Return to San Angelo State Park

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook (Short Route)
User: MikeHikes - 6/24/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out    -   Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > River Bend > service road (NW) > Cougar Overlook       5.7 miles

Return -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.1 miles

Temps started in the low 70's, ended in mid-80's.  Sunny with a slight NE breeze.

I was surprised when, as I was driving into the park, a doe crossed the road in front of me with two fawns - the fawns were so small that at first I thought a pair of dogs were chasing the doe!  They caught their mother and the three of them continued on their way (no photo - damn!).

On Monday (about 36 hours earlier), a severe storm hit the park with heavy winds, hail and rain.  The bird viewing structure was destroyed, damage was done to some camping sites/pavillions and the wind was so strong, it flipped a 5th wheel onto it's side.  When I began my hike, the trails were mostly damp to slightly muddy so they were easy to traverse BUT the earlier strong winds, caused many trees to lose branches of various sizes which were on the trails.  I was able to clear most of the storm debris from the trails so that's not an issue.  Unfortunately, the rain washed away some of the topsoil on the trails so caution is advised due to the loose rocks on the trails.

Immediately noticeable as I hiked the trails, were the numerous Texas millipedes and Velvet Mites!  I avoided them as much as possible but they were so numerous, especially the Velvet Mites, I may have squashed a few unintentionally.

Birds were out and I watched a Lark Sparrow try to get a juvenile to hunt on it's own.  Birds may have smaller brains than humans but they know something a lot of folks don't want to acknowledge - the young have to survive on their own and can't be allowed to rely on their parents forever - off my "OK Boomer"  soapbox.

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 a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

North Shore Annex
User: MikeHikes - 6/17/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Route - Start at the gate on FM2288 and follow the jeep trail to the end and return the same way. DO NOT cross the river as the property on the other side is privately owned. 

Temp in the 70's at start and low 80's at end, cloudy then partly cloudy, light wind.

There is not a hiking trail per se in this part of the park - the trail is a jeep/truck trail that runs parallel to the North Concho River but it can be traversed on foot.  As such, the trail is not maintained like the hiking trails in the park's main body across the street.  The river has many dry spots but there is some water in different areas as evidenced by the attached photo.

There weren't as many birds or other wildlife out as I had hoped but nonetheless, it was a good hike. 

NOTES

IMPORTANT    - Check with park personnel if this area is open for hiking - hunting is permitted in the area.

SUGGESTION - park your vehicle across the road in the gated park area by the restroom/shower building, then walk across FM2288 and go through the hiker's gate.

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at the North Shore Gate area.

South Shore Roadrunner Loop and Playground to Burkett Park
User: MikeHikes - 6/9/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area      3.5 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.8 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area     2.9 miles

Temps in the low to mid-80's, steady 15+ mph winds with frequent strong gusts, sunny but hazy with wind blown dust.

Yesterday's 106 degree temp prevented me from hiking, so I decided today would be a good day to hike.  The trails are dry and most of them are in need of mowing.  Most of the wildflowers have disappeared but there are still patches of flowers here and there.  There are a few areas full of vanilla scented Bee Bush but even they are dissipating.  The strong, steady wind kept most of the small birds either in the scrub or if they took flight, it was for short distances.  The Turkey Vultures were the only big birds I saw flying at any altitude today.  I saw three bison calves (photo attached) when I was on Roadrunner Loop - this was the first time I've seen three calves at the same time.   

On my last three hikes, including today's, I spotted a male Painted Bunting.  Each hike was in a different area of the park, so it appears the Painted Buntings are more numerous in the park than I imagined. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground Parking Area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets are available at the mid-point of Roadrunner Loop.

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

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook (Short Route)
User: MikeHikes - 6/5/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.60 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Out      -   Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > Trailhead to Trailhead > Cougar Overlook     3.2 miles

Return -  Cougar Overlook > Javalina > River Bend (Bike) > follow signs to Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > North Slick Rock > Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Bell's Trailhead    5.4 miles

Temps in the mid-70's to mid-80's.  Clouds but then sunny, little wind at first then slight increase and humid at beginning.

Due to time constraints, I had to take a very early morning hike.  I thought I'd see more animal activity; sadly, I was mistaken.  I saw deer and a couple of cottontail rabbits - that was it!   The birds were singing which was nice but I have yet to see any evidence of newly hatched or juvenile activity. I did see another male Painted Bunting at Cougar Overlook and while on the North Slick Rock Trail, I saw two Black Vultures on the ground - they didn't appear in distress so I watched for a minute and they both hopped into some undergrowth and were gone.  I detected no odors of decay so I don't know what reason they had for being on the ground like they were.

The trails were dry and easy to see; some trails need to be groomed due to vegetation growth.  There is water in the North Concho River BUT there are numerous places where there are dry gaps between areas where the water has collected, i.e., the water is not flowing.  Wildflowers are still in bloom in spots but the cactus blossoms are gone.  On a positive note - the bee bush is flowering and there is a distinct smell of vanilla in many parts of the park!


NOTES

Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Bell's Trailhead.  Water and shade available in the nearby campsites.

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

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

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

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge
User: MikeHikes - 5/31/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park       3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Potts Creek Trail > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.8 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area   2.8 miles

Temps in the low 70's to mid 80's.  Overcast then mostly sunny with a slight intermittent breeze.

A pleasant but somewhat crowded hike at the park.  "Crowded" because there were numerous bikers and hikers, a few trail runners, couples with children, couples with dogs, couples by themselves.  Everyone without exception, was pleasant and civil to one another so I had no issue with anyone BUT I'm used to seeing maybe one other person, if that, on the trails as I hiked. I won't complain too loudly though because even with the numerous individuals on the trails,  there were still many miles where I didn't see or hear anyone.

I logged my first sighting for the year of a living snake (I saw a few dead ones on earlier hikes).  The snake was a Northern Ring Necked Snake that was about eight inches long and as thin as a piece of paracord. It was on the Lanky Lackey trail and as I approached, it slithered away too quickly for me to get a photo but, nonetheless, I could identify it.  I saw lots of birds, a family of five javalinas, numerous deer and a couple of cottontail rabbits as well as one Jack Rabbit.

A very pleasant day!

NOTES

All trails names are in accordance with the new signage.  Two important changes  -

    (1)  "Horny Toad" has absorbed the first 100 yards or so of Tasajilla Flats so Horny Toad now starts near Playground Parking Area and Tasajilla Flats starts where it connects to Horny Toad. 

    (2)  "Potts Creek Trail" (formerly listed as East Potts Creek) and "Playground Trail" have absorbed what used to be listed as "Armadillo Trail".

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground parking area.

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

 

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction and Back
User: MikeHikes - 5/27/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Out   -     Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction   4.5 miles

Return -   5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   2.3 miles

Temp started at 67, ended at 85.  Sunny with light, steady wind.

A good hike along easy to see, dry trails.  Saw a family of javalinas, a cottontail rabbit and lots of singing birds but most of the birds were "the usual suspects".  One bird I haven't seen for awhile was this year's first Painted Bunting (photo attached). All the cactus blossoms have gone, wildflowers are still present with the majority being skinny purple flowers and Mexican Hats.  Recent rains have "greened" up the park and the grasshoppers are becoming more common.  All in all, it was a very pleasant morning walking in the park.

NOTES

I am using the new signage to identify the trails.  Example, West Potts Creek trail has "absorbed" what used to be the western portion of Armadillo Trail.

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

Water, shade, info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Back
User: MikeHikes - 5/15/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.40 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Trail > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area    3.0 miles

Temps started at 75, ended at 82.  Cloudy, gloomy and HUMID with sporadic sunlight until the end of the hike when the sun came out.  Light wind.

Uneventful hike along mostly groomed trails - about half of Winding Snake needs to be mowed!  Birds were singing but not out and about as I had hoped.  No animals were seen with the exception of a cottontail rabbit and a Mexican ground squirrel. I saw a solitary lizard near the end of the hike.  There are more wildflowers in bloom as well as a sizeable number of cactus blossoms.  Not much else to report.

NOTES

NEW Trail signage is up so I'll use the trail names that are on the sign.  Example - "Nature Loop" is now known as "Nature Trail".

Water, shade, info kiosk, bicycle repair station 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 Overlook and Back
User: MikeHikes - 5/5/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.50 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Out     -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Flintstone Trail (N) > Cougar Overlook        3.3 miles

Return -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SSW) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.2 miles

Temps started at 69 and ended at 80, sunny with strong and steady 20-30 mph NE winds.

Todays hike was along dry and easy to traverse trails and roads.  VERY strong winds kept most of the wildlife in place; we spotted a single raptor as well as a single white tail deer.  Otherwise, the birds stayed low for the most part and there were no other animals spotted.  A snake was seen crossing the road but no identification was made with the exception that it wasn't a rattler.

More wild flowers are blooming and there are more cactus blooms as well - the vast majority of the cactus blooms are yellow or very pale yellow with a greenish tint,

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.  Toilets are OPEN at this time.

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

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 4/27/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.9 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area                    3.4 miles

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

Temps started at 65, ended at 85.  Sunny with a steady 10-20 mph wind from the South then shifting from the West.

Hiked along dry, easy to see and traverse trails; some have been recently groomed.  Numerous birds were heard but rarely seen - the high winds kept most birds stationary and when they did fly, it was low and for short distances.  No animals spotted.  Wildflowers are increasing with more yellow and white flowers but the Indian Blankets are making their appearance in scattered clusters along the trails.

I saw numerous lizards (photo attached) while on Roadrunner Loop.  These were the first lizards spotted this year and I have no idea why they all congregated on Roadrunner Loop.

There were two other cars at the park but I didn't see a single person on the trails the entire time I was out. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground parking area. TOILETS ARE CLOSED DUE TO THE VIRUS AND THE WATER IS INSIDE THE RESTROOMS. Water is available at the nearby campsites.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.  TOILETS ARE CLOSED DUE TO THE VIRUS.

Water and shade are available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop.

Info Kiosk, water, and toilets available at the mid-way point on Roadrunner Loop.  TOILETS ARE CLOSED DUE TO THE VIRUS.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook and back
User: MikeHikes - 4/20/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 8.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out     -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > River Bend > service road (N) > Cougar Overlook      5.6 miles

Return -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SSW) > Trailhead to Trailhead Trail (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   3.0 miles

Temps started at 51, ended at 72.  Cloudy then sunny, little to no wind.

Park re-opened by order of the Governor.  Easy hike along dry and easy to traverse trails; some portions have been recently groomed.  Animals spotted were deer, javalinas and a grey fox.  Numerous birds out although no raptors were seen.  There are patches of wildflowers in bloom and the predominant colors of the flowers are white and yellow with a few scattered patches of purple flowers here and there. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.  IMPORTANT - restrooms are closed due to the Corona virus.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

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

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to Bell's Point and Back
User: MikeHikes - 4/6/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.20 Miles Duration: N/A

Out     -   Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground > Bell's Point       2.9 miles

Return -  Bell's Point > Playground (NW) > service road (NNE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett park   2.3 miles

Temps in the mid-60's, cloudy then rainy with a light wind.

Easy hike along damp then slightly muddy trails.  Birds were out as well as a few deer and javalinas.  Sporadic rain until we neared Bell's Point when the rain became a light, but steady, downpour so we stayed under the covering at Bell's Point until the rains stopped.  Trails were now full of sticky mud so came back on service roads.  Saw a few bikers and one hiker otherwise, the trails were empty of people.

NOTES.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park.  IMPORTANT - toilets are closed, water still available.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Bell's Point.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Isabel Hart Loop
User: MikeHikes - 3/27/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 5.30 Miles Duration: N/A

Route -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > park road to Isabel Hart > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area      5.3 miles

Temp started in mid-60's, ended in low 70's.  Light fog at first then partly cloudy with a steady breeze.

Lesirely hike to stretch the legs and enjoy the scenery.  This year's first Scissortail Flycatcher was spotted (photo attached).  I saw, what I believe was, a Mississippi Kite but could not get a photo.  Numerous small birds flying about and a couple of "V"s of geese were migrating back North.  Deer and a few javalinas were spotted as well as a few wildflowers.  All in all, a nice, peaceful hike!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground parking area.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and back
User: MikeHikes - 3/24/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Out -       Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park       3.0 miles

Return -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area    3.8 miles

Temp started at 53, ended at 70.  CLoudy then sunny with steady WNW wind at 10 mph.

A foggy start to a hike along wet, and somewhat muddy, trails.  Recent rains have "green-ed up" the park. I only saw a few small yellow flowers and expect to see more wildflowers in bloom shortly.  There were lots of whitetail deer out, a solitary javalina and numerous birds. 

There really wasn't much else going on so I'll stop here.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground Parking Area.

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

IMPORTANT NOTE ---  The dry toilets at Burkett Park are closed, no reason listed.

South Shore Burkett Park to Armadillo Ridge to Playground Parking Area and Back
User: MikeHikes - 2/29/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park   3.0 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area     3.4 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.8 miles

Temp started at 47, ended at 71.  Light overcast then sunny, steady 10-15 mph WSW wind.

LOTS of other users on the dry and easy to traverse trails today!  I saw two white tail deer; no other animals.  Lots of smaller, ground hugging birds, especially the White Crowned Sparrows were spotted.  There was nothing really unusual to report except for the large number of other trail users.

NOTES

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

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground Parking Area. 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook
User: MikeHikes - 2/24/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Out      -   Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > service road (S) > Scenic Loop > service road (S) > North Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > Trailhead to Trailhead (service road S) > Cougar Overlook       4 miles

Return  -  Cougar Overlook > service road (WSW) > River Bend (NW) > Badlands > service road (NW) > Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > service road (W) > Bell's Trailhead         6 miles

Temp started at 48, ended at 70.  Light SW wind, partly cloudy.

Trails were dry to slightly damp with a few patches of mud in spots.  Only animals spotted were a pair of white tail deer.  Numerous birds out including a fairly large hawk right at the beginning of the hike.  The biggest surprise was smelling the just beginning to bloom agarita (photo attached).  Small birds were flitting about and there were a few air battles over territory as Spring is just around the corner.

NOTES

Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Bell's Trailhead.  Water and shade available at camping sites nearby.

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

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

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

 

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Bell's Point and back
User: MikeHikes - 2/1/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.30 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Out   -    Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground Trail > Bell's Point > Playground Trail > service road      3.5 miles

Return -  Service Road (NNE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S on a service road) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     1.8 miles

Temp started at 33, ended at 58.  Sunny with a light WNW breeze.

Easy hike along dry trails and roads.  Longhorns were present (photo attached) but no other animals were seen.  I saw a hawk right at the start of the hike and later a Kestrel as well as a few birds here and there.  Near the end of the outbound leg, I watched a Cactus Wren busily stuff materials into an existing hole - kind of early to build a nest IMO, but he obviously knows something I don't.

A few other trail users were out, otherwise it was just a relaxing, early morning hike.

NOTES

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

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Bell's Point.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 1/25/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out -     Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Turkey Creek > 5 Point Junction        4.2 miles

Return - 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (SSW service road) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park    2.1 miles

Temp started at 42, ended at 56. Overcast, light wind then steady, 10-15 mph SSW wind.

Easy hike along damp trails.  Few birds out at first but then more appeared as the morning progressed.  I saw a pair of adult javalinas at 5 Points Junction as I was departing.  Not much else going on.  Although there is water available at the 5 Points Junction, the water trough for horses is dry.

NOTES

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

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

South Shore Playground parking area to Isabel Harte and the Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 1/20/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > park road (NNE) to Isabel Harte > Chaparral Trailhead     3.0 miles

Leg 2 -  Chaparral Trail > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral Trail > Playground parking area     2.0 miles

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

Temp started at 37, ended at 50.  Partly cloudy then sunny.  Little to no wind.

Trails on legs 1 & 2 were damp but easy to hike on.  Numerous deer were out in small and large groups - in one herd, I counted 12 deer.  There were few birds out and the ones that were, stayed fairly low to the ground or in the brush.  When I hiked on Roadrunner Loop, the trail was much wetter; numerous times, I stopped to knock off clumps of mud that stuck to my hiking boots.  On this part of the hike, there was no animal or bird activity.

Overall, the hike was uneventful but relaxing. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground Parking Area.

Water and shade are available at various campsites parallel to Roadrunner Loop.  Toilets available at two locations alongside the the trail as well.

South Shore Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop and back
User: MikeHikes - 1/9/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Roadrunner Loop (by park entrance) > Playground parking area    6.0 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park      2.9 miles

Temps in low 70's, sunny with a steady 10 mph Westerly wind.

First hike of 2020!  Starting mileage is 2665.4 miles with 335 logged entries.

Late start for the hike - started at 1300 - but it was good nonetheless.  The animals and birds were not visible until near the end of the hike when I saw a couple of deer as well as a few birds.  It wasn't until I was driving back home that I saw 11 javalinas crossing the park road in front of me.

Trash was picked up along the trail, I got to stretch my legs and enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures so it was a good hike.

NOTES -

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

Water, shade and bathrooms available at various points at the campsites parallel to Roadrunner Loop.

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground parking area.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook and back
User: MikeHikes - 12/31/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out -      Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > service road (ENE Trailhead to Trailhead Trail) > Cougar Overlook    3.0 miles

Return -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SSW) > River Bend (S) > 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     5.4 miles

Temps started at 64, ended at 54.  Sunny with high wispy clouds, light wind.

Last hike for 2019!  The route out was very easy since the majority of it was on the service road.  I watched two fairly large hawks chase after birds - the birds escaped and the hawks went hungry.  The return leg was almost as easy, the trails were dry except for a few places where there was mud from rains we had a few days ago.  Longhorns were out wandering in groups of six or less; some of the groups had young calves with them.

All in all, it was a nice, quiet hike and a good way to end the year.

STATS - Mileage at beginning of the year - 2324.5   Mileage at the end of the year -  2665.4     Total miles hiked -  340.9  Number of hikes this year - 40

NOTES

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

Shade, info kiosk and bicycle repair station at Cougar Overlook.

Water, shade, info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

South Shore Roadrunner Loop and a Trash Pick-up
User: MikeHikes - 12/27/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 5.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 - Park road to park entrance and back.   2.8 miles

Leg 2 - Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area     3.0 miles

Temp was 64, heavy overcast and 10-15 mph wind.

As I drove along the park road to the entrance, I was saddened by the amount of trash lying along, and near, the road so I resolved to spend the first portion of today's hike picking it up.  I walked both sides of the road and filled a large black trash bag with empty beer bottles and cans, lots of fast food wrappers, a few Starbucks and AllSup's cups, plastic straws, innumerable cigarette butts (the Marlboro Man continues to ride!) and quite a bit of loose paper.  I'm sure in a day or so, there will be some trash to replace what was picked up but at least for the time I was there, the entire road to the park entrance was trash-free.

The hike along Roadrunner was good - the trail had been groomed and leveled in the recent past (photo attached).  I saw about a dozen white tail deer at various places on the trail, no bucks though.  A few birds were out but it was pretty quiet.

Not much else to report!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, a bicycle repair station and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water and shade are available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop and there are two shower houses/toilets along the route.

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook and Back
User: MikeHikes - 12/13/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Out  -      Bell's Trailhead > service road (.25 miles S) > Dinosaur Trail > DInosaur Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NNE) > Cougar Overlook      5.7 miles

Return -   Cougar Overlook > Javalina Trail > River Bend (WNW) > service road (N) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > service road (WNW) > Scenic Loop > service road (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead      3.7 miles

Temps started at 44, ended at 70.  Sunny with no wind on the way out but a steady 10-15 mph NNW wind on the way back.

Hiked along damp and, in some places, muddy trails today.  Saw numerous turkeys, deer (bucks, does and fawns) and various birds including Kestrels, hawks, White Crowned Sparrows, and others. The North Concho River has water in places but there are a lot of parts of the river that are dry; easy to see this when you get to Cougar Overlook and view the river.  There is a large rock in the middle of the river that's a good gauge - when there is water in the river, the top of the rock is visible but when the water is low (like now), the entire rock is dry as well as the land around it.  We need rain and lots of it!

NOTES

Water and info kiosk available at Bell's Trailhead.

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

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campground.  Be cautious when using the toilets

South Shore Burkett Park to Armadillo Ridge and Playground Parking Area
User: MikeHikes - 12/6/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo Trail (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground Parking Area

Leg 3 - Playground Parking Area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park

Temps started at 46 and ended at 64.  Sunny with light N wind.

Hiked along very familiar trails that were dry, groomed and easy to see.  The park had been closed for hunting earlier this week but I saw three fairly large bucks (photo of one buck attached) as well as doe and fawns.  Also spotted a lone javalina that didn't even pay any attention to me.  Hawks and Loggerhead Shrikes were out hunting but I saw no kills.  Saw a lot of birds including Black Throated Sparrows, Black Tufted Titmice and others.

More people were on the trails than I expected but it was still a nice, peaceful hike.

NOTES

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground Parking Area.

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Back
User: MikeHikes - 11/19/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Out      -  Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.6 miles

Return  -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area      3.2 miles

Temps at start were 39, at end 71.  Sunny with high wispy clouds and little to no wind.

During last week's hike, the temperatures rapidly changed from warm to cold; this week, they went from cold to warm!  An easy hike along dry, groomed, easy to see and traverse trails. With the seasonal change and little to no rain, almost all of the vegetation has died back and dried up so the trails are very easy to see and hike on.  Animal and bird activity was pretty good - I saw white tail deer as well as quite a few birds including some migrating pelicans flying over the reservoir which is at 11% capacity (not a lot of water but some is better than none and it attracts the migrating birds).  A few grasshoppers and other insects were also spotted with a lone butterfly seen as well.

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.

 

 


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