W G JONES STATE FOREST
The W G Jones State Forest is a picturesque natural haven, encompassing 1,722 acres of lush woodlands and sprawling meadows. This forest offers a serene escape from bustling city life, showcasing a diverse array of native flora and fauna. With its well-maintained trails and recreational facilities, visitors can explore the tranquil beauty of the forest while engaging in activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. The forest also serves as an important research and conservation area, with ongoing efforts to preserve its unique ecosystems and educate the public about the significance of sustainable forestry practices. Overall, the W G Jones State Forest provides a captivating glimpse into the natural heritage of Texas, inviting visitors to reconnect with nature and appreciate the untamed splendor that the Lone Star State has to offer.
The forest was originally part of a Spanish land grant and was acquired by William Goodrich Jones in the late 19th century. Jones was an influential lumberman and philanthropist who recognized the importance of preserving the forest for future generations. He started the Jones family legacy of forest stewardship by selectively harvesting and replanting trees.
After his death, the Jones family continued to manage and protect the forest. In the late 1920s, they established the Jones Forest Demonstration Farm to educate the public about sustainable forestry practices, which marked the beginning of the forest's role in education and research.
The land's significance grew over time, and in 1926, the Texas Forest Service recognized it as a demonstration forest. It later became a state forest when it was transferred to the Texas A&M Forest Service's ownership in 1932.
During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a vital role in the development of the forest. CCC workers planted trees, constructed roads and fire lanes, and built the infrastructure necessary for public use. Many of these structures, such as the picnic areas and buildings, are still present today.