bike it, jog it, stroll
it, but we haven't come close to exploring all of it. We routinely
regard the Town Lake hike-and-bike trail as our town square, but when
was the last time we really paid attention? www.austin360.com/hikeandbike_11-10-05 Austin360111005.pdf
In 2003 Charlie Hamilton rode his bike around the country stopping at all 30
Major League ballparks to watch a game at each one. On April 28th he rode into Beaumont, Texas. Below is his journal entry
for the day:
please drive friendly-ly.. uh, friendlyish,
uh, never mind
I Love Texas
My dad will hate to read the above three words, but it's
true. My dad's third favorite thing to do is to bait Texans, preceded
only by baiting Republicans, and playing golf. The people in Texas are
the frendliest I've encountered anywhere. A couple weeks before I was
heading to Houston, I received an email from Steve, a member of SETHBC
(the Southeast Texas Hike and Bike Coalition), asking if I was passing
through Beaumont. I told them I was passing north of there on the Adventure
Cycling route, and he went and found the route, and suggested that I
could swing down to Beaumont, and visit with them for a night, and then
follow their route into Houston.
So, I headed toward Beaumont (passing through the aptly
named Bleakville) down route 96, which was under construction, and I
had my own personal 12 mile stretch of brand-new concrete highway, free
of cars, to ride on. I managed to outrun one group of guys who were
going to try to intercept me north of Lumberton, and was met by Steve
just outside Beaumont. I wasn't sure he was one of the bike club guys,
because he had what looked like the bike I rode when I was 10-years
old in the back of his truck. The bike clubs I'm used to are very competitive,
and practice racing, running pace lines, and the like. That's why I
don't belong to one - I like to go ride around in the country and enjoy
the scenery. Either that, or take the dog and mountain bike out and
ride around in the woods. Well, these guys are different - they ride
together for the fun and cameraderie.
my riding partners into Beaumont
We met up with the other guys, and four of us rode in
to Tom's house, while Tom was nice enough to drive all my packs back
to the house for me. As we were riding along at a nice leisurely pace,
shooting the breeze, it felt the same way it used to feel when I'd grab
my bike and go ride aorund with my friends when I was a kid. I think
this feeling was enhanced by Steve's chopper bike riding alongside.
upgrading my ride
After getting to Tom's house, I showered, and met the
rest of the bike club, which was meeting up for their regular Wednesday
night ride. They were a real nice bunch of folks, and had lots of questions
and encouragement. They had also arranged for a local newspaper reporter
to talk to me and write an article (which you may have already seen).
After the club went off on their ride, I was taken out for a great Tex-Mex
dinner and some beers, and then crashed for the night. Thanks again,
guys - this has been the highlight of the trip so far.
We received this note from Nigel Foster in New Zealand.
Just a small note from the other side of the world , I am very much a fan of rail to trail conversion anywhere.
I hope that this project will become a reality . If you can do similar with other abandoned rail lines in your region,
you can market them as part of a tourist destination for the region.
If you can find photographs of the lines when they were in use , or other historical information you can put
information posts along the way. The following is a map of a nearby rail trail near Wellington
Map of Rimutaka Incline
This is the rail trail over a mountain range , before a 5 mile tunnel was built. The trail is about 8 miles long,
and has 4 tunnels. The Eastern side of the trail was where they had to use special engines with cog wheels to haul
trains up, and act as brakes for downhill trains. (Similar to Mt Washington in New Hampshire)There was 2 villages
that were railway depots , but when the tunnel opened for business , the villages had no more reason to exist.
You can still see alot of railway memorabilia in the vicinity if you look for it ..... . At one point the rail trail
goes past the airduct for the tunnel way down below ....... Summit "station" has basic camping facilities.
I hope you enjoy this, and all the best for Texas rail trail establishment! A link to NZs longest rail trail.
The Nine-county region of
SouthEast Texas spans from the beaches of the Bolivar Peninsula to the
Lakes (Rayburn and Toledo Bend). It's all the area of Texas east of
Houston that filled with exhilarating things to do.
Southeast Texas has more nature tourism acres than the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and the Rocky Mountain
National Park put together. It is our goal to open more of this area up to the public through recreational / alternative
transportation trails (urban and/or rural) these trails could be used for multiple activities including but not limited
to hiking, biking, horseback riding, roller skating/blading, wheelchair/handicap accessibility to the outdoors , and
The Southeast Texas region includes:
Chambers County, including the communities of Anahuac, Hankamer, Mont Belvieu, Stowell, Wallisville, and Winnie.
Galveston County, including the communities of Bacliff, Clear Lake Shores,
Crystal Beach, Dickinson, Friendswood, Galveston, Gilchrist, High Island, Hitchcock, Kemah, La Marque, League City,
Port Bolivar, San Leon, Santa Fe, Texas City.
Hardin County, including the communities of Batson, Kountze, Lumberton, Saratoga, Silsbee, Sour Lake, Thicket, Village
Jasper County, including the communities of Buna, Evadale, Jasper, Kirbyville, Sam Rayburn.
Jefferson County, including the communities of Beaumont, China, Groves, Hamshire, Lakeview, Nederland, Nome, Port Acres,
Port Arthur, Port Neches, Sabine Pass, Voth.
Liberty County, including the communities of Cleveland, Daisetta, Dayton, Devers, Hardin, Hull, Liberty, Raywood,
Newton County, including the communities of Bon Wier, Burkeville, Call, Deweyville, Newton, Wiergate.
Orange County, including the communities of Bridge City, Mauriceville, Orange, Orangefield, Pinehurst, Vidor,
Tyler County, including the communities of Chester, Colmesneil, Dogwood, Doucette, Fred, Hillister, Spurger, Warren,