Return to San Angelo State Park

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett and Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 8/26/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -   Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park     3.4 miles

Leg 2 -   Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 m) > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground Parking Area     3.9  miles

Leg 3 -  Playground Parking Area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground Parking Area    3.2 miles

Temps started at 80 and ended at 94, sunny with no clouds and a steady southerly wind.

Very pleasant hike this morning along the South Shore's main trails.  All trails are easy to see and for the most part, very easy to traverse.  The vegetation is being to grow along and cover some portions of the trails which is a concern because of rattlesnakes.  A few birds were out but for the most part, they were not seen.  There were quite a few biting flies as I discovered when I went into parts of the trail that were shielded from the wind - I have four welts from the flies!

On a positive note, the bee brush is blooming and scenting the air with a very pleasant vanilla scent (photo attached). 

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 along most of Roadrunner Loop at the campsites across the road from the trail.  At the mid-point of the Loop, toilets are available at the campground.

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Lower Ghost Camp and Back
User: MikeHikes - 8/16/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Route   Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > service road (S) > North Scenic Loop > service road (S) > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Trail (W then N) > Badlands > service road (N) > North Slick Rock > Upper Hill Trail > Dinosaur Trail > service road (N) > Bell's Trailhead        7.3 miles

Temps in the upper 70's to start and mid 90's at end, mostly sunny with light winds and higher than normal humidity.

A relaxing hike today after receiving some much needed rain last week.  The trails are still visible but, in places, not as "smooth" as before.  This has been caused by the combination of a wet trail and large hooved animals, i.e., the longhorns, that walk on it while it is muddy.  The mud dries and what was once a smooth surface is now very bumpy.  Hikers will be concerned because it is easier to twist an ankle, bikers will experience a rougher ride and equestrians will have to watch where their horses step.

Saw a pair of Lesser Goldfinches (photo attached) as well as many Scissortails and other birds.  Six whitetails of various sizes bounded out as I hiked and at Shady Trail, fresh evidence there is still a beaver bringing down trees.  There were innumerable grasshoppers along the entire hike and while on the service roads especially, the humming of bees was LOUD.  I didn't see any flowers but watched the bees gathering on all kinds of vegetation. 

The park has re-mapped their trail system and paper copies are now available.  A word of caution - the paper maps do not correspond 100% with existing trail markers.  The park is working to update the trail markers and it will take a little more time before there is a perfect correlation between the two.  If in doubt, use the paper map. 

NOTES

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at the River Bend Campground.  CAUTION - dry toilets not maintained/serviced on a regular basis so watch for insects, reptiles and animals if you plan to use it.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area (approx 1.5 miles from Bell's Trailhead on Dinosaur Trail).

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and back
User: MikeHikes - 8/4/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.10 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Out     Playground parking area > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad (N) > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett Park       3.6 miles

Return Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.5 miles

Temps started at 80, ended at 95.  Sunny with some high clouds, steady southerly breeze.

The Mockingbirds were out in force today as they were the only birds I saw during my hike with two exceptions; an Oriole and a Roadrunner (photo attached).  The trails were all groomed and easy to follow.  As mentioned in earlier posts, the drought continues and the soil on the trails is either gone or thinning.  In a few spots, you have to be cautious due to loose soil which could cause a fall - not a happy event.

There were a few groups of mountain bikers on the trails and a solitary runner, otherwise the trails were mine.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets 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 Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 7/28/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Out     Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky Lackey (W 20 meters) > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction      5.2 miles

Return  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (ENE) > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.7 miles

Temps started at 82, ended at 97.  High, wispy clouds then sunny and hot, Light fairly consistent breeze.

Drought continues in San Angelo and the effects are seen and felt at the park.  There are few flowers in bloom, the vegetation is dormant or dead and the wildlife is not to be seen.  The trails are easy to see but have become harder to hike on because soil has blown away leaving more exposed rock.  A few portions of West Potts Creek near the northern end, are very eroded and require caution when treading on them.  Park personnel need to take a couple of loads of small rock and try filling in some of the deepest crevices to stop the erosion.  Nonetheless, hiking at the park is better than staying in the house!

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 Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 7/22/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Out       Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park         3.5 miles

Return   Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area       4.0 miles

Temps start at 80, end at 88.  Sunny with thin, high, wispy clouds and intermittent breeze.

Quiet hike today along dry trails.  All trails have been groomed and are easy to traverse.  This area is in a multi-day, 100+ temp rut and it shows at the park.  No flowers or cacti in bloom, lots of dry vegetation, minimal movement by birds, and few animals or reptiles are seen.  O.C. Fisher reservoir is at 8.4% capacity and continues to drop.  There are some park users but not many, even on the weekend.

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 Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 7/12/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake (S 20meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajillo Flats > Playground parking area     3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area      3.2 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park          3.2 miles

Temp started at 80, ended at 95.  Sunny with a few scattered clouds, light somewhat consistent breeze.

Uneventful hike on the major South Shore trails.  All trails were groomed, dry and easy to traverse.  There were quite a few Mockingbirds out singing and on certain portions of the hike, the Cactus Wren was the predominant bird.  A couple of lizards and one White tail deer were spotted as well.  Perhaps because I walked these trails in reverse order, I was able to gather almost two bags worth of trash - most of it old cans and bottles.  Don't know how I missed seeing this stuff when I hiked going in the other direction.

NOTES

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

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

Water and shade available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop with toilets available at the begining and mid points of the trail.

South Shore Playground parking area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 6/23/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 10.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -   Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park         4.0 miles

Leg 2 -   Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > Lankey Lackey (10m) > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park      3.8 miles

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

Temps start at 79, end at 99.  Cloudy at first then sunny.  Somewhat steady southerly wind.

Long, hot and dry hike today.  Whether it was the heat or the wind, there were few birds out and no wildlife at all.  The trails have been groomed for the most part with the exception of West Potts Creek (Leg 2).  The areas at both ends of the trail need attention.  At the southern end, there is a large tree branch just waiting to snag a speeding bicyclist off his bike as he rounds a curve.  At the northern end, the trail has serious erosion problems that could easily cause a hiker to twist his/her ankle if they're not careful.  All the other trails were easy to see and relatively smooth.  The cactus blooms as well as most of the wild flowers, are gone but at a few points on the hike, I caught whiffs of vanilla which means the bee brush is ready to bloom again.

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 and Back
User: MikeHikes - 6/17/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Out       Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park       3.5 miles

Return  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area       3.0 miles

Temps started in low 80's and ended in low 90's.  Cloudy then sunny, light Southerly breeze.

Quiet day for a hike.  Park personnel have groomed all, or at least major portions, of the mentioned trails.  This caused increased ant activity as the leaf cutter/red ants were working overtime to removed the cut grasses off "their" trail.   Saw two fairly large white tail deer, a tarantula (first in quite awhile), no snakes and the usual birds.  When the wind died down, the gnat activity markedly increased - no fun!

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 Loop
User: MikeHikes - 6/8/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Out     Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett Park        4.2 miles

Return Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.7 miles

Temp started at 72, ended at 85.  Partly cloudy, intermittent southerly breeze.

Due to the low wind, the gnats were pretty bad today.  The trails are visible but are becoming overgrown with vegetation in many places - this is a concern because of the increased possibility of unintentionally stepping on small lizards, horned toads or snakes.  The birds were out but not too active and there were no rare or unusual ones observed.  Most of the cactus blooms are gone although the few remaining blooms had numerous insects working to get the pollen.

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 Cougar Outlook
User: MikeHikes - 5/31/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Out      Bell's Trailhead > service road (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) > Cougar Outlook       6.1 miles

Return  Cougar Outlook > Javalina > service road (NE) > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp >South Slick Rock > service road (N) > Scenic Loop > service road (NE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead     3.9 miles

Temp started at 80, ended at 98.  Sunny with a steady breeze.

There were quite a few bees buzzing about with all the flowers and shrubs blooming.  All trails were dry and easy to see HOWEVER with the somewhat recent rains, vegetation covered the trails in places.  This is significant because today was "Reptile Day".  I spotted numerous lizards, two Horned Toads, three rattlesnakes and three coachwhip snakes.  All were on, or very close to, the trail; the rattlers and the Horned Toads were sitting/laying directly on the trail. 

Consequently, I was not watching much besides where I placed my feet so didn't really see much of the other wildlife at the park. 

NOTES

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

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

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets are available at the River Bend Ghost Camp.  Use caution if you use the toilets due to insects and snakes.

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park
User: MikeHikes - 5/23/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out      Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > park road to Isabel Harte > service road (NW) > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Winding Snake (N 20 meters) > Burkett park        4.8 miles

Return  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area       3.1 miles

Temp started at 70, ended at 82.  Sunny, light breeze.

Easy hike along dry, easy to traverse, familiar trails as well as a walk along an old service road.  Lots of birds out today - saw four nighthawks hunting, three Vermillion Flycatchers and a Yellow Billed Cuckoo (first I've seen in a year or more) in addition to all the other usual birds.  Also saw a couple of cottontail rabbits and some small lizards - no snakes spotted this time!

The heavy rainfall we experienced last week helped "green up" the park and got a few more cactus flowers to bloom.  Don't know why but the first wave of cactus blooms were almost all a solid yellow color; today, there were numerous blooms that were orange-ish with distinct red highlights. Saw quite a few yellow flowers and some patches of Mexican Hat flowers.  The bee brush is blooming in numerous spots and their vanilla scent was present for most of the hike.

NOTES

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

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

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout Trails and Roads
User: MikeHikes - 5/13/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 8.60 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out      Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lankey Lackey (W 20 meters) > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > River Bend (NE) > service road (NE) > Cougar Lookout        5.5 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > service road (SW) (stay on always heading S or SW) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     3.1 miles

Temp started at 75, low overcast, steady winds.  Gradually less overcast and temp at 86.

Hiked the trails out to Cogar Lookout and then followed the service roads back to Burkett trail for an easy return trip.  Saw a large snake (non-poisonous) on West Potts Creek - I had been warned people saw rattlers so I was fortunate the snake I saw was NOT a rattler.  I also saw four Common Nighthawks which may not sound like much but I haven't seen this once common bird in awhile so to me, it was noteworthy.

Trails are still easy to see and traverse.  The Bee Brush is just starting to bloom so every now and then I caught a whiff of vanilla.

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 bicycle repair station available at Cougar Lookout.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction and Back
User: MikeHikes - 5/7/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 8.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out      Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo (NE) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction  3.9 miles

Return  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller  Coaster > Lanky Lackey (10 meters) > Suzanne's Trail (NE) > Burkett Park     4.7 miles

Temp at begining was 68, sunny and light wind.  Temp at end was 88, sunny and steady wind.

Leisurely hike in the park's mid-section.  A lot of the area was burned during the past Winter and up until a few short weeks ago, everything seemed black and barren with occasional spots of green.  After last week's rain, there is much more green in view as well as numerous cactus in bloom.  The trails are dry, easy to see and traverse.  No snakes spotted although there were a few lizards scampering about as well as quite a few birds singing for mates.

Not much else to say except any hike is a good hike.

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.
 

North Shore West Side Hike
User: MikeHikes - 5/2/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Temp started at 75, cloudy and windy.  At end, temp was 93, sunny and windy.

Hike began across the road (FM2288) from the park's North Shore entrance.  Go through the gate and follow the dirt road/path until the end.  Turn around and return along the same route.  I suggest you pull up Google Earth and look at the satellite photos (as of this writing dated Mar 2015).  The trail is easy to see as it runs along the North Concho river, which is mostly dry at this time. 

The "trail" is an old dirt road which at points, narrows to a path, before widening out again.  There are no trail markers and maintenance is minimal (IMO).  The main reason I like this hike is simply to see the birds.  The North Concho River runs through this area and the trail somewhat parallels the river.  Bear in mind, the area is in a multi-year drought; major portions of the river are DRY.

Nonetheless, there are patches of water along the river and that is where the bird activity is.  Great Blue Herons, various raptors, as well as different songbirds, can be seen if you're patient.  Today, I saw Vermillions Flycatchers, a Painted Bunting, lots of smaller, less colorful birds, a few hawks and a Caracara - the second I've seen in all my time at the park.

The park's cattle were there in abundant numbers as well; numerous calves with both parents present. 

NOTES

First and foremost - if you want to hike in this area, check with park personnel beforehand as this area is used extensively for hunting at various times of the year - even if the rest of the park doesn't allow hunting.

Private land borders this area so always know where you are and do not trepass!!!

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at the North Shore gatehouse where you will park your vehicle.

South Shore Playground parking area to Isabel Harte Loop and The Roadrunner
User: MikeHikes - 4/24/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 5.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area       1.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > park road to Isabel Harte > Chaparral > Playground parking area    4.5 miles

Temp around 65 at start, end at 75.  Sunny with light winds.

Easy hike along familiar trails.  LOTS of bird activity singing and buidling nests.  Trails all dry and easy to walk upon.

Not really a lot going on but enjoyable nonetheless.

NOTES

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

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park and return
User: MikeHikes - 4/18/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 8.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out     Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park       4.3 miles

Return Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area           3.7 miles

Temp started at 65, ended at 75.  Sunny with strong, steady winds.

Leisurely hike on the major South Shore trails.  Bird activity pretty high - saw this year's first Cedar Waxwings at two different locations, lots of birds singing for mates and a few of the Lace Cactus have blooms while others do not.

Trails are dry, visible and easy to traverse; some trash was found but not much.  Overall, this was an easy hike on a beautiful Spring 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 Cougar Lookout and back
User: MikeHikes - 3/31/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 9.60 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Out      Bell's Trailhead > service road (S) > Dinosaur > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (ENE) > Cougar Lookout     5.9 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > Javalina > service road (N) > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > service road (N) > North Scenic Loop > service road (ENE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead   3.7 miles

Temps started at 65 and ended at 82, sunny with a few wispy clouds, strong steady winds.

A good hike on the North Shore trails.  All trails had been groomed and for the most part, were easy to traverse.  Last week, it rained and the cattle wandered along some of the wet, muddy trails leaving deep hoof prints.  As the moisture evaporated, the prints hardened and what was mud, is now like concrete changing the trail from smooth to very rough.  As time passes, the trails will even out again but in the meantime, caution is advised because it is easy to twist an ankle if you're not paying attention.

Lots of folks on the trail today - equestrians, bikers and hikers.  Because of the strong winds, most of the smaller birds stayed low if they flew at all.  The only birds flying were turkey vultures at higher altitudes.  I saw this season's first Scissortail Flycatcher but didn't get a photo.

NOTES

Water is available at the campsite near Bell's Trailhead.

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

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Ghost Camp.  CAUTION - if you use the dry toilets be aware they are not serviced on a regular basis (bring your own TP!)

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park and Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/25/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park        3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area   3.7 miles

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

Temps start at 65, end at 85. Partly cloudy with light wind.

Nice hike although more people than usual.  The trails were dry and easy to see.  Birds were signing but not really visible and when they were, they stayed in the brush more than in the trees.  There were more bushes, cacti and flowers in bloom and that meant a lot of bees were buzzing around. For some reason, the bees really enjoyed the blooms on the center stalk of the yucca plants.

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 campsites around the Roadrunner Loop.  Toilet facilities are available at the mid-point.

 

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park and Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/17/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner > Playground parking area    3.2 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park       3.9 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.5 miles

Temp start at 55, end at 85.  Overcast then sunny, steady SW winds.

Walked the Roadrunner Loop first then continued on the other South Shore trails.  ALL of the campsites in the park were occupied and there were quite a few people walking around but fairly few were on the trails.  The warm weather has brought out the birds - lots of singing and fluttering to establish territories.  Saw three Vermillion Flycatchers - the first I've seen this year. 

Warm weather brings out snakes and although I didn't see any, a couple who were on the trail told me they saw a non-poisonous snake a few days ago.  Was also told that not all rattlesnakes rattle - the guy said the snakes are not warning where they are because of the feral hogs.  I guess the hogs consider the rattles a food bell and take on the snake!  Will check this out later to see if it's true or not.

All in all, a good hike!

NOTES

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

Water and shade available at numerous campsites along Roadrunner Loop and at the mid-point, there is a toilet/shower facility.

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

 

Park Mid-Section Winding Snake and Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 3/8/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 - Burkett park > Winding Snake > Burkett Park        1.6 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 meters then West) > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground (N) > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction      5.2 miles

Leg 3 - 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (NE) > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett park    3.7 miles

Temps in mid-60's, high clouds but sunny, STRONG wind.

The trails were dry and easy to see.  Most of the hike was in the portion of the park that had been burned this past Winter so there is still a lot of black or dead vegetation; of course the warmer weather is bringing out some green as well!  Did a short hike along part of Winding Snake trail before returning to Burkett park and heading West then North.  The strong wind kept most of the birds out of the air; those that flew only did so for short distances and stayed close to the ground.  I was hiking along Playground trail and as I approached Bell's Point, an adult Grey Fox saw me and took off running down the hill.  I hadn't seen a fox in awhile so this was a welcome sight!

On the trail, I kept catching whiffs of agarita bush in bloom.  Scattered here and there were a few plants with their small yellow fragrant flowers in bloom; I was pleased to see the butterflies also discovered them.  When I smell the blooms, I immediately think of hikes in the park, hot dust, mesquite wood smoke and honey - a very pleasant scent !!

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
User: MikeHikes - 2/25/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.90 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park        3.4 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 meters then West) > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett trail > Burkett park        3.7 miles

Leg 3 - Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 meters then West) > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area    3.8 miles

Temp started at 44, ended at 72.  Sunny with high clouds and light wind.

Slower paced hike today over trails that were dry or slightly damp (due to last week's rain) depending on where you were.  Quite a few birds were out - all the usual species as well as a Ruby Crowned Kinglet and an American Kestrel.  Also saw a small herd of white tail deer on my return leg.  What was somewhat unusual was the fairly large number of people out today - equestrians, mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers.  All interactions were civil and courteous so no problems there! 

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 Ghost Camp Loop
User: MikeHikes - 2/16/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out      Bell's Trailhead > service road (S 50 meters) > Dinosaur > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur > Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur > service road (S) > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) to ghost camp       4.3 miles

Return  Service road (NE) to ghost camp > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend ghost camp > Lower Ghost Camp Trail (N) > South Slick Rock > service road (NW) > North Scenic Loop > service road (NW) then (N) then (W) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead     2.8 miles

Temps in 50's, high overcast clouds, windy.

Easy, slow paced hike on the North Shore trails.  All trails are easy to see and traverse.  Saw some birds and quite a few longhorns with their calves.  As always, trash was picked up - old cans, broken glass and GU packets; sure wish folks would pick up after themselves. 

Not a lot to say about today's hike except this hike put me over 2000 miles in Texas with the vast majority being at the San Angelo State Park.

NOTES

Water available in the campgrounds near Bell's Trailhead.

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

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

     

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 2/10/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park      3.6 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Burkett trail > Potts Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > Lanky Lackey (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park     3.7 miles

Leg 3 - Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area    3.3 miles

Temp dropped from 40 to 35, heavy overcast with strong, variable northerly winds.

Gloomy, cold day but a day on the trails is better than a day in the house.  All the trails were easy to see and traverse.  There were no animals observed but I saw an American Kestrel and some type of hawk, otherwise the bird activity was pretty low due to the strong, cold winds.  Surprisingly, there were more people than usual on the trails either jogging or mountain biking.  Today was the park's monthly "Volunteer Trail Maintenance Day" - I saw about a dozen volunteers gather at the Playground parking area as I prepared to hike.  I didn't see them on the trails I hiked and when I returned to my car, they were gone.

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 Isabel Harte to Burkett park and Back
User: MikeHikes - 2/8/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 3.40 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Route    Isabel Harte > Winding Snake > Burkett park > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > park road (ENE) to Isabel Harte > Isabel Harte      3.4 miles

Temps in low 30's to start, upper 30's at end.  Sunny light and variable wind.

An easy stroll along familiar trails.  Saw a small herd of deer, quite a few birds and four javalinas.  Never got close enough to get a good photo of the javalinas since they maintained a good distance between us and them.  The herd of deer were spotted in the dried lake bed as we prepared to hike - they disappeared in the brush just as we started to hike.  Lots of birds including a Ruby Crowned Kinglet were seen.

Trails are dry and easy to traverse.  Not much to report so will close.

NOTES

Shade available at Isabel Harte.

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


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