William Goodrich Jones State Forest Park


This state forest is 1,745 acres located in southern Conroe just west of IH 45 on Hwy 1488.   There are so many hiking trails that I will not be able to tell you about all of them – but we will concentrate on an easy one called Middle Pond Trail that is a nice, easy and relaxing trail for you to take your dog on.  There are 2 ponds or small lakes, wide trails, picnic areas and loads of trees.


Following the trail on the way to Middle Pond

Natural Trails:  Starting off from the Jones Lake parking lot on the NW corner of Hwy 1488 is Jones Lake.  Check out the fun waterfront area, picnic area and fishing area.  You will cross over some small wood bridges and move into the wider, open trails.  Head due south towards Middle Pond for a lovely hike.    You will run into Middle Pond on your right.  The trails cross over.   You can continue around past the pond to take Jones trail back to the parking lot or you can do like we did and turn around and see what we missed.

Dog Friendly:  You will most definitely run into other people walking their dogs.   Very dog friendly.   There is a leash requirement; however, I sighted several dog owners allowing there dogs to walk freely.   So keep your eyes open if your dog is not as friendly as the one who is off leash.  Be aware near the water ponds – this is where the dogs are off leash and playing in the water.

The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker:  Protected in this State Park is this black and white endangered bird.  There are lots of breeding and nesting areas.  Some trails are blocked thru July 15th during this season.  (see photo).

The Park:  This is a State Park without any facilities.   No restrooms, no doggie poop bags, no water, no trash cans.   You are going out into nature – so be prepared with water for your dog, a drinking container, snacks and poop bags.   Bring your backpack with a picnic lunch and make it a fun adventure.   There are some signs along the way to help direct you.

There are a great many trails and I have found a picture (shown below).  You might try to print it to carry with you if you are going to try some new trails.   I am mainly focusing on Middle Lake Trail that starts at Jones Lake and goes to Middle Lake.   There are some side trails that narrow down if you are interested in something more adventurous.   If you are taking your dogs – be sure to watch out for snakes on the smaller trails.

Other entrances:   I am still looking for all the parking and entrances to this State Park.  I did notice one on the eastern side of Hwy 1488 (southside).  There is a parking area for horse trailers – but I have yet to find it.   Also, at 1328 FM 1488 Rd is the State Forest Office and info area (north side).

History:  The park was purchased by the State of Texas in 1926.  It is named after William Goodrich Jones (1860-1950) who is known as the “Father of Texas Forestry”.  See more


  • All Pets must be on leash
  • No Alcohol
  • No Smoking
  • No Weapons
  • Horses allowed
  • Bikes allowed
  • No person should harm wildlife
  • No Fireworks or explosives
  • Pack it in – Pack it out – And leave no trace
  • See all other park Rules

OPEN:   Daytime – Closed at Dark.   LOCATION:   4000 FM 1488 Road, Conroe, TX.   Off IH 45 go west on Hwy 1488 Road approximately 1.7 miles.   Jones Lake Parking Parking Area will be on the left (south side)   Map:  Map