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Canoeing & Kayaking

 

Lake Stubblefield, New Waverly, Texas, USA

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Copyright 2001 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Marilyn Kircus mkircus@academicplanet.com with photos by Linda Hickson
  • Date Submitted: 12/2001
  • Location: town of New Waverly, Texas, USA
  • Class: I
  • Distance Paddled: About 9 miles – could be longer or shorter
  • Water Level: not relevant
  • Water: fresh
  • Wildlife: Great egrets, great blue herons, ring-billed gulls, Forrester terns, osprey, coots, double-crested cormorants, white pelicans, black vultures, cypress , palmettos, other riparian plants, grasses.
  • Special Regulations:

Entry

  • Directions: We put in and took out at Lake Stubblefield Recreational area in Sam Houston National Forest. - Land directions to the Entry or alternate entry point(s): Go north on I-45 from Houston past Conroe to the Waverly exit. Take 1375 west about 10 miles, across the bridge over Lake Conroe to Forest Service Road 215. I never saw the road signs, just a sign to Lake Stubblefield. Follow this road, taking the right fork when if forks. The boat launch is past the camping area and across the little bridge on the left.
  • Fee: none
  • Description: It is just dirt and grass with a sandy bottom so makes a nice place to put your boat in without getting it scratched.
  • Parking: Park along the road before or after the bridge. Road is gravel.
  • Facilities: Lake Stubblefield Recreational Area and has camping with a bathroom with running water and wheelchair access. It also has a day use area. It is on the Lone Star Hiking Trail and also accesses several bike trails, as well offering fishing from the bank, a bridge, or by boat, so there is a lot to do here.
  • Handicap Access: accessible restrooms
 

What We Saw

Linda Hickson led a lovely trip to the San Jancinto River and Lake Conroe. We put in in Sam Houston National Forest just beyond the lake Stubblefield campground. (I was a little confused - I came thinking I was at Lake Stubblefield to paddle but then the put-in was in the San Jancinto River and we were planning to paddle down to the 1375 bridge over Lake Conroe. But I found out that after Lake Conroe got built, Lake Stubblefield became a part of Lake Conroe. Today it exists as a little side lake off the main trail but is apparently open so one can paddle from the San Jancinto river into the north end of the lake and then take a path through the heavy vegetation - lots of hydrilla - back to the river and on into Lake Conroe from the south end. And the lake is just pond sized. )

Five of us elected to paddle this afternoon trip. We paddled down the river, which wound through banks full of palmettos and trees, down a channel marked by islands of hydrilla, then in and then through a stand of skeletons of drowned trees. These were just after we entered the main lake. Some had been reduced to stumps which were just below the surface. Two of them almost dumped me when I hit them. After we came out of the narrow river channel, the lake was very wide with Forester terns fishing ahead of us a few ring billed gulls flying about, and lots of cormorants sitting in trees drying their wings or swimming and diving.

Several great egrets were fishing in the hydrilla along the edge of the lake. We also had a small flock of 4 white pelicans and 1 cormorant flying over us. I think the cormorants - these are the double crested variety - have learned to stay close to the white pelicans to make getting a meal easier. When I came over the bridge on 1375, there were about 30 pelicans with at least as many cormorants swimming among them. White pelicans typically fish by getting in a circle and herding fish towards the middle and catching them as they try to swim back out. I expect the cormorants dive into the center of all this for fish of their own.

The week before, Linda and Tony had put in at the 1375 bridge and paddled downstream. They had seen lots of pelicans and cormorants, some ducks and several osprey. We didn't see any osprey today but I thought I saw one as I crossed the bridge going back home. I did see a small flock of coots swimming just south of the bridge.

  After we reached the bridge, we paddled only a little ways further to look for birds and then started back. Most of the way back was into a nice breeze which would have made us cold if we hadn't been paddling. By this time the sunlight was softening to evening gold and making everything super radiant. Some of the hydrilla was even blooming and the violet flowers looked beautiful in the light. Again I was reminded beauty and goodness do not necessarily go hand in hand and certainty don't in the case of hydrilla which is the bane of boatman and also destroys native water plants when it grows super thick.