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Explore, Enjoy and Protect

Houston Regional Group - Get Outdoors - Explore and Enjoy the Planet

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Outings (by date) Outings Guidelines Anytime Outings Outings Leader Training

Be sure to check the Houston Sierra Club MeetUp page here for updates!

OUTINGS (BY DATE)

Work Day

SERVICE - October 4, 2014 (Sat.) - MARYSEE PRAIRIE WORK DAY

The Marysee Prairie is one of the last remnants of tallgrass prairie in the Big Thicket region. Come assist the Texas Land Conservancy in this ongoing effort to revive and maintain the native grasses and wildflowers on this site near Batson, Texas.
Work tasks vary by month, but usually involve controlling the regrowth of woody species and keeping the prairie clear for mowing. Tools provided. Check the Meetup site for updates.
For more information and to confirm work dates, contact Tom Maddux at 936-697-3425, or Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

Work Day

TRAIL WORK - October 18, 2014 (Sat.) - TRAIL MAINTENANCE HIKE IN SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL FOREST

Enjoy a trail maintenance hike on the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest. The part of the trail to be maintained will be chosen based on current trail conditions.
Bring your daypack, two quarts of water, lunch, hiking shoes, hat, insect repellent, and clothes to fit the weather.
We will meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot behind the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) at I-45 North and Greens Road. Look for a maroon and silver F-150 truck. To reach the parking lot, enter from the feeder road off I-45 North, via the Greens Road exit, and then pass through the traffic signal at Greens Road. Turn right into the first strip center you come to (look for Brown Sugar's Barbecue) and drive to the end of the strip center. The parking lot behind IHOP is on the right.
Contact Darrell Matula at 281-667-7024 or drmatula@verizon.net for additional details.
Please supply your name and contact information in case we need to contact you.
Check the Houston Sierra Club Meetup site on the web for possible updates and sign up there.

Work Day

SERVICE - October 18, 2014 (Sat.) - FIRST SERVICE OUTING VIA CANOE AT DAVIS HILL STATE PARK

This is our first service outing via canoe to Davis Bayou within Davis Hill State Park. Sometimes the only way to get to those pesky tallow trees is by canoe. We will launch at Davis Hill State Park and travel with both paddle and hatchet in hand. We'll hack and spray from the canoe. We have restored prairie and killed tallow in the lowlands before, but always on foot. Davis Bayou itself is a beautiful stream studded with cypress trees. As any canoeist will tell you, you can see places in a canoe that you just can't reach on foot. This is an opportunity to see a truly natural state park while you volunteer to control invasive plants and help preserve plant diversity.
We will work with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff, who will guide our work party. Volunteers should gather at 8 a.m. in Cleveland. The exact site is being determined. The distance from downtown Houston is about 50 miles.
We'll caravan to Davis Hill State Park and arrive about 8:30 a.m. After a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m., we'll continue until 2:30 p.m. and then start back to the vehicles. Contact Evelyn Merz at elmerz@hal-pc.org for more information.

Canoe/Kayak

CANOE/KAYAK - October 25, 2014 (Sat.) - EAST FORK OF DOUBLE BAYOU CANOE/KAYAK

Observe wildlife and hear tales of history along Double Bayou as you enjoy a day-long paddle on the east side of Trinity Bay, several miles south of the community of Anahuac. Visit waters that have stood silent witness to pirates' exploits, pioneer settlements, and the birth of a future Texas governor.
We will see a rich variety of habitats, ranging from salt and freshwater marshes to prairies, oak domes, and pine forest. There are also docks for recreational and shrimp boats, and two conveniently located Chambers County parks.
Following completion of the outing, paddlers and accompanying persons are invited for a Dutch treat seafood meal at a local watering hole.
Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak, life jackets (required to be worn), and paddles. The trip leader can help you with advice regarding gear rentals from Houston area outfitters, if needed.
Paddling time: 3-4 hours, plus breaks for sightseeing and lunch.
Difficulty: moderate.
Recommended donation to the Houston Sierra Club: $10.
Trip size is limited. To register, contact Tom Douglas at baymail@sbcglobal.net or (713) 869-6026. A detailed trip information sheet will be sent by email to registered participants.

Service

SERVICE - October 25, 2014 (Sat.) - NORTH JETTY BEACH CLEANUP

The Houston Group has adopted this stretch of beach as part of the Texas "Adopt-A-Beach Program." The North Jetty is a popular fishing, crabbing, and birding spot on the Bolivar Peninsula just south of the Audubon Society's Bolivar Flats Sanctuary. Because this site is heavily used, trash and litter have become a problem. Much of the trash, such as discarded fishing line and plastics, are hazards to area wildlife.
It is interesting to visit the jetty in different seasons. To sign up, contact Frank Blake, frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896 or sign up at the Houston Sierra Club Outings Meetup website. Additional details will be emailed to participants.

Service

SERVICE - November 1, 2014 (Sat.) - MARYSEE PRAIRIE WORK DAY

The Marysee Prairie is one of the last remnants of tallgrass prairie in the Big Thicket region. Come assist the Texas Land Conservancy in this ongoing effort to revive and maintain the native grasses and wildflowers on this site near Batson, Texas.
Work tasks vary by month, but usually involve controlling the regrowth of woody species and keeping the prairie clear for mowing. Tools provided.
Check the Meetup site for updates.
For more information and to confirm work dates, contact Tom Maddux at 936-697-3425, or Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

Hike

HIKE - November 15, 2014 (Sat.) - BIRDING IN ANAHUAC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, the Houston Sierra Club will visit Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for a day of birding. We should see shorebirds, songbirds, wading birds, raptors, ducks, and many other feathered friends.
Bring your daypack, water, lunch, hiking shoes, cameras, bug repellant, sunscreen, field guides, binoculars, spotting scopes, and clothes to fit the weather. Long pants are strongly encouraged. We should be back in Houston about 5 p.m.
We will meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a silver-gray Honda Civic with lots of bumper stickers.
If you would like to come, you can sign up at the Houston Sierra Club Meetup site, call 713-664-5962, or email brandtshnfbt@juno.com. In case of trip cancellation you will be contacted.
For those who want to meet us at the ANWR gift shop at about 9 a.m. the directions are: Go east on I-10 until you come to State Highway 61 (about 45 miles). Turn right (south) on State Highway 61 until you come to the State Highway 65/FM 562 intersection. Continue south (straight) on FM 562. When you get to the FM 562/FM 1985 intersection, turn left on FM 1985 and go about 12 miles and turn right at the refuge sign and follow the road to ANWR.

Canoe/Kayak

CANOE/KAYAK - November 16, 2014 (Sun.) - CYPRESS CREEK CANOE/KAYAK

Along its path through the forested areas of northern Harris County, Cypress Creek flows past numerous parks and other points of interest. As a significant source of drinking water for the Houston region, it also illustrates some of the water quality issues posed by increasing urbanization.
Because this trip is farther inland than many of our other paddles, it begins to take on more of the characteristics of a river trip. There is likely to be a noticeable current, so that good boat control and some experience with paddling in moving water will be very helpful. Being farther inland, the river banks are also steeper and higher than we usually encounter on coastal trips.
You will need sturdy shoes that provide good traction at the river bank, and will probably get muddy.
In the event of unusually high or low water levels, it may become necessary to move this outing to an alternative location or to postpone it until the rain date of November 22.
Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak, life jackets (required to be worn), and paddles. The trip leader can help you with advice regarding gear rentals from Houston area outfitters, if needed.
Paddling time: 4-5 hours, plus breaks for sightseeing and lunch.
Difficulty: moderate to strenuous.
Recommended donation to the Houston Sierra Club: $10.
Trip size is limited. To register, contact Tom Douglas at baymail@sbcglobal.net or (713) 869-6026. A detailed trip information sheet will be sent by email to registered participants.

Canoe/Kayak

CANOE/KAYAK - December 6, 2014 (Sat.) - CYPRESS WONDERLAND CANOE/KAYAK

Experience the maze of lakes and shaded, winding bayous deep within the heart of the largest cypress forest on the Texas coast. This is one of the most scenic paddling destinations in this part of our state, and it is located only 30 miles east of Houston.
Depending on the water and weather conditions, we will focus on one or more of the area's many features: wildlife, river processes, Texas history, and the impact of human interventions.
Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak, life jackets (required to be worn), and paddles. The trip leader can help you with advice regarding gear rentals from Houston area outfitters, if needed.
Paddling time: 4-5 hours, plus breaks for sightseeing and lunch.
Difficulty: moderate to strenuous.
Recommended donation to the Houston Sierra Club: $10.
Trip size is limited. To register, contact Tom Douglas at baymail@sbcglobal.net or (713) 869-6026. A detailed trip information sheet will be sent by email to registered participants.

Hike

HIKE - December 6, 2014 (Sat.) - LITTLE LAKE CREEK WILDERNESS AREA
CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF WILDERNESS

On Saturday, December 6, 2014, join the Houston Sierra Club as we walk on the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area in Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF). This hike celebrates the 50th anniversary of the passage of The Wilderness Act in 1964. We will enjoy beautiful early winter weather so blow the cobwebs off and come on out.
Bring your daypack, hat, water, lunch, binoculars, hiking shoes, camera, field guides, and clothes to fit the weather. Long pants are strongly encouraged. We should be back in Houston about 4 p.m.
We will meet to carpool/caravan at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a Silver Honda Civic with lots of bumper stickers.
For those who want to meet us north of Houston, be at the SHNF District Ranger Office (394 FM 1375 West, New Waverly, Texas 77358) front parking lot by 9 a.m.
If you would like to come, you can sign up at the Houston Sierra Club Meetup site, call 713-664-5962, or email brandtshnfbt@juno.com. In case of trip cancellation you will be contacted.

Service

SERVICE - December 6, 2014 (Sat.) - MARYSEE PRAIRIE WORK DAY

The Marysee Prairie is one of the last remnants of tallgrass prairie in the Big Thicket region. Come assist the Texas Land Conservancy in this ongoing effort to revive and maintain the native grasses and wildflowers on this site near Batson, Texas.
Work tasks vary by month, but usually involve controlling the regrowth of woody species and keeping the prairie clear for mowing. Tools provided.
Check the Meetup site for updates.
For more information and to confirm work dates, contact Tom Maddux at 936-697-3425, or Frank Blake at frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896.

Hike

HIKE - January 10, 2015 (Sat.) - TRIP TO BRAZORIA COUNTY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES

On Saturday, January 10, 2015, the Houston Sierra Club will visit Brazoria and San Bernard National Wildlife Refuges. The winter weather will make this visit very pleasant. We will look for wildlife of all kinds but particularly birds like shorebirds, songbirds, wading birds, ducks, and raptors.
Bring your daypack, water, lunch, hiking shoes, cameras, bug repellant, sunscreen, field guides, binoculars, spotting scopes, and clothes to fit the weather. Long pants are highly recommended. We will get back to Houston between 5 and 6 p.m.
We will meet to carpool/caravan at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (next to Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza fronting the 4700 block of Beechnut near the West Loop South. Look for a silver-gray Honda Civic with lots of bumper stickers.
For those who want to meet us at about 9 a.m. at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge's visitor center the directions are as follows: Go south from Houston on State Highway (SH) 288. Exit from SH 288 to SH 288 Business in Angleton. Turn left onto SH 288 Business and go south toward Downtown Angleton. At the intersection of SH 288 and FM 523 turn left onto FM 523. At the intersection of FM 523 and County Road (CR) 227 (Hoskins Mound Road) turn left onto CR 227 and go 1.7 miles to the refuge entrance.
If you would like to come, you can sign up at the Houston Sierra Club Meetup site, call 713-664-5962, or email brandtshnfbt@juno.com. In case of trip cancellation you will be contacted.

Service

SERVICE - February 7, 2015 (Sat.) - KATY PRAIRIE SERVICE OUTING

On Saturday, February 7, 2015, join the Houston Sierra Club on a visit to the beautiful Katy Prairie. We will help the Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) on this service trip by either getting our hands "dirty" doing some nursery work with native grasses and wildflowers or some other fun activity at the Indian Grass Preserve and Field Office. The morning should be cool with a harbinger of spring in the air.
After our project we will enjoy birding, strolling, and just relaxing on the Katy Prairie. Bring your daypack, water (at least two quarts), lunch, hiking shoes, cameras, bug repellant, sunscreen, field guides, binoculars, and clothes to fit the weather. We should be back about 5 p.m.
We will meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a silver-gray Honda Civic with bumper-stickers on the back.
Contact Brandt Mannchen at the Houston Sierra Club outings meet-up site, 713-664-5962, or brandtshnfbt@juno.com . If there is any change in plans Brandt will contact you.
For those who want to meet us at the KPC Indian Grass Preserve and Field Office at about 9 a.m. the directions are:
1. Go Interstate 10 West past Katy, exit and turn right (north) onto Pederson Road, and then go about one-half mile to U.S. Highway 90.
2. Turn left (west) onto U.S. Highway 90, go about one-half mile, and then turn right onto FM 2855.
3. Go about 6 miles on FM 2855 and stop at FM 529. After you cross FM 529, FM 2855 is called Morrison Road. Go 1 mile and turn left. You will still be on Morrison Road.
4. Go 1 mile on Morrison Road and at the stop sign turn right (north) onto Pattison Road. Go 3 miles on Pattison Road and stop at Hebert Road. Turn left (west) onto Hebert Road.
5. Go 1 mile on Herbert Road to the KPC Indian Grass Preserve and Field Office entrance road. Turn left (south) onto the entrance road, drive 0.3 miles, and park in front of the Field Office.

OUTINGS GUIDELINES

All Sierra Club events are open to members and visitors alike.   Please join us.

Outings note: The leaders of our trips are serving in a volunteer capacity and assume no responsibility above that of trip organizer. Please respect the wishes of your leader. If you have any medical requirements, it is your responsibility to inform the leader before the trip. While our trip leaders are not paid professionals, they are encouraged to participate in training to increase their skills. All outings officially begin at the trailhead. Leaders cannot assign carpools but may help coordinate ride sharing to conserve energy and to promote camaraderie. Some outings require advance reservations at the destination site as well as from the participant. If you must cancel, inform the leader promptly.

* The events marked with an asterisk are not sponsored by the Sierra Club Houston Group, but are presented here as a courtesy to our members and friends.  The Sierra Club Houston Regional Group makes no representations nor assumes any responsibility for these activities.

Houston Sierra Club Weekend Outings

Weekend outings events of two to three days in duration and involve destinations within a few hundred miles of Houston.    All outings officially begin at the trailhead. Leaders cannot assign carpools but may help coordinate ride sharing to conserve energy and to promote camaraderie. Some outings require advance reservations at the destination site as well as from the participant.

How our outings program works

    Houston Sierra Club outings are open to members and non-members alike. The leaders of our trips serve in a volunteer capacity and assume no responsibility above that of trip organizer. All trips require appropriate physical conditioning.  If you have special medical requirements or any condition that might affect your ability to participate in the trip, it is your responsibility to inform the trip leader before departure. While our trip leaders are not paid professionals, they are encouraged to participate in training to increase their skills. All outings officially begin at the trailhead. If you must cancel a reservation, inform the leader promptly.   The deposit requirements and refund policy of each trip are available from the trip leader.  Please obtain and review them prior to making your deposit.

Trip planning notes:su1.jpg (16738 bytes)

  • Remember to verify any listed dates with the trip coordinator before you make long range vacation plans. Sometimes dates initially selected have to be changed.

  • The airfare cost is quoted separately from the trip cost. When airfare payment is required, participants will make a separate payment to the specified travel agent.

  • The trip cost normally covers all ground transportation, lodging, camping and park fees, and club administrative overhead. Food and camping gear are to be supplied by the participants.

  • Please note that prices listed may be tentative.

    In order to participate in one of the Sierra Club's outings, you will need to sign a liability waiver.  A copy of this waiver can be found here.

    In the interests of facilitating the logistics of some outings, it is customary that participants make carpooling arrangements.  The Sierra Club does not  provide insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them.  Carpooling, ride sharing or any similar activity is strictly a private arrangement among the participants.  Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.

Sierra Club is a California non profit corporation, with "California Seller of Travel" registration number: CST 2087766-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California."

Outings Committee Volunteers

Houston Group Outings and Trips are coordinated by our Group's Outings Committee.  If you'd like to help with these efforts, new members are welcome.  Our Outings Committee meets monthly.  Please see our on-line calendar for the time and place.

ANYTIME OUTINGS

Houston Area Anytime Outings

Even if you're new to Houston, you've probably already realized that we have less open space per capita than most other major cities in the US.  Statewide, less than 3% of land is publicly owned.  Nonetheless, there are a number of great places to get out and enjoy a pretty day.  

Metro Houston - from the Woodlands to Pearland to Sugarland, Brookshire to Baytown, and places in-between

Southeast Texas - from Buffalo to Bridge City, Coldspring to Columbus, Lake Jackson to LaGrange, all around Southeast Texas

OUTINGS LEADER TRAINING

OUTINGS LEADER TRAINING - DATES: ARRANGED WITH PARTICIPANTS We are always looking to maintain and expand our pool of outings leaders. We have two categories of training: Outings Leader (for leading in the field) or Trip Coordinator. Our leader training (OLT 101) provides participants with the background requirements for leading a Sierra Club outing in the field. This class is a qualification to become an asst. leader or leader on our air/bus trips, or to sponsor local day or weekend outings. The trip coordinator class covers all the steps involved in planning one of our air/bus trips. The trip coordinators are the ones who decide on a destination and are then responsible for the overall planning and organization. This includes making air/bus arrangements, publicizing the trip, etc. (One can assist with trip coordinating without having to lead a group in the field). Besides gaining rewarding personal experience, our group leaders and trip coordinators make an invaluable contribution to the Sierra Club. Their efforts create unique opportunities for others to experience and enjoy the natural world. And some trips serve as a source of revenue for the Houston Group, helping to support local conservation activities. If you have an interest in either of these classes, contact Frank Blake, frankblake@juno.com or 713-528-2896. Each class is approximately 2 hours long, and dates are coordinated with participants.

LEADER REIMBURSEMENT FOR CLASSES

The Houston Group Executive Committee has approved the following policy:

Certified Houston Sierra outings leaders can receive a $25 reimbursement toward their First Aid Class certification expenses for each class that they organize and conduct, provided that the class nets at least $25 in income. Reimbursements can not exceed the amount paid out by the outings leader for the First Aid Class. Nor can the amount of reimbursement exceed the income netted by the class. For a class such as Backpacking Basics, which includes both a classroom session and a separate field session, each session would qualify for a $25 reimbursement. There would also be a limit of 2 leaders for any particular class (i.e., if more than 2 leaders assist with a class, only the 2 primary leaders would qualify for the reimbursement).

Last updated: 10/5/2014.   Content 1999-2014 by the Sierra Club.