Return to San Angelo State Park

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/23/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 - Bell's Trailhead > Traihead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NW) > Cougar Overlook   6.0 miles

Leg 2 - Cougar Overlook > Javelina Trail > River Bend (N) > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead    3.4 miles

Temps started at 76 and ended at 90.  Sunny with light steady SW breeze.

Easy hike along groomed and easy to traverse trails.  Gnats were thick when the breeze died down or I went to a low spot with no breeze.  Not many birds were out and only a few deer were seen.  There is some water in the river and I saw a lone Blue Heron (photo attached) looking for a meal - good luck!

Not much else to report

NOTES

Water and shade available at the campground by Bell's Trailhead.  Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station at Bell's Trailhead.

Water, shade, info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campground.

 

 

South Shore - Isabel Harte to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/19/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.20 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Isabel Harte Day Use Area > Winding Snake > Burkett Park    2.5 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > park road (WSW) > Lanky Lackey > Nature Trail > service road (NE) > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Isabel Harte   2.7 miles

Temp started at 77, ended at 89.  Sunny with a steady SW breeze.

Easy hike along familiar and easy to traverse trails.  Spotted not one but two Horned Toads and one of them was in the process of molting which I had never seen before!  He looked strange with all his skin sloughing off but moved quickly and was in no obvious discomfort (photo attached). 

I saw two tarantulas at different locations and of course a Tarantula Hawk but at a different place.  There are still some bee bushes in bloom and at one location, there were lots of small white butterflies all over the bushes.  Otherwise, not many animals or birds were spotted.

All in all a good hike PLUS this hike puts me at #1 for total miles hiked in Texas!

NOTES

Shade at campsites and water at a central location are available at Isabel Harte. 

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

Park Mid-Section - Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/15/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.90 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > potts Creek > Playground by-pass > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground (N) > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (N) > Cougar Overlook   4.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > service road (WNW) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   3.2 miles

Temp started at 78, ended at 88.  Sunny with high clouds and consistently strong & gusty SW winds.

An easy hike along easy to see trails.  Some of the trails have become overgrown with vegetation, particularly Playground Trail north of Bell's Point as well as significant portions of Flintstone Trail.  The trails can be seen but caution is advised due to snakes and other park residents who may be stepped on in the high grass.

Although the strong winds kept many birds down low another factor may have been the numerous Mississippi kites flying around!  I counted a cluster of 15 kites at one point while on Flintstone Trail near 5 Points Junction. 

NOTES -

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

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Bell's Point.

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

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to River Bend Campground Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/12/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.40 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Badlands Trail > park road     3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Park road (NE) > River Bend Campground > South Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead   1.6 miles

Temp was 78 at start, 90 at end.  Sunny with steady SW wind 10-20mph.

Easy hike along dry and somewhat bushy trails.  Mesquites are growing and their branches are hanging in the trail - caution is advised for bikers and equestrians!  Not much bird activity, no animals spotted but we saw quite a few lizards.  All in all an uneventful, warm but pleasant hike.

NOTES

Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station are available at Bell's Trailhead.  Water and shade available at nearby campground.

Water, shade and info kiosk availabe at DInosaur Tracks Viewing Area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campground.

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/11/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett park    3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area     3.0 miles

Temp started at 78, ended at 95.  Sunny with steady SW breeze.  Light humidity.

All trails were dry and easy to traverse.  There was some vegetation on portions of various trails but nothing that blocked your view of where you would place your foot.  Spotted this year's first snake - an 18 inch garter snake (?) - light green/grey that popped his head out of a hole, saw me and slithered out of sight.  Unfortunately we also saw a tarantula being dragged by a wasp into a hole where the spider would become food for the wasp's young - BRUTAL!

Lots of folks on the trails and most importantly the fishing pond was filled and overflowing!  How long it will remain so - unknown.

NOTES -

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground parkign area.

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

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/1/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 6.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster Trail > (West) Potts Creek Trail > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction   4.0 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (ENE) > service road (SW) > Burkett Trail > Burkett park     2.3 miles

Temp started at 78, ended at 88.  Patly cloudy, humid with a light SW breeze.

An easy hike along dry and familiar trails. Quite a few people were out today!  The scent of vanilla was subtle but pervasive for the entire hike because the bee bush is starting to bloom.  Not much happened regarding animals or birds with one exception - at the end of the hike, along Burkett Trail, a group of Mississippi Kites were flying nearby.  One stood watch at the top of a dead tree and the others were flying in lazy circles but would burst into aerial acrobatics before resuming their lazy circles in the air. 

NOTES

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

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

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop + Roadunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 5/29/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Horny Toad Trailhead > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snak > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area    3.4 miles

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

Temps started at 78 and ended at 90.  Sunny, with a few clouds.  A strong and consistent SW wind (15-20mph).

What a difference a few days makes!  I was on the trail three days ago and the trails were damp to muddy - today, they were all bone dry.  More people than I normally encounter but there were no problems from anyone so while not the solitude I usually have, it was not bad.

There are more individual cactus blooms out but no clusters or bunches that I could find.  Some of the other wildflowers have disappeared as well.  The gnats that were so prevalent on my last hike were absent today - probably due to the dry conditions and strong winds.  There were some insects out and they were enjoying what flowers and cactus blooms there were.

Only saw two white tail deer and no other animals.  Birds were pretty scare as well although I observed a hawk being chased by a Kingbird for quite a distance.  Later, another hawk on Red Dam Loop keep following me which gave me the chance to get some good photos (one is attached).  I think he felt I would scare up a meal and I believe I almost did.  As I approached a dead mesquite tree the hawk lifted and landed on a branch and was trying to get something but didn't appear to be successful.  I assume it was a spiny lizard or some other small reptile. 

I spotted quite a few lizards on the trail today but got no photos.  All in all it was a warm but windy hike that was very nice.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground Parking area.

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

Water and shade available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop.  There are three toilets and two of them have showers and info kiosks near Roadrunner Loop.

Park Mid-Section - Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 5/26/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > Potts Creek > Playground Trail > Bell's Point > Playground Trail (N) > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (N) > Cougar Overlook     5.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > service road (WSW) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     3.3 miles

Temp started at 54, ended at 85.  Damp at first but then clear and sunny with a light westerly breeze.

A leisurely hike along damp to muddy trails which eventually dried out as the day passed.  Heavy rain fell for brief periods of time a few days earlier and although it was brief, the vegetation appreciated the water.  More flowers are out as are the gnats.  VERY heavy swarms of gnats were along the damp trails and I had to wipe many of them off my sweatshirt, arms and face as I hiked through the clouds.  Fortunately, they eventually disappeared as the day warmed up and even though they were numerous, they seemed intent on breeding and not bothering to clog up my eyes, ears and nose.

Millipedes and red bugs are also making an appearance.  The agarita bushes have red berries on them and some of the prickly pear cactus blossoms are almost ready to open. 

I saw my first for the year Grey Fox as well as a pair of turkeys.  A small family of javelinas were spotted and photographed as well.

Unfortunately, a skunk had gotten into a stock tank filled with water and when it couldn't get out, had drowned.  I used a stick to remove his body - sad.  Too bad they don't have some type of wildlife ladder that could be put in the tanks to prevent this.

NOTES

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

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Bell's Point.

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

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop + Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 5/22/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad Trailhead > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area    2.8 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area    3.2 miles

Temp started at 58, ended at 75.  Overcast w/strong Northerly winds (10-20mph).  Near end of hike winds lightened and sun came out briefly.

An unusual cold front moved into the area last night; the temperature and winds reflected the front was still moving in.  Not many birds out except for an occassional Kingbird (photo attached).  One cottontail rabbit was spotted at the beginning of the hike, otherwise, there were no animals spotted until the end when I saw a single White tail deer.  It was a fairly dull hike to be honest but the trails were easy to see and traverse and any hike is better than no hike.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at the Playground parking area.

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

Water and shade are available at the numerous campsites along the Roadrunner Loop.  There are three full toilets and info kiosks at various point near Roadrunner Loop.

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 5/15/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad Trailhead > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.5 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area    2.9 miles

Temp started at 70, ended at 80.  Sunny with a light SW breeze.

A short hike along very familiar trails.  All trails are dry and easy to traverse but the vegetation is growing.  No wildlife, except for a lone Cottontail Rabbit was seen.  In addition, not many birds were out either. A few more cactus are showing flowers and the insects are finding them (photo attached).  Some lizards were seen on the Winding Snake and Chaparral trails but they scampered off as soon as I spotted them. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground parking area.

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

Park Mid-section - Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 5/5/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.40 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Point Junction > River Bend > service road (N) > Cougar Overlook      5.5 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction > Flintstone > Playground Trail > Bell's Point > Playground Trail (S) > Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     4.9 miles

Temp started at 70, ended at 82.  Overcast at first but became sunny and cloudless at Cougar Overlook. Steady 5-10mph NW breeze.

A longer hike along dry and easy to traverse trails. Because of the reent humidity in the air, the vegetation is growing and a few of the trails are becoming "shaggy".  Caution is advised due to the potential of stepping on a small reptile or a rattler.  Lizards are out but no snakes so far.  I saw a group of 15-20 javalinas including small ones, on Roller Coaster Trail as well as a few whitetail deer later on. Birds were singing and I'm seeing more Kingbirds than before.  Mockers, various sparrows as well as Turkey Vultures were also spotted.

Wildflowers are more common and I saw Mexican hats, Indian Blankets and other coloful but unknown to me, flowers.  Of note was the first cactus flower of the season (photo attached).  After spotting the first I saw two smaller flowers on a different plant at a different part of the park.  Rain would be welcome but none is in the forseeable future - not good.

Side note - my pair of Teva hiking sandals came apart near Cougar Overlook but held up enough to complete my hike.  This pair lasted for about 2 seasons - maybe 300-400 miles.

NOTES

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

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

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

Water, shade and info kiosk availabe at Bell's Point.

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 4/29/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad trailhead > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.9 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area    3.4 miles

Temp started at 72, ended at 82.  Cloudy then mostly sunny.  Steady SW winds from 10-15mph w/higher gusts.

A pleasant hike along dry and easy to traverse trails.  The park is greening up with the mesquite trees lime green leaves filled with feathery fronds.  A few of the Lace cactus have buds growing but no flowers yet.  Lots of lizards were seen as were numerous birds - Spring is here and they are singing for mates (photo attached).  I saw two cottontail rabbits and a few deer but no other animals.  Of note - there were about 20 Turkey Vultures riding the winds and coming quite low to look for food but I never saw any land so no luck there.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground parking area.

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

South Shore - Chaparral Pavillion to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 4/17/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 5.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Chaparral Pavillion > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park      2.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Trail > service road (NE) > Chaparral Pavillion   3.2 miles

Temp started in low 60's, ended in mid-70's.  Overcast then sunny with a steady breeze.

The park is greening up!  It was as if a switch had been turned on from a week ago - the mesquites are now a lime green and the grass is showing, more flowers have appeared and some of the bushes have small flowers on them.  The birds have become more numerous with Scissortails and Kingbirds making an appearance.  No animals seen besides a few whitetail deer. 

Even though the area is still in a drought condition, it's heartening to see the vegetation and wildlife making an appearance.

NOTES -

Water, shade, info kiosks and toilets available at the campgrounds near the Chaparral Pavillion.

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

North Shore - Area 7 Visit
User: MikeHikes - 4/14/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.50 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Route -  North Shore restroom > jeep trail/dirt road/hiking trail > turn around and return along same route > North Shore restroom      6.5 miles

Temp started mid-40's, ended low 70's.  Sunny with a steady NW breeze.

IMPORTANT - I strongly advise hikers to check-in at the South Shore gatehouse. You will need a daily park pass and the combination to the gate padlock AND, more importantly, there are times when hunting is allowed in this area and not in the larger park area so you must ensure it is safe to enter.  I also suggest you park by the bathhouse/restrooms near the North Shore gatehouse to ensure your vehicle is safe.

Once you have your car parked, go out the gate you just came in and cross FM2288. You will enter Area 7 through a swinging gate.  Once you get inside, look for and follow the trail.  You'll soon come to the wider dirt road.  Follow it to the end always keeping an eye open for the trail when you come to the power lines.

This hike is one I take once or twice a year.  The trail is an old jeep trail/dirt road that parallels the North Concho River until you come to the fence that marks the park's property line (about 3 miles one way).  The trail is not marked but fairly easy to follow if you keep your eyes open.  The river has some dry patches but there is water there (photo attached).  You normally see some water fowl as well as various animals, including the park's Longhorn herd (on occassion).

Today we saw a small herd of juvenile feral pigs (7-9 in one group and 4 in another) that was a first for us.  Some ducks and a Great Blue Heron were spotted in addition to the hogs and an assortment of year round bird residents.  It was a pleasant hike and one that will be done again after/if/when we ever get some rain to make the river flow.

NOTES

Water, info kiosk and toilets are available at the North Shore gate area. 

 

South Shore - Isabel Harte to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 4/10/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 3.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours

Leg 1 -  Isabel Harte > Winding Snake> Burkett Park   1.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > park road (NE) > Isabel Harte  1.8 miles

Temp in mid-60's, mostly sunny, steady breeze.

A simple, relaxing hike along familiar trails.  More birds are out but the only ones spotted were Mockers, red-winged blackbirds, cowbirds, white crowned sparrows and turkey vultures.  A lone javalina was seen near Burkett Park - he saw us and wandered by without concern.

NOTES

Shade available at campsites at Isabel Harte.  Water at a central location.

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

 

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to River Bend Campground Loop
User: MikeHikes - 4/3/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > service road (W) > River Bend (N)     2.0 miles

Leg 2 -  River Bend Trail (N) > Badlands> Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur (N) > service road > Rocky Creek > service road > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead    3.0 miles

Temp started at 54, ended at 70.  Sunny, light winds.

Easy hike along dry and easy to traverse trails.  Some birds out as well as a few deer.  Seeing more purple flowers blooming and found a few agarita bushes with yellow blooms.  A few butterflies were out as well.  Outherwise, just a good, relaxing hike.

NOTES

Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station at Bell's Trailhead.  Water and shade available at the nearby campground.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campground.

 

Park Mid-Section - Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction + Tasajilla Flats
User: MikeHikes - 3/31/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.10 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Potts Creek  > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction      4.1 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (ENE) > service road (SSW) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     2. 0 miles

Leg 3 -  service road > Tasajilla Flats Trail (final section) and back > service road    1.0 miles

Temp started at 40, ended at 60.  Sunny with a steady 5-10mph breeze from the NE.

Easy hike along damp to slightly muddy trails due to a recent rain two nights ago.  A few agarita bushes have yellow blooms but there is no scent yet.  Small groups of three or four deer were spotted and some birds were seen as well - mostly White Crowned Sparrows.  The recent rain has also kick started the grass to grow and green sprouts have appeared in the burned areas.

Initially it was cold but once the sun appeared the temperature warmed rapidly which made this a very relaxing hike.

NOTES

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

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

 

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett park + Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/24/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 10.70 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > LL to WS Connector > Burkett Park    3.9 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.6 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area      3.2 miles

Temp started at 38, ended at 70.  Sunny with steady and increasing to 15mph WNW wind.

Easy hike along dry and easy to traverse trails.  Grass is starting to sprout in some of the burned areas and I found two agarita bushes on Roadrunner Loop that have begun to bloom which perfumed the air quite nicely!  I saw some deer as well as a small group of four javelina grubbing for food they ignored me and I left them alone.  Birds are still somewhat scarce but I saw a Wren (photo attached) as well as an Ash Throated Flycatcher, some sparrows and a couple of Mockingbirds.  We've recently experienced multiple days in a row of VERY high, constant Northerly winds.  These winds have blown some of the topsoil onto the trails but not enough to completely cover them so they are still easy to traverse.  I'm sure once the rains come, if they ever do, the topsoil will be washed away and the trails revealed once more.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground parking area.

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

Water and shade are available at campsites along Roadrunner Loop.  Toilets and info kiosks are available at three locations along Roadrunner as well.

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/17/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 9.30 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Lower Big Hill > Trailhead to Trailhead (S)  > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > service road (W) > Badlands > River Bend Trail > service road (NNE) > Cougar Overlook     6.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > Javelina Trail > River Bend Spur (100 yards (NW)) > service road (N) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead     3.2 miles

Temp started at 60, ended at 82.  Sunny with strong, consistent 15-20mph SW to W winds.

A windy but enjoyable hike along dry, easy to see and traverse trails.  A few deer were spotted at the beginning of the hike but no other animals were seen.  The birds seen were mostly ground hugging birds like sparrows.  There really wasn't a lot going on due to the strong winds but I did hear more birds singing which is a good sign!

NOTES

Info kiosk and biccyle repair station available at Bell's Trailhead - water and shade is available at the campgrounds by the trailhead.

Water, sahde and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

Water, sahde info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campgrounds.

South Shore - Playground parking area to Ghost Camp + Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/12/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > abandoned road to Ghost Camp (NE) > Winding Snake    2.9 miles

Leg 2 -  Winding Snake (S) > Chaparral > Shortcut across Red Dam Area > unmarked trails by Chaparral Pavilion > Playground parking area   2.0 miles

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

Temps started at 22, ended at 52.  Sunny with a steady 5-10mph SW Breeze.

An easy hike along dry and easy to traverse trails.  Explored a few new or not often visited areas.  No animals and very few birds were out although there were Black Buzzards and Turkey Vultures circling overhead.  Not much else to report.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station area available at Playground parking area.

Water and shade available at campsites around Roadrunner Loop.  At three points on the edge of Roadrunner Loop there are toilets and info kiosks are available.

Park Mid-Section - Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/8/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Potts CReek > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction     4.3 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground (S) > Potts Creek (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett park  3.7 miles

Temps started at 34 and ended at 42.  Overcast with light ESE winds at 5-10mph.

A very quiet hike.  I saw three deer, some small ground hugging birds and one male Pyrrhuloxia.  Nobody else was on the trails and when I finished, there were no other cars in the parking lot.  No photos taken today. 

NOTES

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

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

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Bell's Point.

South Shore - Playground parking area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 2/28/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 10.60 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > Lankey Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > Potts Creek > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster Trail > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park         3.8 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area      3.0 miles

Temps started at 30 and ended at 68.  Sunny with a few clouds, light but steady SSW breeze at 5-10mph.

An easy, lazy hike along trails that are easy to see and traverse.  Not much animal activity as I only saw about 20 deer in various groups.  There were more small, low flying birds that would fly from one cliump of brush to another.  The recent freeze we had for a few nights in a row seems to have stunted the early blooms.  I was surprised to see a few butterflies but no other insects.  All in all, it was just a relaxing hike.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground parking area.

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

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 2/21/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend Trail > service road (NE) > Cougar Overlook     6.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > Javelina > River Bend Spur > service road (NE) > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead     3.6 miles

Temp started at 53, ended at 65.  Sunny with clouds, steadily rising 5-15mph SW wind.

A pleasant hike along dry and easy to traverse trails. I wanted to get a hike in with the pleasant weather before another cold front moved in with freezing temperatures and possibly some ice.  Some small blue/purple flowers have appeared which is not good with the cold front moving in followed by multiple days of freezing temps.  More birds are being seen, especially Cardinals.  I also saw a large feral hog (photo attached).  The photo doesn't give a good sense of scale but the hog was at least 4-5 feet long and had to have weighed at least 100-150 pounds - it was large and solid!  It didn't see me at first so I had to make noise to get it's attention and leave rather than be startled and charge.  He saw me, ran a few steps then walked away.

NOTES

Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station are available at Bell's Trailhead.  Water and shade available in the adjoining campground.

Water, shade, and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracking Viewing Area.

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets are available at River Bend Campgrounds.

Park Mid-Section - Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 2/15/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (N) > Cougar Overlook   5.5 miles

Leg 2 -  Park service road (W) to gate> Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     3.6 miles

Temp started at 40, ended at 63.  Sunny with steadily increasing SW wind from 5mph to 15mph.

A leisurely hike along dry, easy to see and traverse trails.  I saw three groups of deer and one group of four javelinas.  Bird activity was minimal with the birds staying low to the ground or doing short flights from the ground to the brush.  Some greening of the park is beginning but it still looks pretty desolate at the moment.

I accidently left my camera on teh kitchen counter so there were no photos taken today.

NOTES

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

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

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.


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