Nice facility, lots of trails, good birdwatching on the river

Pine Ridge Trail, Scenic Overlook
A really pretty view (nicer than the pic captures) of a bend in the river and peaceful pastures divided by woods. The turnoff to get to trail marker 10 is just to the left of this fence.
User: plectrudis - 12/28/2015

Location: McKinney Roughs

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 3stars  Solitude: 4point5stars
Miles Hiked: 6.50 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A


There is a wide range of trails to choose from at McKinney Roughs, which is possibly its best feature--your hike can be as long or as short as you want. 

I took the Pine Ridge to Cypress and returned by Riverside, which means I saw piney woods, open grasslands (loads of little bluestem), and riparian ecosystems. Much of the trails were flattish, but there were zones of intensity going down to the river and back up to the ridge.  I saw 2 other small groups on the entire hike, and no horses.

The negatives are the inexplicable lack of signage at key junctures (despite copious signage overall), and the fact that the map and reality weren't entirely in sync.  I ended up going the wrong way a couple of times because other paths intersect with Pine Ridge and aren't marked on the map, nor are they signed. Plus I took a very big extra loop around the trail because I missed the poorly marked turn-off at the overlook (you go over the crest of the hill, down what looks like at first like a drainage channel).  Also, the map shows the overlook as occurring between markers 10 & 11, when it's actually between 9 & 10.  Similarly, the Valley View Trail intersects with the Riverside Trail between markers 2 & 3; not between 1 & 2, as shown on the map. 

I guess this all sounds a bit titchy, but it was cold, and it was a long hike, and going repeatedly astray made me a bit grumpy.

On a happier note, I saw a couple of ladder-back woodpeckers and (what I think was) a dark-eyed junco, plus a deer.  Birdwatchers should bring binoculars and chill out at the picnic table on the Cypress Trail to enjoy some ornithological action.


Log Photos
Pine Ridge Trail, Scenic Overlook
Lots of little bluestem in the post oak savannah section
Area around McKinney Roughs
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