This is a very easy (mostly paved or packed dirt) loop trail around Elm Lake within Brazos Bend State Park. Elm Lake is the largest a several lakes within the park and is also the favorite spot for the local alligator population. Wildlife abounds here in the lakes and sloughs and, stepping off the main trail into the trees heavy with Spanish moss evokes a sense of some primordial time (or at least something a shade different than downtown Houston.)
There are three short spurs off the main trail that link to other features/trails within Brazos Bend but the main loop comes in at 1.7 miles and the trail hugs the shoreline of Elm Lake for its duration. Heading east from the parking area and observation deck, the trail follows around the contours of the lake as it turns South and then West along the Southern edge of the lake. The shoreline here is dotted with about seven small "piers" for viewing wildlife and/or fishing.
A little less than a mile into the hike this direction, there are a pair of backwoods outhouses and the Pilant Slough Trail spurs off to the South through the trees. This trail is approximately 1 mile long and dead-ends at the nature center and amphitheater.
Elm Lake Trail continues on to the West before turning North a short distance later to follow the lakeshore. At this point, the 1.2 mile-long 40-Acre Lake Trail continues on to the West to access the observation tower and 40-Acre Lake.
Continuing North on Elm Lake Trail will eventually lead you to one last spur, Horseshoe Lake Loop Trail, leading to the Northwest just before returning to the main parking area.