Getting there: From Austin head east on Highway 71. Proceed into La Grange and turn right onto State Highway 77 and head south. Turn right onto Spur 92 and look for the park headquarters and parking area on the right.
Much of the trail is heavily covered as shown here. Note the wooden marker on the left side of the trail indicating an interpretive guide station.
This easy trail starts near the park headquarters at the waypoint "Trailhead". The path descends into the upper reaches of the valley that also shelters the Kreische Brewery farther downhill.
This trail features numerous numbered stations that highlight plant species that can be found along the trail. The 75 cent booklet includes a description of the
highlighted plant and a drawing to assist in identification. Due to the natural life cycle of the forest there has been some change to the trail. For example, the live oak mentioned in the booklet is no longer living. It's a snag that now serves as the home to a different set of animals than it housed in the past.
The hike is mostly a loop through the upper reaches of the valley and at the waypoint "Y-Right" take the path to the right to continue the hike in a counter clockwise direction. This will also ensure that the interpretive guide stations are visited in the same order as they appear in the guide.
The valley seems to trap moisture, so the hike was a bit steamy on the hot day on which we visited. Somewhat offsetting the heat from the humidity is the generally heavy tree cover that provides ample shielding from direct sunlight.
There are a few pockets of open space along the trail. This area hosted lots of bluestem grasses, some growing up to 5 feet tall.
On our hike we did not see too many animals, but one really caught our attention. In the middle of the trail was a good-sized turtle that had sensed our approach and had already assumed a defensive posture and retreated into its shell. We observed him for a bit and then moved him
slightly off of trail to ensure that someone else would not accidentally step on him.
This fellow did not complain about sharing the trail with us, though he was anxious to see us move on.
One of the more interesting plants that could be found on the trail was the native Bluestem grasses. One guide stopping point includes a small pocket prairie of grasses. These grasses can grow to great height and a few specimens along the trail had grown almost up to five feet tall.
Our hike took place in early August, which turns out to be during Mulberry season. The trail included many such plants showing off their purple clusters of berries.
We recorded a trail length slightly less than the half mile reported by the park. We found the length to be closer to a third of a mile. Still the forty three minutes that we took to complete the loop and follow the interpretive guide was quite enjoyable.