By 1930, loggers had chopped down almost all the pine with any commercial value, leaving behind a few small "islands" of immature trees and remnants of sawmill sites. A dense cover of second-growth pines and hardwoods now fills out the Wilderness, while the more stately longleaf pines have established fiefdoms on the wide, flat ridge tops. The "upland" portion, to the south, rises only a few hundred feet above sea level. The terrain flattens in the northern section, and again in a small southern section bordered by the Neches River and separated from the remainder of the Wilderness by a non-Wilderness road corridor. Upland Island may be the most interesting Texas national forestland acreage, with flora ranging from the carnivorous pitcher plant to wild azaleas and rose pogonias, a member of the orchid family. Water flows in Cypress Creek, Salt Branch, Oil Well Creek, Big Creek, and Graham Creek. Numerous trails give access to the area, some along abandoned roads, and hiking and horseback riding are relatively easy. From a trailhead on Forest Service Road 303 you can hike in one-half mile to join the primary north-south pathway, which crosses the area for approximately six miles.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Upland Island Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.