nobody's Logbook

Total Log Entries: 9 (Rank: 56th)  [List Them]  [Map Them]
Total Distance: 45.50 Miles (Rank: 61st)
Average Distance: 5.06 Miles

Average Rating: 3point5stars (3.59)
Average Difficulty: 2stars (2.34)
Average Solitude: 3stars (3.06)

Earliest Log Entry: 2/6/2005
Latest Log Entry: 10/1/2016

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

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Log Entries
Bastrop State Park - Lost Pines Trail - 10/1/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 1star
Distance: N/A Duration: N/A

As of October 1, 2016 the Lost Pines trail is entirely closed. The website shows a portion of it open, but that is out of date.

Lush green, vaguely surreal
Bastrop State Park - 10/1/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A

The only trails open are those inside the former Park Road 1A loop. Park Road 1A is now a C shape instead of a full loop, with the side near the former lake closed. These "interior" trails are in good shape, with a nice variety of open views and enclosing vegetation. Pine saplings are up to 12-15 feet tall in places, and there's a lot of plants I don't remember ever seeing in the park before. After a couple months of good rain everything is very lush.

The golf course closed down a year or so ago, and the cart paths are open for walking. This is rather flat, roughly paved, and the place where I saw the most wildlife. Lots of woodpeckers. You have the feel of walking through wild meadows scattered with mature trees. These golf cart paths also made up the bulk of the 5 miles I hiked.

All in all, it was lush green, but if you looked through the plants you saw fallen branches and logs all over. There were just a couple places where isolated stands of pine trees remained from before the fires, and lots of places where burned trunks rose above the greenery like strange totem poles.

Horse Trails, South Loop from Bird Blind
Pedernales Falls State Park - 6/4/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 11.00 Miles Duration: N/A
In addition to the designated hiking trails, there are at least 12 miles of equestrial trails not included on the normal park map. If you ask real nicely the folks at the headquarters will give you a very cheesy map of them. Photocopy of the normal map with the horse trails filled in with a felt tip marker.

Starting from the birding blind (just outside the horse corral area) I went through the corral area and got on the trail where the sign marks "Gunney's Horse Trail". Everywhere else this trail is labelled as the South Loop and the Short Loop. It's a long narrow loop trail with a cutoff in the middle that forms the Short Trail. Unlike the Wolf Mountain trail, the equestrian trails are generally unimproved, though they sometimes follow Jeep tracks. No asphalt or other nastiness.

Starting out, the trail was very muddy (it rained the day before) but after 1/2 a mile or so things dried out and got better. It stayed that way until the last half mile or so of the return trip. The last 4 or 5 miles are spent walking next to the park boundary, which is marked by an 8 foot tall fence. This wasn't as unpleasant as it sounds, but it wasn't nearly as nice as the much more pristine terrain that the rest of the trail followed. A little ways before encountering the fence the trail crosses the park road just inside the front gate. It might be worth setting up a car shuttle to avoid the fence walking, especially if you aren't really interested in the full 11 mile round trip.

I've now hike the full length once and the portion starting at the Wolf Mountain trailhead (~7 mile loop) and not seen anyone else on the trail. That includes a visit on Memorial Day weekend when there was a line 6 cars long to get an entrance permit and the park was pretty much full up. They don't advertise this trail and the solitude is wonderful.
nice scenery, varied terrain
Spicewood Springs Trail - 3/20/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: N/A

I took the Spicewood Springs trail up to the road, then the connecting trail down to the river, followed the riverside trail well past the "no bicycling" sign and then doubled back through the campgrounds to my car.

The springs and pools near the trailhead were flowing very profusely. Keeping my feet dry was a challenge. Running shoes were probably a bad idea - sandals or waterproof boots would have been less worry.

The trail starts in a lush riverside area, proceeds up past a series of waterfalls and pools, then tops out in a typical hill country oak/cedar woodland (fairly open - no dense thickets or cedar breaks). Finally it moves back down to the riverside area with lots of tall deciduous trees.

The difficulty rating comes from crossing the creek over and over at the beginning. Rocks are slick, the water level was above the stepping stones, and it wouldn't have been too hard to slip and end up taking an impromptu swim (or getting injured, if that's your thing).

Near where the trail starts at the south end of the camping area there are several pools popular with swimmers and sunbathers. Most visitors to the park stay near the river and this area is especially heavily used, hence 4 on the solitude scale. The rest of the trail was completely deserted (and has been completely or nearly completely empty every other time I've visited).

Enchanted Rock - 3/20/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 1star
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A
I did the summit trail, then doubled back to Echo Canyon, from there to the loop trail and around Turkey Peak back to the parking area. A nice hike, but throngs of people detract from the mountaintop experience. Most of them don't venture into the back country, which is a saving grace.