MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 289 (Rank: 3rd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,277.10 Miles (Rank: 3rd)
Average Distance: 7.88 Miles

Average Rating: (4.29)
Average Difficulty: (1.19)
Average Solitude: (4.59)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 11/11/2018

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

Photos

Lonesome Dove

A solitary dove perched on a dead mesquite branch - a good symbol for today's hike. [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
San Angelo State Park - 11/11/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.50 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out     Burkett Park > WSto LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo (W) > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction     4.2 miles

Return 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (NE) > at 1st junction, turn right (SSW) to Trailhead to Trailhead Trail (service road) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     2.3 miles

Temps started in low 40's, ended in mid 50's.  Mostly sunny with wispy clouds and a steady SW breeze.

The trails were surprisingly damp and in some spots, very muddy.  Trails have either been groomed or the vegetation has died off because there were no issues with seeing a clear trail ahead.  As usual, there were a few spots that could use some gravel or other fill in spots but overall, the trails were good.

Lots of small butterflies and grasshoppers were seen as well as a number of small birds.  No animals were spotted.  Our first freeze of the season is predicted to occur in less than 48 hours - I hope all the park residents are prepared!

NOTES

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

Water, shade and info kiosk at 5 Points Junction.

IMPORTANT - the trail maps available at the park office have been updated and the maps in the info kiosks have not.  Trust the new map.

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park
San Angelo State Park - 11/2/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out     Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     4.2 miles

Return Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parkign area                       3.2 miles

Temp started in low 50's, ended in low 70's.  Sunny with clouds, light breeze.

Leisurely hike along wet and muddy trails.  It rained two days ago and the saturated ground is still very wet.  LOTS of butterflies out today.  Bee brush is blooming as are some wild flowers.  Quite a few birds out as well although nothing unusual.  A very pleasant hike!

NOTES

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

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

IMPORTANT - Park trail maps have been updated and do NOT match the map in the info kiosks - trust the park map.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park
San Angelo State Park - 10/26/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out     Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.8 miles

Return Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area                    3.6 miles

Temp started at low-50's, ended at low 70's.  Intermittent northerly winds, sunny and very few clouds.

As my last report stated, the trails were wet, muddy, rough and rocky.  Lots of small birds out as were the butterflies.  I saw a few whitetail does and one fairly large 8 point buck - good luck to them as the park closed early today for a scheduled hunt.

Not much else to report !

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
San Angelo State Park - 10/22/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.40 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Out      Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (South - it's a service road) > North Scenic Loop > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > service road (W 100 yards) > River Bend Trail (go straight 200 yards) > Javalina > Cougar Lookout        3.9 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > service road (W) > River Bend (NW) > Badlands > service road (NE 30 yards) > North Slick Rock > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail (N) > service road (NW) > Bell's Trailhead    6.5 miles

Temps started in low 50's, ended in mid-60's.  Cloudy with intermittent breeze from the South.

Wet, muddy, rough or rocky - take your pick and one or more of those descriptions fit the trail conditions on today's hike.  We had a week of welcome rain which brought a much needed boost to the lakes and reservoirs; O.C. Fisher (at the park) went from 7.9% to 14.3 % - not much of a difference to many but a BIG improvement to the lake.  The North Concho River, which feeds the lake, for the longest time was dry in many places and was not flowing but today, it is flowing and adds even more water to the lake.  

The rains have also helped the migrating Monarchs (I saw many individuals but no large groups) by causing the Bee Brush to bloom once more.  Lots of other butterflies were present as well, all feasting on the numerous small flowers present. I saw about 20-25 Whitetail deer during the hike and for the first time, an American Badger.  

I was walking along Javalina Trail on my way to Cougar Lookout and as I rounded a small bend, I saw a badger about 20 yards in front of me.  I began to raise my camera and as I did, he ducked into a patch of prickly pear.  I waited a minute to see if he'd come back out but he didn't.  I walked slowly past and stopped about 20-30 yards away and waited.  After another minute, the badger cautiously lifted his head up and peered at me while he remained in the midst of the prickly pear.  After a few seconds, he turned and disappeared in the brush - all I saw was the top portion of his body as he scurried away.  The photo I took of him watching me from the brush wasn't worth much and I discarded it.  Oh well, next time I'll get a good photo.

NOTES

Water available at Bell's Trailhead in the camping area.

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

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

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

SPECIAL NOTE - On the return leg, when I came down the service road from the Badlands Trail, there is a junction of trails at the base of the hill.  The iron post trail signage says "North Slick Rock" BUT when you reach the end of the trail, there is a wooden sign that says the trail you just traversed is "Dinosaur Trail".  This can be misleading.

ALSO - The park has updated their paper maps but have not yet updated the maps in the info kiosks.

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park Loop
San Angelo State Park - 10/5/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.10 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Out     Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park        3.3 miles

Return Burkett park > Winding Snake (15 meters) > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Horny Toad > Talley Valley > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.8 miles

Temp started in mid-70's, ended in upper 80's.  Partly sunny with fairly steady, strong breeze.

Nice hike today along trails easy to see and traverse.  Park personnel have groomed more of the trails and cleaned up a "trouble spot" on Nature Loop.  Only negative was picking up a number of GU and BLOX packets left from last weeks trail race.  Oh well, not the park's fault.

There were few birds spotted except for Turkey Vultures however, this area has been innunated by small brown butterflies - at the park as well as in town.  Saw some of them resting/eating on the plants that will become tumbleweeds.  On the same plants, the caterpillars are also eating the small leaves.  Spotted a few Monarchs, as well as a few other butterflies, eating the remaining bee brush, gayfeathers and other flowers still blooming.

One unusual sighting - saw a turtle, about the size of my fist, at the beginning of the hike.  This is the second turtle I've spotted since I started hiking at this park 18 years ago so this was definitely a noteworthy sight!

NOTES

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

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

IMPORTANT - The new park trail maps are accurate with regard to all of today's trails.  The maps located in the info kiosks are not.