Return to San Angelo State Park

South Shore - Isabel Harte to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 1/19/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 11.50 Miles Duration: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Isabel Harte > Winding Snale > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo Ridge > Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park       5.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Trail > Tasajilla Flats > Playground Parking Area > Chaparral > Isabel Harte   5.3 miles

Leg 3 -  Nature Trail   .5 miles

Temp started at 55, ended at 75.  Sunny with a few clouds and a 10-15mph Westerly wind.  A few sprinkles when I started at 0730 but they ended quickly.

A long hike in good weather along dry, easy to see and traverse trails.  There is a major cold front moving in today so I wanted to get a good long hike in and I did.  I saw about a dozen deer, a single Turkey Vulture, a single Yellow Shafted Flicker, a few Mockingbirds and about 20 sparrows of various kinds.  The surprise was seeing a Queen butterfly as I was leaving.

The park is recovering from the prescribed fires (photo attached) and I hope the multi day freeze we're expecting starting tonight does not affect the recovery.

NOTES

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

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

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

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop + Tasajilla Flats
User: MikeHikes - 1/13/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 8.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

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

Leg 2 - Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Trail > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area     3.7 miles

Leg 3 - Tasajilla Flats northern most section   1.4 miles

Temps started at 33, ended at 70.  Sunny, very high wispy clouds, light 1-5mph SW breeze.

All trails easy to see and traverse.  Not much went on during the hike.  I saw at least a dozen white tail deer, a Meadowlark (photo attached) a few Mockingbirds, a single Kestrel and a few sparrows.  Saw a hiker who told me I just missed a good photo.  He said about 10 minutes earlier, he saw a "big black bird" on the trail lift off and in it's talons was a Jack Rabbit!  I assume it was either a Black Buzzard or a Turkey Vulture and also assume the Jack Rabbit was dead. 

Spent an extra hour on Tasajilla Flats picking up old bottles and cans last month's prescribed fires revealed.  This part of the trail used to be underwater and it's easy to see where the favorite fishing holes were - just look for the pint whiskey bottles, beer bottles and cans; bring 'em, drink 'em and sink 'em.  I picked up a 40# bird seed bag full of trash and there are still more bottles and cans waiting for me to gather.

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.

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 1/9/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > North Scenic Loop > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Cougar Overlook      3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > Javalina Trail > River Bend (N) > Ghost Camp Connector > Upper Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > North Slick Rock > service road (N) > Rocky Creek > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead      3.6 miles

Temp  started at 44, ended at 51.  Partly cloudy. Steady 10-15mph N wind.

Easy hike along familiar trails.  Saw some deer and a few birds but not much else due to the cold and steady wind.  I was surprised to see a lone grasshopper - I assumed they had all died off or been eaten.  

NOTES

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

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

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

 

 

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 1/4/2022  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Rollercoaster Trail > West Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > River Bend > service road NNW > Cougar Overlook     5.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SW) > Trailhead to Trailhead trail > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   3.1 miles

Temp started at 34, ended at 64.  Sunny with a steady SW wind at 10-15mph.

1st hike of 2022! 

Easy hike along dry, easy to see and traverse trails.  No animals spotted but I saw some birds including a Kestrel (photo attached).  The Kestrel was at Cougar Overlook and landed on a tree.  A Mockingbird landed by him and  when the Kestrel lifted off so did the Mocker.  The Kestrel flipped upside down ready for the Mocker's attack but the Mocker went in the opposite direction.

Miles hiked prior to this one         - 3453.0

Number of hikes prior to this one  - 432

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.

 

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 12/30/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > North Scenic Loop > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Cougar Overlook      3.2 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > Javalina Trail > River Bend (N) > Ghost Camp Connector > Upper Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > North Slick Rock > Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead      5.6 miles

Temp started at 44, ended at 65.  Partly cloudy very light wind.

A good hike to end the year!  I saw about a dozen deer, numerous birds and feral hogs.  First I saw a boar and about a mile later, a sow with six piglets.  I know they are destructive but the piglets were just bouncing around mom.  Very cute!  Otherwise, the trails were good, the prescribed burning had not touched this part of the park. 

Starting Mileage -  3038.1

Ending Mileage   - 3453.0

Miles Hiked        -  414.9

Number of hikes this year - 52

NOTES

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

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

Info kiosk, shade and a bicycle repair station are available at Cougar Overlook.

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

 

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 12/22/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.20 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes

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

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

Temps started at 39 and ended at 68.  Sunny with a constant WNW 5-10mph breeze.

Easy hike along easy to see trails.  Major portions of this hike were through trails that had been part of the prescribed burn a few weeks ago.  Significant portions of Tasajilla Flats, Nature Trail Winding Snake and Red Dam Loop were blackened which revealed a couple of bags worth of old cans and bottles.  No animals spotted and only a few birds although I saw a Rofous Sided Towhee and a pair of Black Buzzards. 

Not much else to report.

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 5 Points Junction Loop + Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 12/19/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett Trail > Potts Creek Trail > Armadillo Ridge (W) > Turkey Creek (N) > 5 Points Junction  3.7 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone Trail (S) > service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   2.0 miles

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

Temps started at 38 and ended at 44.  Overcast, very slight, inconsistent NW breeze.

Easy hike along easy to see and traverse trails.  More burned areas along Roadrunner Loop (Leg 3) than on the other two legs.  Once again, not much animal activity - spotted three deer on the way in and one deer on the trail.  A Loggerhead Shrike and a small flock of White Crowned Sparrows (photo attached) were also seen while on the hike.  Otherwise, it was just a cold, dry day for hiking.

NOTES

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

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

Water and shade available at numerous campsites along the Roadrunner Loop as well as three toilets at different spots.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 12/17/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 5.70 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Trail > Potts Creek Trail > Armadillo Ridge (W) > Turkey Creek (N) > 5 Points Junction  3.7 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone Trail (S) > service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   2.0 miles

Temp started at 60, ended at 70.  Overcast, little to no wind, slight humidity.

Easy hike along easy to see and traverse trails.  Portions of the park had been part of a prescribed burn - portions of this route were affected but not negatively.  I saw 3 deer and less than a dozen birds, one of which was a Meadowlark.  There was a smell of smoke in certain areas but overall it was a pleasant hike.  No photos taken.

NOTES - 

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

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

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop + Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 11/20/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours

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

Leg 2 - Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral Trail > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area   3.3 miles

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

Temp started at 49 ended at 72.  Sunny with gradually increasing SW winds.

Very easy hike along dry and easy to traverse trails.  Admittedly, there are a few areas that could do with some cutting but overall the trails are easy to see and hike on.  Numerous deer were seen and I had one four point buck, aware of me but very nonchalant about it, walking parallel to me about 20 yards away on Nature Trail.  Birds spotted were sparse but I am seeing Meadowlarks in increasing numbers.  The most surprising thing was seeing what I believe was a 10 inch Plains Garter Snake sunning on Chaparral Trail near the Playground Parking Area.  He moved quickly and I couldn't get a photo.

NOTES

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

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

Water and shade available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop and there is an info kiosk and toilets available at three places on the loop in the campgrounds.

 

Park Mid-Section - Burkett to Bell's Point and Back
User: MikeHikes - 11/14/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Potts Creek Trail > Playground Trail > Bell's Point

Leg 2 -  Bell's Point > Playground Trail (N) > park service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park

Temp started at 49, ended at 70, Sunny, light wind.

A very nice hike along mostly groomed trails. The cooler air was at the start of the hike but by the end, it was comfortably warm.

I saw a 6 point buck, doe and fawn that survived last week's hunt.  A javelina with two very small piglets was but they were trotting away from us so no photo.  Not many birds spotted besides a few Mockingbirds and Sparrows.

Uneventful but pleasant hike.

NOTES

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

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

Park Mid-Section - Burkett Park to Bell's Point Loop
User: MikeHikes - 11/8/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Potts Creek Trail > Playground Trail > Bell's Point

Leg 2 -  Bell's Point > Playground Trail (N) > park service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park

Temp started at 49, ended at 70, Overcast then partly sunny, No wind then gradually a light SW breeze.

A very nice hike along mostly groomed, wet with morning dew, trails.  The cold air caused an unexpected fog/mist to cover portions of the lake as well as low lying areas of the park (Photo attached).

I saw white tail deer, a solitary hawk (unknown what kind), various birds including Meadowlarks and a lone javelina.  There was not much going on otherwise, it was just a peacful hike along easy to seeand traverse trails.

NOTES

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

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

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to River Bend Campground Loop #2
User: MikeHikes - 10/31/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > service road (S) > Badlands > park road to River Bend Campground   3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > North Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead   2.4 miles

Temp started at 49, ended at 65.  Sunny with little to no wind.

Basically a repeat of Thursday's hike except I saw some mountain bikers on the return leg.  No animal activity and bird activity was minimal although I spotted a few "first for this season" Meadowlarks (photo attached). 

Quiet and peaceful hike but there really wasn't much going on.

NOTES

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

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

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

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to River Bend Campground Loop #1
User: MikeHikes - 10/28/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 5.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Bell's Trailhead > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > service road (S) > Badlands > park road to River Bend Campground   3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > North Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead   2.4 miles

Temp started at 46, ended at 65.  Sunny with a steady North wind.

A nice hike along groomed, damp trails.  Severe winds had blown through the past few days and there was debris on the trails that I removed.  Not much animal activity except for an Axis Deer buck I spotted at the beginning of the hike (photo attached).  Bird activity was minimal and the grasshoppers were not as plentiful as they were a few weeks ago.  At the River Bend Campground, I saw a Loggerhead Shrike and there was plenty of standing water in the river; unfortunately, the water was not flowing into the lake.

Quiet and peaceful but not much going on.

NOTES

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

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

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

 

South Shore - Isabel Harte Loop
User: MikeHikes - 10/10/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 4.20 Miles Duration: N/A

Route -  Isabel Harte Day Multi Use Area > Chaparral (S) > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Talley Valley (N) > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > park road to Isabel Harte > Chaparral   4.2 miles

Temp started at 65, ended at 75.  Sunny and breezy.

Hike along familiar trails.  Nice breeze made the hike that much more enjoyable. The only real place where the trail needs "grooming" was on Red Dam Loop.  Some of the vegetation has growwn but not to an abnormal degree.  Otherwise, all the trails were very nice.

 

NOTES

Dry toilets and water available at Isabel Harte in one place.  Shade available at numerous campsites.

South Shore - Isabel Harte Figure 8 Loop
User: MikeHikes - 10/6/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Isabel Harte Day Use Area > Chaparral (S) > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Talley Valley (N) > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > park road to Isabel Harte > Chaparral   3.9 miles

Leg 2 -  Isabel Harte > Winding Snake > Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > park road to Isabel Harte > Isabel Harte   3.1 miles

Temp started at 60, ended at 76.  Sunny with a steady light, SW breeze.

Pleasant hike along mostly groomed trails - portions of Red Dam loop were overgrown but still passable.  There was minimal bird and animal activity with the exception of seeing about 10 Scissortail Flycatchers at Isabel Harte. There were a few Monarch butterflies spotted as well as the numerous grasshoppers.

Nothing much else to say except it was as always, a good hike.

NOTES

Water and dry toilets available at Isabel Harte. Shade available at numerous sites.

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

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/29/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 45 minutes

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

Leg 2 - Cougar Overlook > Javalina > 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     3.5 miles

Temp started at 68, ended at 78.  Overcast and humid for Leg 1, then mostly sunny.  Light breeze.

An easy hike this morning.  Not much activity besides a few deer for the first leg of the hike then when the Sun came out and the temperature rose, numerous grasshoppers were out as well as a few birds. Of note, I saw a Plains Leopard Frog for the first time along Dinosaur Trail, a little far from the creek but healthy.  Also worth noting - the Monarch have arrived!  The park is on their flyway and this morning I saw quite a few of them near the pecan trees on Shady Trail and the North Scenic Loop.

NOTES

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

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

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

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

Park Mid-section - Burkett Park to Armadillo Ridge Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/26/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 3.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours

Leg 1 - Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster Trail > West Potts Creek > East Potts Creek Trail

Leg 2 -  East Potts Creek Trail > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park

East, fitness hike along dry and easy to traverse trails.  A few portions of Roller Coaster wer a little more difficult due to loose stones and dirt on the downslopes.  No animal, bird or reptile activity seen.  I saw some spiders (photo attached) and lots of grasshoppers. 

A short but pleasant hike.

NOTES

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

Park Mid-section - Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/23/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.70 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > RollerCoaster > West Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction    4.2 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > Playground Trail > Bell's Point > Playground Trail > Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett park   3.5miles

Temp started at 46, ended at 76.  Sunny with light breeze.

A cold start along recently groomed trails.  The cold weather kept almost all the animals, birds and insects in their burrows and nests.  I saw a doe and two fawns at the park entrance and one lone doe during the hike, very few birds and no insects until late in the hike when the sun warmed the air and the grasshoppers appeared in abundant numbers.

The trails were dry and easy to traverse.  For the most part, the trails were groomed the only exceptions being in hard to get to portions on the Roller Coaster and Playground Trails. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets availabvle 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 Isabel Harte + Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/15/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 7.70 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area     3.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > park road to Isabel Harte   2.6 miles

Leg 3 -  park road to Isabel Harte > Chaparral > Playground parking area   2.0 miles

Temp started at 65, ended at 80.  Overcast for Legs 1 & 2 , then mostly sunny.  Light breeze most of the time.

All trails listed have been recently trimmed and are easy to traverse.  There was very little wildlife activity although I did see a pair of Scissortail Flycatchers which was good.  I also saw a ring-collared snake early in the hike but otherwise the only other thing of interest was a Monarch Butterfly (photo attached).  They are due to arrive in a few more weeks as they migrate South so I was surprised to see only one today.

When I arrived, there were 6-8 cars and trucks already parked (0810).  I saw five different people on the trails at various times so the solitude was not as good as usual.  BUT, when I finished my hike, everyone had gone!  Guess they got there, did their thing and departed quickly.

An unremarkable hike but as always, any hike is a good one.

NOTES

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

Water available at one spot and shade available at campsites at Isabel Harte.

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/8/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 40 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 > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > service road (W) > River Bend Connector > Javelina > Cougar Overlook    3.2 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SW) > River Bend (N) > Badlands > service road (NW) > Upper Big Hill > DInosaur > DInosaur Viewing Area > Dinosaur > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead   5.8 miles

Temp started at 70, ended at 86.  Sunny, little to no breeze.

Easy hike along trails that are becoming overgrown with vegetation from the recent rains.  I saw a group of four Axis deer which are not native to the park (photo attached).  Surprisingly, there is still a low stream of water moving into the river near the River Bend campground boatramp.  More purple thistle is coming up and there were a few spots of beebush sltill in bloom.  Otherwise, there was hardly any animal or bird activity seen. 

NOTES

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

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

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

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

 

 

South Shore - Playground parking area to Burkett Park Short Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/1/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.10 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park    3.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Trail > Horny Toad > Playground parking area   3.0 miles

Temp started at 74, ended at 85.  Sunny with fairly steady 5-10mph southerly breeze, humid.

Trails were dry but the humidity in the air and in the vegetation caused my shoes to get wet with morning dew.  Haze from the humidity was visible but the breeze kept me somewhat comfortable.  The trails are becoming overgrown with all the recent rains but still easy to see and traverse.  No wildlife and very few birds except for the juvenile Mockingbird and female (?) Hummingbird I saw on the Red Dam (photo attached).  The Hummer was zooming toward the Mocker but the Mocker was unconcerned and held his perch.  There are still lots of grasshoppers that will jump/fly away wuth every step you take.  The beebush is still blooming on the Nature Trail which makes hiking it very pleasant! Near the end of the hike on Horny Toad Trail, I noticed a "circle" of about 20 Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures in the air a short distance away but didn't see them land nor did I smell anything dead.  Perhaps they were just riding the currents as they looked for a meal.

NOTES

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

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

South Shore - Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 8/26/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

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

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Potts CReek > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park   3.9 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area   2.9 miles

Temp started at 72, ended at 86.  Sunny with 1-5mph intermittent SW breeze.  Humid

Trails were for the most part dry.  Vegetation is growing over parts of the trails and at two points - on the Potts Creek and West Potts creek trails - there is standing stagnant water from last week's rain. There is some visible debris from the flooding of Potts Creek but the trails overall are in good shape.  Caution is advised if you ride a bike.  When the rain water went down the trails, it took whatever topsoil was covering the rocks and cut deeper, narrower channels in the trails which could cause a tire to unexpectedly get stuck in the rut.

On a positive note - the rains have caused the bee bush to finally blossom for the first time this year (photo attached).  The scent of vanilla is prevalent in many places and made the hike that much more enjoyable.

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 - 8/22/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 6.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Flintstone (N) > Cougar Overlook     3.2 miles

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

Temp started at 75, ended at 86.  Sunny, wind became steady at 5-10mph from South.

An easy hike along dry trails.  Had a LOT of rain (park had 7 inches in 24 hours) with lots of water in creeks that are normally dry.  OC Fisher Reservoir went from 5% to 7% but there was no real damage to the trails I hiked today! 

I saw a fox as I was driving in (photo attached), three groups of javelinas, lots of whitetail deer, turkeys and a cottontail rabbit.  Not many birds were out but there were quite a few grasshoppers and small lizards. 

Overall a good hike.

NOTES

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

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

North Shore - Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook Loop
User: MikeHikes - 8/9/2021  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Bell's trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead > North Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > service road (W) > River Bend (100 yds) > Javelina Trail > Cougar Overlook    3.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Cougar Overlook > service road (W) > River Bend Trail (N) > Badlands > Service road (N) > Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead   6.0 miles

Temp started at 76, ended at 91.  South wind started at 5mph, increased and held steady at 10-15mph.  Sunny, slightly humid.

Easy hike along dry and easy to traverse trails. Water is still in the North Concho River but it is not flowing; rather, it is held in pools which have definitely decreased in size from my last visit a month ago.  Not much was happening today - I saw whitetail deer, a "blind in one eye" rattler curled up on Javelina Trail near Cougar Overlook and saw my first small 17 year cicada (photo attached).  One biker and two hikers were seen as well.  Quiet but enjoyable hike.

NOTES

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

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

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

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


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