Lost Highway 87

3.4/5 (5 reviews)
Port Arthur, Texas (Jefferson County)
Last Updated: 10/30/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Of all the beach runs in Texas, the Lost Highway 87 run offers an eerie reminder of the destructive damage and erosion caused by past storms. What was once a state highway lined with homes and businesses is now mere scattered ruins along a narrowly passable 20 mile stretch of beach. Awareness of the tide charts is key to making the run comfortably and legally along the shoreline. Running from Sabine Pass in Jefferson County to High Island on the Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston County, the “Lost Highway 87” runs primarily along McFaddin Beach. Adding to the mystic of the run is the fact that the mid-sections along McFaddin Beach are (albeit illegally) visited by those enjoying nude sun bathing during the warmer months, though local custom courtesy does require those sun bathers to cover with a towel as approaching traffic make their way down the beach. Still, one may wish to use discretion when bringing children on the run during peak summer months.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

3.4/5 (5 reviews)
John-Paul Clark
Official Crew
6200
Status: Temporary Closure
Rated 3/5
Visited: 10/30/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We had heard rumor that this route was permanently closed, so we went to explore. After doing a bit of research, we learned that McFadden Beach is currently undergoing restoration and as such, is TEMPORARILY closed. The beach should be fully reopened late 2023. For more details, check out this article: https://www.therecordlive.com/story/2022/08/03/news/shoreline-restoration-work-to-begin-at-mcfaddin-national-wildlife-refuge/32029.html
Trail Review: Lost Highway 87 - John-Paul Clark
Trail Review: Lost Highway 87 - John-Paul Clark
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Status: Permanently Closed
Rated 3/5
Visited: 09/24/2022

This trail is in the ocean now. They are restoring the beach where the road used to and you cannot access the area with a vehicle. You can drive up and down the beach though which is nice. ****note this coming from the port Arthur side of the trail. I can’t speak for the west side.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/01/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Drove it today, and had a ton of fun, despite the rain. This has definitely gotten more difficult in the past few years. There's at least one cut through the beach that I don't remember being there in the past that you'll need to ford. There's a small mud step on one side. It's nothing crazy, but the mud is slick and you can get stuck if you pick the wrong line. If you're heading east from high Island, the first few miles are the roughest. (And if you're heading west, the roughest is at the end) There's some deep soft sand and significant stretches where you can't drive on the beach. There are a few sections where you'll want some (9" ish or more - nothing crazy) ground clearance and will need to take care in some of the ruts to avoid getting high centered if you don't have it. The eastern/northern section is mostly beach driving and much easier so long as you're not right at high tide and the surf's not too high.
Trail Review: Lost Highway 87 - Joe Kington
Trail Review: Lost Highway 87 - Joe Kington
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John-Paul Clark
Official Crew
6200
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 10/03/2020

While the Lost Highway 87 run has always been one to reveal the impacts of erosion and tropical storms, the 2020 season left a marked and very substantial impact to the beach. What were once large stretches of sandy beach have now been washed away from storm surge, leaving only bare, exposed muddy ocean bottom. Stretches of grassy areas just above the prior high tide line have been killed from salt and other mineral deposits left from the storm surges of Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Beta. We noticed that some stretches of wire fencing appeared to have been moved inland, making our journey legally possible if we hugged the fence line. Remnants of the old Highway 87; which used to be a playground for 3 to 4 vehicles at a time, have now been deteriorated and washed away to just a small pad barely large enough for one vehicle. Even the old "McFaddin Beach" sign has been destroyed by the storms - leaving only the 2 posts that once held it in place. With massive sections of sandy beach "GONE", we found ourselves traveling along the newly emerging route just above the now dead grass; along what will surely be the new vegetation line as those dead vegetation sections decompose to create new beach. While technically still traversable, the stretch now requires much more attention and thought in order to avoid getting stuck in the muddy sections. 4WD is now an absolute must during even the best of tides and conditions.
Trail Review: Lost Highway 87 - John-Paul Clark
Trail Review: Lost Highway 87 - John-Paul Clark
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Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 03/05/2020

This trail was much more difficult than bollivar. Long stretches were we didn’t see anyone. Gets pretty narrow at high tide but we squeezed through. I imagine if the wind blew the tide higher that you’d have to turn around so go at low tide. Sand was deep in 3 places and I definitely wouldn’t try in a 2wd at the end of the day. Sand was much more packed early. Was cool to see the old crumbled hwy and just the look of it kept most people out of the area so we could give the kids a little more freedom.

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