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San Angelo State Park

Trail (4.36)218
(1.23) (4.65)
50.00 Miles N/A
N/A
N/A Yes
$4.00 More Info
San Angelo Tom Green
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San Angelo SP (Photo by Eveline) San Angelo SP You can almost see the lake. (Photo by Eveline) San Angelo SP Near Burkett Park Trailhead (Photo by MikeHikes)
San Angelo SP Looking toward the dried up lake (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking North from Isabel Harte Day Use Area Looking to the North from the southern end of the Winding Snake Trail at the Isabel Harte Day Use Area. (Photo by MikeHikes) San Angelo SP Turkey Creek Southern terminus of Turkey Creek Trail - looking North. (Photo by MikeHikes)
San Angelo SP Typical trail (Photo by MikeHikes) San Angelo SP Another trail view. Some are hiker and biker others hiker and equestrian. (Photo by MikeHikes) Bell All North Shore trails begin here. Info kiosk but no water - make sure you have plenty before starting a hike. UPDATE - the info kiosk has been destroyed by high winds 7-30-14. (Photo by MikeHikes)
North Shore   Beginning of Dinosaur Trail Most of the trail is hard packed dirt; some portions are wide, others not so much. (Photo by MikeHikes) Along Dinosaur Trail The ever present prickly pear and mesquite trees. (Photo by MikeHikes) North Shore Dinosaur Trail - Wide open spaces This trail has quite a bit of wide open spaces. Can be extremely hot in the Summer (Photo by MikeHikes)
Badlands Trail Beginning The Badlands Trail is mostly dirt and is easy to follow. (Photo by MikeHikes) River Bend Trail southern terminus River Bend, Turkey Creek and Flintstone trails converge at this point. Shade, table and water for horses, bikers and hikers. (Photo by MikeHikes) Javalina Trail As can be seen, not all the trails are dirt, there are lots of small rocks on some trails. (Photo by MikeHikes)
South Shore Tasajillo Trail start This trail begins at the Playground parking area. It is mostly dirt and connects to various trails that head West and North. (Photo by MikeHikes) South Shore Tasajillo Flats Trail Most of this trail is hard packed dirt although there are patches of caliche and other exposed rock. (Photo by MikeHikes) Tasajillo Trail Lots of trees and prickly pear cactus. (Photo by MikeHikes)
BEWARE of the Bees!! At the end of the Nature Loop Trail, look to the right. There is an active beehive inside the sign so avoid this if at all possible. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lanky Lackey Trail Lanky Lackey Trail has lots of small rocks on the trail. It can be a little tricky if you don't watch your footing. (Photo by MikeHikes) Winding Snake Shelter This is one of the abandoned picnic shelters encountered along Winding Snake Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
South Shore East Potts Creek This is near the beginning of the East Potts Creek trail. Lots of mesquites; an easy to hike trail until you get near the end where it connects to Armadillo Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes) Armadillo Trail signpost Lots of rock and some easy climbing. When you follow the trail, keep your eyes open to the left for a path that goes to the plateau - you should take it. (Photo by MikeHikes) Playground Trail to Bell Playground Trail along the edge of the plateau is rocky and narrow in some places. Scenic views on this route!! (Photo by MikeHikes)
5 Points Junction This road runs East and connects with another service road which takes you back to Burkett Park. UPDATE 07-12-15 - this road is totally overgrown with waist high weeds and is difficult to hike. (Photo by MikeHikes) Resident Longhorns at the Park Just a few of the longhorns at the park. Observe but don't annoy - they are best left alone, especially when calves are present. (Photo by MikeHikes) Burkett Park Burkett Park has a parking area, dry toilets, water for humans and horses and a covered picnic table with a few more picnic tables down the road. Good place to begin many hikes in the South Shore. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lace Cactus Bloom Saw this Lace cactus on Armadillo Ridge Trail. Was one of a colony of two blooming cacti. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Park Resident With the recent moisture, I won't call it "rain", some flowers are blooming. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Park Resident I sighted my first Horned Toad of 2014 while on Dinosaur Trail. PLEASE be aware of the park's small residents! It would be very easy to accidentally step on, or roll your bike's tire over, one of these guys and if you did, you know how you'd feel :-( (Photo by MikeHikes)
Longhorns Wander Through the Park Be advised the longhorns wander within some hiking areas of the park - they are NOT PETS and can be protective when calves are around. Respect them, leave them alone and they will leave you alone. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lace Cactus & Bee The lace cactus are blooming and the bees are busy! Take the time to observe and appreciate all the beauty in the park and don't worry about how fast you can hike, bike or ride the trails! (Photo by MikeHikes) Dragonfly on the Trail Lots of dragonflies out near the pond on Winding Snake. Don't know what his proper name is but when he is flying, his wings look like box kites! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Looking North This view is from Roller Coaster Trail as I look to the North. The houses to the left of the juniper bush are in the Highland Ridge Housing Area which abuts the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) One of the few Cactus Blooms Prickly pear cactus are starting to bloom and this one is the best example. In a few weeks there should be many, many more! (Photo by MikeHikes) Nighthawk hunting during the day Although the word "Night" is part of the Common Nighthawks' name, they can be found swooping through the air catching insects during the day - beautiful birds! (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Can of Snake! As can be seen, this old can served a useful purpose to a small snake. The snake used the sharp edge of one hole so it could shed it's old skin. No bones found in the can so the snake was able to slither out successfully. (Photo by MikeHikes) Camouflaged Rabbit It's easy to see how these guys blend into their environment. He watched me but didn't take off until after I snapped the shot. (Photo by MikeHikes) Grey Fox This fox was hunting for a minute or so and didn't notice me at all. When he saw me and walked closer to investigate, he finally caught my scent and disappeared within a second or two. He was seen around noon on an overcast, windy day. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Literally Eating While on the Fly! This Mississippi Kite and his/her numerous companions were out in force today. I was able to capture a few shots of this one chowing down on what looks like a cicada, while flying. (Photo by MikeHikes) They are not Pets! As cute as they are, these calves are not pets! Calves are with their mothers who can be very protective. Stay safe, take a picture from a distance and leave them alone! (Photo by MikeHikes) Horned Toad checking me out This guy was watching me as I approached. When he was first spotted in this photo, he was standing up, however, the closer I approached, the lower he went. By the time I reached him, he was flat on the ground. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Mexican Ground Squirrel Eating Saw this female Mexican Ground Squirrel eating what I think is a nut near Cougar Outlook. Don't see too many of these squirrels on the trails. (Photo by MikeHikes) Drink Plenty of fluids or ....... this guy is always looking for a meal - don't be his next one! Drink plenty of fluids, watch where you step and stay safe while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lots of Cicadas out! There are a lot of cicadas still out and about. I can't count the number of times I would startle one of these guys and they would fly away with a loud buzzing sound. A couple of times, I was whacked on the head as they flew into my hat! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Juvenile Great Horned Owls Was very surprised to see these two owls at 11am! They were about 20 yards or so off the trail and content to observe us as we stopped to take their picture. Always a treat to see the many types of birds at the park! (Photo by MikeHikes) Night Falling at the Park A photo I shot while at the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) The Zombie Apocalypse Has Begun ! I've seen a few of these abnormal cicadas missing the entire lower body yet it's very much alive - or is it merely a re-animated husk ready to devour any living cicadas it encounters? Perhaps this is the dawn of the long dreaded Zombie Apocalypse!! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lots of Weeds! Saw quite a few weeds with their seeds waiting to be taken by the wind or when touched by humans or animals. (Photo by MikeHikes) Flowers still in bloom Flowers continue to blossom at the park! The majority are these purple flowers as well as some large sunflowers located near the streams and ponds. (Photo by MikeHikes) Climbing to see his reflection This guy was fascinated by his reflection in my camera lens. Once his curiosity was satisfied, he climbed back down and scampered off. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Hawk contemplating his next meal This hawk made a swoop and miss at the adult duck who got her ducklings under the tree. After awhile, the hawk left and the ducks continued their lives undisturbed. (Photo by MikeHikes) Get a Room! Working on the next generation of dragonflies! (Photo by MikeHikes) Don Although we've had some rain lately, this sign is from L-O-N-G ago. Maps show O.C. Fisher Reservoir as being a fairly large lake - it is currently at 1% capacity and all the water is at the southern end by the dam. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Mississippi Kite Family An adult Kite is bracketed by two juvenile Mississippi Kites. saw lots of other birds as well today. (Photo by MikeHikes) Vanilla Scented Bee Brush in Abundance! Hiking throughout the park, the wind carried the strong scent of vanilla from this plant. The plants are throughout the park and made the hike very enjoyable. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watch Your Step!! Found on East Potts Creek Trail. I saw him from about three feet away, I backed up and had tossed a few sticks to get him to move off the edge of the trail. He went into the brush and rattled his warning as I gave him a wide berth. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Low Water in the North Concho River The rock you see is normally covered when the water flows in the river - easy to see what the drought has done to the area. We need rain and lots of it! (Photo by MikeHikes) A L-A-R-G-E Rattler with 11 Sets of Buttons This guy was 5-6 foot long! He did not mind me taking his picture so I left him as I found him and when I returned a few hours later, he was gone. He has a role in Nature and I respect that. (Photo by MikeHikes) Thistle are Appearing More and more of the purple thistle are showing up - means Fall isn't far behind and we'll soon see migrating birds. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Non-Rattler Testing the Air Don't know what kind of snake except he is not a rattler. Saw him stretched on the trail and was able to get a few pics of him tasting the air. He went his way, and we went ours. (Photo by MikeHikes) Changing Colors of the Mesquite Bean Pod Not everyone around here likes the mesquite tree but I do. The trees provide shade for me and food for all kinds of animals. (Photo by MikeHikes) Burkett Trail Head Southern Burkett Trail Head (Photo by rodavenport)
Bells Point Monument Bells Point Monument (Photo by rodavenport) BigFoot was here!! Somebody hiking in toed shoes makes for interesting footprints (Photo by rodavenport) Cross Monument Cross Monument (Photo by rodavenport)
I-Beam Cross I-Beam Cross (Photo by rodavenport) Bedrock Flintstone Village on the Flintstone Trail (Photo by rodavenport) Where the Dinosaurs Roamed One of the better defined fossilized tracks. They are not nearly as clear and defined as the tracks at Dinosaur Valley SP. (Photo by rodavenport)
North Scenic Loop One of the prettier trails in the park. Make sure and catch it on the way by (Photo by rodavenport) Shady Trail Tunnel Shady trail located on the north side of the park has this interesting tunnel effect in a small grove of trees. (Photo by rodavenport) Overhead Raptor Best guess is a juvenile Broad-winged hawk. He was very leisurely flying overhead and at one point, he got into a small raptor's territory and the smaller bird chased him off! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Just a Snap I take my camera whenever I hike so when I spotted this tree and clouds, I had to take the shot - it just looked nice! (Photo by MikeHikes) Feral Hogs I'm aware of the feral hog problem in Texas but this is the first time I've seen feral hogs at the park. Photo taken at Cougar Overlook at 1:15 10/8/14. (Photo by MikeHikes) Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion - Solpugid First time I've seen one of these! I saw this one on the Turkey Creek Trail as I was heading back. Probably about two inches long - Note the ant caught on his leg (which were covered in hairs) (Photo by MikeHikes)
Sunrise at the Park A nice picture taken awhile back while staying at the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Road Block! About 25-30 members of the Longhorn herd decided to rest on a portion of the Flintstone Trail. When I approached, they watched for awhile before eventually getting up and walking the trail in front of me, all the while depositing lots of fresh dung. (Photo by MikeHikes) Road Runner goes Hungry Came upon this road runner as he was hunting a tree lizard on the Lanky Lackey trail. The road runner went into the tree and the lizard was saved. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Monarchs Enjoying the Bee Brush A few bee brush plants are blooming once again and the butterflies are enjoying them. I enjoy the vanilla scented blooms as well! (Photo by MikeHikes) Last of the Sunflowers Was surprised to see this sunflower still in bloom and a moth sipping the nectar. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking North This was taken near Cougar Outlook in the middle of the park. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Not a Meteor Although it may look like a meteor, it wasn't. The upper atmosphere was still and I watched as a jet left a contrail from one edge of the horizon to the other. (Photo by MikeHikes) A portion of Turkey Creek Trail Just a nice view along Turkey Creek Trail looking South. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking Southwest on Dinosaur Trail Just some of the scenery on the trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Survivors A group that survived the latest genocide attempt by humans on the species Meleagris gallopavo during the month of November. (Photo by MikeHikes) Just some type of Vegetation Have seen these in huge clusters in the North Shore section of the park. Don't know what they are but they photograph well! (Photo by MikeHikes) Three Little Javalinas Maybe not so little but they looked more juvenile than adult. Of course they spotted us first so I only have a picture of their rear as they wandered deeper into the thicket. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Nice Colors at the Park Autumn is always a good time for photographs! Love the gold, red and orange colors. (Photo by MikeHikes) Look Over There Along the fence line in what was once the O.C. Fisher lake bed, some wag placed a glove on a fencepost. (Photo by MikeHikes) Headin Looking Northwest from the southern end of Winding Snake Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Javalina on Lanky Lackey Saw a pair of adult javalinas at the northern end of Lanky Lackey. They were resting on the side of the trail but when they saw us, they got up and slowly wandered off. (Photo by MikeHikes) Just a Meadowlark First meadowlark I've seen this season - they used to be very numerous and very common. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking North from Burkett Park Just a view from Burkett Park looking North. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Looking East from Burkett Park Just some scenery looking Northeast from Burkett Park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Scenery on the Trail Just some nice scenery I enjoyed while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking West on Rollercoaster Trail Looking to the West from the mid-point of Rollercoaster Trail (Photo by MikeHikes)
On the Trail Not all of the trails are dirt! Lots of rock as well as some inclines. (Photo by MikeHikes) Big Yawn! This javelina's photo was taken at the park's South Shore bird blind. I think, if irritated, this guy could get a good chomp out of anyone. Observe but don't annoy! (Photo by MikeHikes) Ladderback on the Trail Saw this male Ladderback Woodpecker near the southern end of the Roller Coaster Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Tree at Red Dam A stylized picture of the tree at the end of the Red Dam. Water hasn't been in this portion of the park for a very long time. (Photo by MikeHikes) 1st Snake of 2015 Weather was unseasonably warm and brought out the first snake of the year - a Texas Patchnose Snake (non-poisonous) - hope he finds shelter before the freeze hits in another day or two! (Photo by MikeHikes) Heading North on the Playground Trail Some of the best scenic views in the park are to be seen on the Playground Trail as you hike to Bell's Point. (Photo by MikeHikes)
If I sit real still, they won Saw this roadrunner relaxing a foot off the Roller Coaster trail. He was alive and well, just resting and putting a little too much trust in his camouflage. Got the snap and left him alone. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Rare Foggy Morning Don't get much fog here so when it happens, I have to get a picture. Taken along the service road near Bell's Trail head as I was outward bound. (Photo by MikeHikes) AWACS Overhead Don't normally see one of these while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Badlands Trail A nice view of a small portion of the Badlands trail - doesn't look too bad here. (Photo by MikeHikes) Great Blue Heron Nest Saw one Great Blue Heron guarding the nest along the North Concho River while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes) Catching some Rays First lizard of the year spotted sunning himself alongside the trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Rattler by the Signpost This rattler was about 4-5 feet long and seemed thick. I counted nine sets of buttons on his tail; they didn't rattle at us so it was a good encounter. (Photo by MikeHikes) Black Throated Sparrow on the Trail This Black Throated Sparrow was singing but flew away after I snapped the picture. (Photo by MikeHikes) Horned Toad on the Trail This is one of the two horned toads I saw today. A few years back, it was VERY rare to see a toad anytime, I hope they are making a come-back! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Blooms Just a few of the many wild flowers blooming throughout the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Few Dark Clouds About half way through my hike, the clouds gathered and darkened; only a few rain drops fell though. Taken at the junction of Winding Snake and Chaparral Trails as I look Northwest. (Photo by MikeHikes) Flowers at the Trailhead Quite a few yellow flowers blooming at the Burkett Park trail head. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lace Cactus Blooming Saw quite a few of the lace cactus blooming but there were still some blooms that have not yet opened. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lace Cactus This photo was taken last week (4-22-15) while hiking - the Lace Cactus have already lost their bloom. (Photo by MikeHikes) Singing for a Mate Perched high in the tree, this Cactus Wren was very vocal in his singing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Small Horned Toad This guy was found on a service road and is small - maybe the size of a half dollar. Further down the same road, we found two larger horned toads. (Photo by MikeHikes) Agarita Berries The berries are here - very colorful and tasty! (Photo by MikeHikes) The only creature sharing the trails today This horned toad was sharing part of the trail with us today while on East Potts Creek Trail. After snapping his picture, he scurried off into the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Shady Trail Flood  Debris When the North Concho River flooded, there was a lot of debris left behind in the park that will take some time to remove. This mound is on the Shady Trail (North Shore). (Photo by MikeHikes) A small butterfly resting on an Indian Blanket Looked so nice and peaceful that I had to snap the picture. After taking the picture, I walked by and the butterfly took off. (Photo by MikeHikes) North Concho River Still Has Water The North Concho river is still pumping water in the O.C. Fisher Reservoir but the reservoir is only 13.5% full. The drought continues :-( (Photo by MikeHikes)
Looking North from Playground Parking Area A nice day and some nice clouds in the sky. (Photo by MikeHikes) I C U My every move was watched intently by this young rattler. After I got a few photos, he made his way into the grass, always keeping his eyes on me. (Photo by MikeHikes) Mourning Dove on her Nest We saw this Mourning Dove just off the Winding Snake trail. She didn't make a sound or move as we watched her. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Titmouse Egg on the Trail Found this egg on the trail - I'm not enough of an expert to know if the egg was discarded after the bird hatched or if the remnants of the yolk means he didn't make it. (Photo by MikeHikes) Eye Level with a Horned Toad This was the smallest horned toad I saw today - about three inches long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. He allowed me to put my camera fairly close to get this shot; when I stood up, he scampered off. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Female Pyrrhuloxia Fledgeling A very chipper fledgeling peeping and fluttering for food. (Photo by MikeHikes)
An Inquisitive Road Runner Watching us with interest, this Road Runner was seen on the Badlands trail. He sat in the tree watching us and allowed me to get pretty close. (Photo by MikeHikes) Longhorns at 5 Points Junction These longhorns were coming to the 5 Points junction as we were leaving. Quite a few groups of cattle were out today. As can be seen, the grass has grown a lot due to the extra rains. (Photo by MikeHikes) Yellow Billed Cuckoo Spotted on the Horny Toad trail. He kept moving deeper into the trees as I tried to get a good photo. This is the best of the bunch. (Photo by MikeHikes)
O.C. Fisher Reservoir has some Water! With all the rains in the past month, the lake is at 14.7% which isn't much but a few months ago, all you would have seen was dry land; not a drop of water in sight. (Photo by MikeHikes) Grasshoppers A Plenty! LOTS of grasshoppers at the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Park Longhorns near Burkett Trail The longhorns are hanging around the Burkett park area as well as the East Potts Creek and Armadillo areas. Be aware and don't harass them - they'll leave you alone. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Found on the Trail Although I don't know what kind of bird lays this egg it looks like a successful birth! I hope the heat doesn't kill the new fledgeling. (Photo by MikeHikes) House Finch Egg This egg was laying alongside a portion of the Red Dam Loop. It was undamaged but there was no nest nearby. I suspect another bird raided the nest and dropped it. (Photo by MikeHikes) Fence Post at Burkett Park Just a nice view of an old fence still being used to keep the longhorns confined to the old lake bed area. (Photo by MikeHikes)
5 Points Drink As previously mentioned in my logs, the longhorns wander all over the mid and northern sections of the park. I was at the 5 Points Junction when this longhorn came to drink. When I returned later, others were there as well. (Photo by MikeHikes) Molting Mockingbird eyeing a Wasp Saw this bird jump into a tree and took a few snaps to see what it was. I didn't notice the wasp until I was processing the shot but as you can see, the mockingbird did notice and was watching it closely. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Feast for Grasshoppers! A group of grasshoppers were enjoying a prickly pear fruit. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Bee and Thistle The thistle continues to sprout purple but no seeds yet for the birds. The bees and grasshoppers seem to like it though. (Photo by MikeHikes) Pond created by the North Concho River This is part of the North Concho River but with the water low, it is instead, a small pond. (Photo by MikeHikes) Road Runners at Cougar Overlook I normally see Road Runners individually, this pair watched me at Cougar Overlook. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Feathergay and Butterfly. Lots of light purple feathergay blooming; the butterflies are feasting as are the bumblebees. (Photo by MikeHikes) Monarch Butterfly The Monarchs are migrating and this one stopped on a gayfeather to grab a bite. (Photo by MikeHikes) Monarch sipping nectar One of the many Monarch Butterflies encountered on today's hike. They are migrating South for the winter. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A View Looking North While on the crest of Roller Coaster Trail, the view looking North. Very pleasant day when I took this photo. (Photo by MikeHikes) Red Eyed Turtle First time I've seen one of these in the park. After getting some pics, he wandered away. (Photo by MikeHikes) Curious Cactus Wren The sound of the shutter fascinated this wren for a short time. Eventually, he flew away. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Flood Victim ? This guy might have drown during the last heavy rainfall. No visible wounds so it was either the rain or old age. (Photo by MikeHikes) Hawk in the Air I saw this hawk as well as a couple of others. They were not visible during the warmer months but they appear to have finally returned! (Photo by MikeHikes) Native American Nuclear Option Saw this today on Armadillo Trail - looks like something the Native Americans would have launched when all other options failed. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Bee Brush in November! Numerous plants were blooming along the hike - tonight we get a hard freeze so I fear these blooms will be short lived. (Photo by MikeHikes) Tree This grey fox ran up into the tree when our dog saw him. We kept the dog away and the fox departed in peace. (Photo by MikeHikes) Burned Park Area Controlled burn was conducted at the South Shore bu park personnel. Much of the park has NOT been burned. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Rats!! All this year I've seen rats but didn't photograph one until I went to the park's bird blind. Saw three rats at once come out and scrounge for food. (Photo by MikeHikes) Park Longhorn The longhorns are in the park midsection along the trails. Be aware of them and leave them alone. They won't bother you if you don't bother them! (Photo by MikeHikes) Nice Welding Job! Saw this on the old service road to Cougar Overlook - I wish they would move it to one of the main entrances. Nice use of re-bar! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Park Longhorn The majority of the cattle are used to people but it is best to leave them alone -- especially when calves are present. (Photo by MikeHikes) One of the Controlled Burn Areas This area is off Tasajilla Flats trail. A lot of the burned material seemed to be mesquite, scrub and prickly pear cactus. I've already seen grass growing in the burned areas. (Photo by MikeHikes) Great Blue Hunting on Land Until today, I was unaware Great Blue Herons hunted on land. This one is hunting by the parking lot for some of the numerous rodents in the park. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Water in the North Concho Water continues to flow in the North Concho which feeds O.C. Fisher Lake. Granted, it's not much water flowing but nonetheless, it is flowing. The debris in the tree above the river is from the floods of 2015. (Photo by MikeHikes) A View of a Burned Area Still smell the smoke from the burn! LOTS of brush burned as well as mesquite trees and prickly pear. I recognize the necessity of the burn but it is depressing to walk through the areas burned. (Photo by MikeHikes) More of the Burned Area Another view of one controlled burn area with O.C. Fisher in the background. Already, green grass is growing in clumps and will hopefully, take root and flourish. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Yield to Who? This warning was posted near a junction by a boat ramp (the boat ramp now leads to dry lake bed) when there was more traffic on the park roads. Looks like a few folks decided the sign was a too good of a target to resist. (Photo by MikeHikes) An Early Bloomer! The smell of a blooming agarita bush was unexpected but welcome! Looked and saw a bush with these small flowers just beginning to bloom. (Photo by MikeHikes) O.C.Fisher at 16% Although the lake has more water now than it did a year ago, it still has a long ways to go before this boat ramp will be usable. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Many More Blooms! On Sunday I saw a couple of agarita bushes with a few blooms, today there were many more blooms as evidenced by this photo. Whenever I smell the blooms I think of heat, dust and mesquite smoked honey. (Photo by MikeHikes) Trees along the North Concho Some nice looking trees along the North Concho River near Cougar Overlook. (Photo by MikeHikes) What The roadrunner started to run away but as soon as I took his picture he stopped and listened to the sound of my camera's shutter at high speed (10 fps). After a few seconds, he departed and began hunting for food on the road. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Nice Grey Fox! Saw him coming from the area where the park's bison normally are. He saw me, sauntered across the road and disappeared in the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes) 1st Verdin seen in a LONG Time! I saw one of these birds for the first time over ten years ago but never again until yesterday while hiking on Roadrunner Trail. Beautiful little bird! (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking for a Mate This Curved Billed Thrasher was singing loudly and for a long time. Winter appears to be over and the mating season has begun! (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Bad Hair Day Watched this Pyrrhuloxia at the bird blind. Very windy which caused his crown to flutter! (Photo by MikeHikes) Yellow Flowers have Appeared These yellow flowers are appearing in greater numbers at the park. Not many bees or bugs yet. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Fellow Trash Collector While picking up trash I noticed this Turkey Vulture perched on a dead tree. From one "cleaner" to another, I salute you! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Phoenix Rising Like the legendary Phoenix, the park is coming back to life after the controlled burns. (Photo by MikeHikes) Male Vermillion Flycatcher 1st Vermillion Flycatcher I've seen at this state park. Beautiful, flighty bird was taking a bath in the river by diving in and flying back to a tree branch to preen. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Pair of Meadowlarks Haven't seen as many of these birds as in the past. I know they are on their way North for the warmer months. (Photo by MikeHikes)
The Turkey Trot Saw about ten Turkeys along Roller Coaster trail. They didn't panic when they saw me but kept moving into the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes) Another Verdin Saw this one near the southern end of Winding Snake Trail as he was singing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes) Yup, They Park has signs rattler are out- my photo verifies this. This was about 3 1/2 to 4 foot long. He was gliding through the grass near the southern end of Playground trail and when he saw me, he stopped and watched but didn't rattle. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Spring Ritual A mating pair of horned toads. First pair I've seen this year but I saw a single horned toad a month or so ago. (Photo by MikeHikes) Wing Damage Seems to have no Effect This hawk was flying high with an apparently damaged wing. Looks to be missing feathers only; seemed to have no effect on his flying abilities. (Photo by MikeHikes) The Singer I saw numerous Mockingbirds singing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Prickly Pear Blooms Look closely at the yellow bloom and find the ant! (Photo by MikeHikes) Being Chased The hawk was being chased by the two smaller birds. Didn't seem to bother the hawk much but he did leave the area. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Rare Sight for Me It's been about seven or eight years since I saw my last Blue Grosbeak at this park. I only saw this one for a few minutes before he flew off. Very colorful bird! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Peeking This Mexican ground squirrel was hiding in the weeds and popped his head up to see what I was doing. Not many of these in the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Mourning Dove Nest See log entry for the back story! (Photo by MikeHikes) Another Painted Bunting This year I've spotted more Painted Buntings than every before. This one was spotted just below Bell's Point. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Protective Cactus Wren While on Playground Trail, this Cactus Wren was twittering and watching me to make sure I left her nest alone. (Photo by MikeHikes) HOT at the Park ! This Lark Sparrow was very hot and trying to cool off. He allowed me to get close for a photo. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Juvenile Scissortail Flycatcher. Don't normally see them eating seeds, I usually see them with insects so this was a surprise. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Joke or A Warning? This skull was placed directly in the middle of the West Potts Creek Trail and I assume it was meant as a joke and not as a warning! (Photo by MikeHikes) Great Horned Owl I've seen an owl the last four times I've been to Bell's Point and this is the first time I could get a photo (from a distance). (Photo by MikeHikes) The Optimist Seems late to be building a nest (taken 8/21/16) but maybe he knows more about the upcoming weather than the weathermen. (Photo by MikeHikes)
New Stream at North Slick Rock. Recent rains provided some run-off down a portion of the North Slick Rock trail. (Photo by MikeHikes) Preening Roadrunner A solitary Roadrunner preening his feathers before he flew off - not many birds were out today. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watch where you step! Rattlers are still out and about at the park so watch where you put your feet, your horse's hooves or your tires! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Sonoran Gopher Snake Encountered him at the beginning of the hike. Even though he was only 12-18 inches long, he acted aggressive so I gave him a wide berth and all was well. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watching Each Other The male Golden Fronted Woodpecker jumped into the tree and disturbed the Hummingbird. They kept an eye on each other until they both flew away. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Harsh Law Some will die so others may live is a harsh, but true, fact of life. This Praying Mantis was devouring the butterfly when I snapped this shot. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Don A sizeable rattler who acted rather aggressively; perhaps due to hunger or the time of year. He coiled about a foot off the trail continuously rattling and I was able to get by with no harm. (Photo by MikeHikes) One of Many on the Tumbleweeds One of the numerous caterpillars enjoying the green plants which will become tumbleweeds. (Photo by MikeHikes) Dead Caterpillar Crawling The greenish cluster on the caterpillar's back are wasp eggs. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae will feed off the caterpillar - LIFE IS HARSH. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Watch out below! Some of the numerous pelicans flying around the park as they land or take off from O.C. Fisher reservoir. (Photo by MikeHikes) Noisy Neighbors The hawk was sitting on the branch when the two starlings appeared so he decided to leave. (Photo by MikeHikes) Ready to Pounce This Loggerhead Shrike was ready to pounce as he watched for prey. While I observed him, his vigilance was not rewarded. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Blooming Once Again! Fourth time this year the Bee Brush has produced flowers and the intoxicating vanilla scent. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Common Sight at the Park One of the commonly seen birds at the park but nonetheless, always enjoyable to spot! (Photo by MikeHikes) Some of the Burned area Quite a bit of the park was recently subject to a controlled burn. Lots of brush and vegetation has disappeared as a result. (Photo by MikeHikes)
I Want A Drink! This male Cardinal was trying to get a drink from the horse trough at 5 Points Junction. To make it a little easier for the birds, I put a few sticks across the trough so they have a place to perch and get closer to the water. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Handsome Fellow White crowned Sparrow was preening for me so I took this photo. (Photo by MikeHikes) Peace Offering Accidentally disturbed an ant nest so as a peace offering, I gave them a small chunk of my Clif Bar - they seemed happy to accept the food as restitution! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Look Closely at the Left Rear for the Second Fox These two foxes were very nonchalantly walking on Winding Snake Trail. When they saw me, they calmly took a detour and disappeared in the brush (Photo by MikeHikes) A Pair of Inca Doves Not many birds out today but I spotted these Inca Doves. (Photo by MikeHikes) Agaraita Are Starting to Bloom! It's only February but the agarita are already beginning to bloom - to me, the blooms smell like a mixture of dust, mesquite smoke and honey - very intoxicating!! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Western Bluebird He was a ways off but easy to identify. Saw two males and one female near Bell's Trail head. (Photo by MikeHikes) Agarita Still in Bloom Although not as fragrant as a it was a few weeks ago, there are still enough agarita in bloom to scent the air. (Photo by MikeHikes) Newest Member of the Herd! Numerous calves are present so give them, and their parents, a wide berth. (Photo by MikeHikes)

Log Entries

North Shore West Annex
By MikeHikes on 3/16/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Temps in the low 70's, sunny and strong breeze.

This section of the park is infrequently used by hikers and there isn't a "trail" listed on the park maps. The trail I took consist of an old dirt road and numerous cow paths running alongside, and to, the North Concho River.

If you choose to go, go to the North Entrance and park your vehicle at the restroom parking area by the entrance.  On foot, leave the park and cross FM2288.  You'll see an area where local youths (I assume) park and drink beer.  At the fence there is a swing gate you'll go through and at that point, you are in the park again.  The old dirt road is visible directly ahead and runs parallel to the North Concho River on your left.

You're able to hike in this area along cow paths and the dirt road for approx 3 miles until you come to the park boundary which is marked by a barb wire fence and a few signs.  At that point, you will turn around and return along the same route or you can blaze a new one back to the starting point.

This area is used primarily by hunters so make sure you check in with park personnel to ensure there are no hunts scheduled.  This area has the potential to either by very good or very blase.  The river is a water source for many animals and birds as well as the longhorns.  There are numerous trees in the area so the chance to see birds here that are not in other areas of the park are good IF you're lucky.  

Be advised there are no facilities along the trail so bring your own water and food.  The longhorns are numerous so give them a wide berth.  In addition, on the South side of the river, some of the area is private property - respect the landowner's rights and don't trespass.  I suggest you stay on the north side of the river.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at the North Shore entrance restrooms - where you should park.

STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to talk to park personnel before entering the area due to scheduled hunts.

If you have the time, do a recon using Google Earth to see what the area looks like. 

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction
By MikeHikes on 3/8/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Out     Burkett park > Burkett > East Potts Creek > Armadillo (N) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction    3.6 miles

Return  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park    4.3 miles

Temps in the low 60's, overcast and light breeze.

Dry trails that are easy to traverse.  Lots of birds out but nothing unusual except for the number of American Kestrels I'm seeing.  I've seen more already than I normally do in a year. 

The majority of the trails are a mixture of dirt and rock; because of the dry weather, the soil seems loose so watch your footing.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

South Shore Playground parking area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
By MikeHikes on 2/28/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 11.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park     3.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett park    3.6 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett park > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Nature Trail > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area    3.8 miles

Temps in the 70's, sunny with high thin clouds, steady breeze.

Dry trails very easy to traverse, parts of Tasajilla Flats has recently been groomed.  Lots of "shrub birds" out signing for mates.  Saw my first group of Meadowlarks near the parking area!  Grass and other ground cover plants are coming up all over the park and the numerous Bee Brush plants have greens leaves but no smell yet.  Even more agarita bushes are blooming and scenting the air.

There were hikers and a few mountain bikers enjoying the warm weather and the trails.  Not much else going on - it was a nice hike!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park - THE WATER  IS FLOWING AGAIN!

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Lookout
By MikeHikes on 2/24/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Out     Bell's Trailhead > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Lower Big Hill > service road (S) > North Scenic Loop > service road (S then W) > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) > Cougar Lookout         6.1 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > Javalina > Lower Ghost Camp Trail  > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > North Slick Rock > service road (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead     3.6 miles

Temps start at 60 end at 66, sunny, steady North breeze.

Dry trails, very easy to follow.  LOTS of birds out including Killdeer, Western Bluebirds (photo attached), Kestrels, Loggerhead Shrikes, Black thoated sparrows, turkeys, Great Blue Herons.  Butterflies are also becoming more numerous as they look for the few flowers and blooming agaritas to gather sustenance.

The longhorns are in this section of the park and there are a few calves with them - keep your distance, don't startle them and they'll leave you alone.

NOTES

Water is available in the campground at Bell's Trailhead.

Shade and info kiosk (damaged) are available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing area. WATER HAS BEEN TURNED OFF AT THIS TIME.

Shade and info kiosk available at Cougar Lookout.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Ghost Camp.  THIS IS THE ONLY WATER AVAILABLE ON THIS ROUTE.

Use caution when using the dry toilets. 

 

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout
By MikeHikes on 2/21/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.20 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out      Burkett park > Suzanne's trail > Roller Coaster> West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > River Bend > service road (ENE) > Cougar Lookout      5.2 miles

Return Cougar Lookout > serice roads (WSW) > Burkett Trail > Burkett park     3.0 miles

Temp 60 at start, 79 at end, steady WNW breeze, sunny.

Very leisurely hike along mostly dry trails.  The intoxicating smell of blooming agarita bush was in the air!  To me it smells like dust, mesquite smoke and honey - I wish they sold it in a can!

Trails are easy to traverse as the vegetation has not yet grown.  LOTS of Black Throated Sparrows and White Crowned Sparrows are out.  Many of the birds are singing as they look for mates.  Not much else to report but all in all, it was a very pleasant hike.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets are available at Burkett park.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Point Junction.

Shade and info kiosk available at Cougar Lookout

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park
By MikeHikes on 2/17/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out      Playground parking area > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park      3.4 miles

Return  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area (plus cleanup on two trails)    4.5 miles

Temp at the beginning of the hike was 50, at the end of the hike 59, sunny and strong breeze.

A leisurely hike on damp trails.  I picked up trash while hiking and after my main hike ended, I revisited a couple of trails to gather more trash the recent fires have uncovered.  Most of the trash is old bottles and cans - unfortunately, there was quite a bit of broken glass as well.  

Talley Valley has some severe erosion in parts so caution is advised.  The trail has a slight incline in spots so with all the rocks in the trail and the recent rains we've had, the soil is a little loose and could contribute to a fall.

Not many birds out today - I did see a couple of raptors flying around so that may be the reason.

The majority of the trails are still in good shape and the vegetation has not yet started to grow so they are easy to see.  Snake warnings are already out although I have not seen any.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park.

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop
By MikeHikes on 2/10/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Leg 1 - Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats> Nature Trail > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park       3.8 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.0 miles

Leg 3 - Playground parkng area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area    3.0 miles

Temps in the low 60's to start and mid-70's to end, Strong West wind, and sunny.

Leisurely hike along dry, hard packed dirt and rock trails.  Not too many birds out today, perhaps because of the wind.  Picked up two bags of trash and found a couple of piles of cans I'll get on another day.

Not much else to say except pick up any trash you find and make sure you don't leave any yourself.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playgraound parking area.

Water, shade, info kioska nd dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water and shade available at multiple campsites alongside Roadrunner Loop.  At the mid-point of the Loop there is a toilet as well.

South Shore Playground parking area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
By MikeHikes on 2/6/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 11.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 - Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park     3.7 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett park > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo Trail > East Potts Creek > Burkett trail > Burkett park   3.7 miles

Leg 3 - Burkett park > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Nature Trail > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area     3.8 miles

Temps started at 60 and ended at 75, overcast but became sunny, steady West wind.

Walked along some trails I haven't been on since the controlled burn of a few months ago.  LOTS of the vegetation has been burned and the trails, with a few exceptions, are in much better condition, are easy to locate and traverse. The fires also made visible trash from the past when the present day trails were part of the lake bed - I picked up two bags full within the first hour of hiking.  Frustrating BUT once it's picked up, it's GONE!

There were numerous birds out and about, even though it's early Feb, it seems Spring is just around the corner. 

Saw a pair of grey foxes walking along the Winding Snake trail and took a few photos (attached). When the fox saw me it didn't panic but took a detour into the brush very calmly.

 Saw a couple of hikers and a few mountain bikers otherwise, it was just me walking, listening to the birds signing and the wind blowing.  A very enjoyable day.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park.

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Lower Ghost Camp
By MikeHikes on 2/2/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.60 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out    Bell's Trailhead > Dinosaur > Dinosaur Track Area > Dinosaur > Upper Big Hill > Badlands> River  Bend > Lower Ghost Camp      4.2 miles

Return Lower Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > service road (N) > North Scenic Loop > service road (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead    2.4 miles

Temps in the low 50's, sunny with wispy clouds, steady North wind.

A month or so ago, controlled fires burned some of the vegetation and cleared the trails.  Trails are dry and fairly hard packed now.  LOTS of birds out especially Cardinals and Woodpeckers.  Not much else going on but it was a good hike nonetheless.

NOTES

Water available at the campground by Bell's Trailhead.

Water, shade and info kiosk at Dinosaur Track Viewing area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Ghost Camp.  CAUTION - dry toilets are old and rarely used, be careful if you have to sit on one!!

 

Dry trails

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett + Roadrunner Loop
By MikeHikes on 1/30/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.90 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -   Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park       3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area       3.0 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area     3.1 miles

Temps in the low to mid 70's, sunny and a steady breeze.

Nice hike today along dry trails.  Walked the entire Tasajilla Flats trail and in the first and fourth sections, it had been burned.  A lot of the dead brush is gone and the trail is very visible. 

All of the trails are visible and easy to hike. Not many birds out today but I did see a few.  I was warned by a guy driving his pick-up to be on the look out for snakes.  I asked if he saw any and he said no, but this is West Texas so they'll be out.  Didn't understand the logic but I did appreciate the sincere concern.  Stay safe!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park.

Water and shade available at many points along Roadrunner Loop and there is a toilet in the camping areas adjacent to the trail near the mid-point.

 


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