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MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 232 (Rank: 3rd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 1,810.10 Miles (Rank: 3rd)
Average Distance: 7.80 Miles

Average Rating: (4.35)
Average Difficulty: (1.26)
Average Solitude: (4.62)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 7/16/2017

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

Photos

Horned Toad on the Trail

This is one of the two horned toads I saw today. A few years back, it was VERY rare to see a toad anytime, I hope they are making a come-back! [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 7/16/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Out       Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 yds) > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo (ENE) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (NE) > Cougar Lookout         6.0 miles

Return   Cougar Lookout > service road (WSW) > River Bend (SW) > 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (ENE) > East Potts Creek > Burkett trail > Burkett park   4.7 miles

Temps - 82 at start and 100 at end, sunny with intermittent light winds.

First hike in the park's mid-section since the severe wind storm of a month ago.  Nothing on the trails now but easy to see where branches had fallen and were moved off.  Trails are dry and easy to traverse.  The North Concho River seen from Cougar Lookout still has water but the rocks in the river are easier to see which means the water level has dropped - not a good thing.

Saw two fawns at the start of the hike but no other animals; not many birds out either.  Saw a few mountain bikers but that was it. 

Not too long ago I found my first tick on my sock.  Today I found my first tick stuck to my leg.  I scrapped her off (checked and it was a female Lone Star tick), saw she still had her head so I terminated her.  Squeezed blood out of the bite wound and cleaned it best I could.  Will keep an eye on the wound but I'm not too concerned about infections right now.  In all my years of hiking, I've been lucky in never having a tick bite but this year, my string of good luck regarding ticks has been broken.      

NOTES

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

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

Water, shade and info kiosk at 5 Points Junction.

Shade and info kiosk available at Cougar Lookout.

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park
San Angelo State Park - 7/9/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out    Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > 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      3.3 miles

Temps in the low 70's to start and low 80's at end, sunny, slight, steady breeze.

The park had been closed due to a severe wind storm that hit the park on June 23rd.  Park personnel have cleared the trails so they are passable but there are still some mesquite debris, i.e., sticks with thorns, on the trails.  Mountain bikers need to be aware of this.

Due to the storm and the rain, some of the loose soil has washed off exposing more rocks on the sloped portion of the trails and a little more soil now covers the rocks at the bottom of the trails.  Overall the trails are easy to traverse.

I see the same birds and a few animals but no snakes or lizards.

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 Roadrunner Loop
San Angelo State Park - 6/12/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 10 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 yds) > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area    3.6 miles

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

Temps start at 75 end at 93, sunny with a few clouds, steady light Southerly breeze.

An earlier than usual hike this morning.  Trails were dry and for the most part, easy to traverse.  Red Dam Loop and parts of Winding Snake need grooming but were easy to hike on.  Just be on the look out for snakes!

Numerous birds were seen.  A few such as the Painted Bunting and Vermilion Flycatcher were, a few short years ago, rarely seen.  Now, it's unusual if I don't see a few on my hikes.  The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is another bird I'm seeing more of as well.

While on Tasajilla Flats, I saw a grey fox but he saw me first so I only got a few photos as he took off (photo attached). 

Cottontail rabbits, white tail deer and a few lizards were spotted as well.  No snakes seen but I know they're out there.  

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 the campsites alongside Roadrunner Loop.

Toilets available at the half way point of Roadrunner Loop.

 

 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Outlook and Return
San Angelo State Park - 6/8/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out       Bell's Trailhead > service road (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) > Cougar Outlook      5.7 miles

Return   Cougar Outlook > Javalina > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > service road (NE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead      3.5 miles

Temps in the low 70's to start and mid 80's at end. Very high, hazy clouds and a slight Southerly breeze.

Trails are dry, easy to see and traverse. At some point, park personnel had cut back the vast majority of the vegetation from the trails. The lack of rain and the heat is keeping new growth at bay.

Quite a few birds out - Painted Buntings, some kind of hawk and a Yellow Billed Cuckoo were spotted as well as all the usual suspects. Saw my first Horned Toad of the year (photo attached). What surprised me was he didn't move as I approached, I stepped over him before he moved off the trail to some nearby greenery.

Took my shoes off to clear out some of the arrowhead weeds and a tick crawled off my sock; easy to spot and remove. In all my time hiking the park, this is the first time I'd seen one and I hope it's the last. I know a person who had a very severe reaction to Lyme Disease and I want no part of that!

I was the only person on the trails, enjoying the sounds of the wind and the birds as I hiked; it was a very pleasant.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk are available at Bell's Trailhead - water is at the campsites

Shade and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area on Dinosaur Trail.  Water is available for horses but NO WATER FOR HUMANS.

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

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

USE CAUTION due to insects and snakes in the toilet area. 

THIS IS THE ONLY POTABLE WATER LOCATION on this hike.

Park Mid-Section Burkett park to Cougar Lookout
San Angelo State Park - 6/3/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 - Burkett park> Winding Snake (20 yds) > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground (NW) > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction 4.5 miles

Leg 2 - 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (NE) > Cougar Lookout > service road (WNW) > River Bend (S) > 5 Points Junction 2.6 miles

Leg 3 - 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (ENE)> East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett park 3.4 miles

Temps in the 70's, humid, overcast and a light, steady Easterly breeze.

Leisurely hike today. There were lots of birds out especially the Painted Buntings - I saw five different ones at various locations; to me, this was a large number! Cottontail rabbits, deer and a solitary javalina were also spotted.

All in all, the trails were, for the most part, clear of vegetation with the exception of Playground Trail which had some sections in need of grooming.

All the trails were visible but the overhanging vegetation is a safety concern due to the danger of stepping on a rattlesnake.  I saw a 2-3 foot non-rattlesnake stretched on a trail but was able to get it to move without incident.

As always, it was enjoyable and I can't wait for the next hike!