MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 323 (Rank: 4th)  [List Them]  [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,542.10 Miles (Rank: 2nd)
Average Distance: 7.87 Miles

Average Rating: 4stars (4.27)
Average Difficulty: 1star (1.18)
Average Solitude: 4point5stars (4.56)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 7/17/2019

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

Photos

Hawk in the Air

I saw this hawk as well as a couple of others. They were not visible during the warmer months but they appear to have finally returned! [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park
San Angelo State Park - 7/17/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park     3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Horny Toad > Talley Valley > Chaparral > Playground parking area   3.4 miles

Temps in mid- 70's to mid-80's.  Sunny with some clouds, humid and steady 10mph breeze.

I started earlier than usual.  The animal, bird and insect activity was higher than normal.  Among the highlights were young white tail bucks, tarantulas (which I don't usually see), hummingbirds fighting among themselves as well as one hummingbird defending his territory from a Lark Sparrow.  There were an unusually large flock of grackles hanging around, making lots of noise for no visible reason.

My "first for this year" rattlesnake sighting was made when a 3-4 foot rattler decided to cross the trail about 10 feet in front of me. He started across but then stopped so I tossed a few small stones by him so he'd move.  He made a coil and shook his rattle a few times but seemed to recognize I was not a real threat.  He slowly went into the brush and I quickly got past him. 

I also witnessed a fight to the death between a Black Widow spider and a black wasp; the wasp appeared to have won the battle as it dragged the spider away.

The trails have been groomed and are easy to see with a few sections of Red Dam Loop and that is because the mowing machines could not get to those areas due to the terrain.  Might need some hand held weed whackers to clear those areas.

NOTES

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

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

IMPORTANT - in my last report, I said the faucet at Burkett was damaged, it has been repaired and water is now available.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
San Angelo State Park - 7/12/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out      Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > (East) Potts Creek > Armadillo (NE) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction   3.9 miles

Return  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Rollercoaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     4.5 miles

Temp started at 74, ended at 92.  HUMID, sunny and light to no breeze.

A hot and humid hike today along mostly, groomed and easy to see trails.  Notable exceptions were most of Playground Trail as well as the northernmost section of West Potts Creek Trail.  There were some birds out, no animals except for two cottontails and a lone Jack Rabbit (photo attached).  Grasshoppers are still around and in fairly large numbers, there are some flowers still in bloom, a few strands of Bee Brush are scenting the air and the majority of the park's vegetation is still green; in part, due to some fairly brief but heavy rains on Monday.

NOTES

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

IMPORTANT - as of this report, the water is NOT available at Burkett due to the faucet head breaking on Thursday (July 11, 2019).  Park personnel are aware of the problem and I'm sure the faucet will be repaired soon BUT it is better to bring your own water just in case.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

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

 

 

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park + Roadrunner Loop
San Angelo State Park - 6/28/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.30 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area       3.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.3 miles

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

Temp started at 73, ended at 90.  Overcast then partly cloudy.  Intermittent light winds.

The trails were dry and easy to traverse, in large part because park personnel have been busy cutting the vegetation and clearing the trails.  A case in point is Roadrunner Loop - a month or so ago, the trail had some very overgrown areas but it has been recently groomed and leveled so it was fairly easy to hike along. 

Today was also a good day to view the various birds populating the park. Besides the usual birds, I also saw a Painted Bunting, a Vermillion Flycatcher, a few Black Throated Sparrows and a Verdin - the Verdin being the first I've seen since 2015 or 2016. 

NOTES

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

Water and shade available at various campsites along part of Roadrunner Loop.  There is a toilet near the mid point as well.

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

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 6/22/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > (East) Potts Creek > Armadillo (SW) > West Potts Creek > Rollercoaster Trail > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park   3.7 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop >Chaparral > Playground Parking Area      3.3 miles

Temp started at 75, ended at 93.  Sunny, then partly cloudy with steady southerly winds.

The vast majority of the trails were dry, easy to traverse and had been groomed with a few notable exceptions - portions of Red Dam Loop (Leg 3) and the section from West Potts Creek/Armadillo junction to Potts Creek (Leg 2).  Both of these areas are overgrown so caution is advised where you place your feet - I saw the tail end of a snake (no rattles) as it slithered into the brush when I slowly approached through the high vegetation covering some of the Red Dam Loop trail.

There were numerous birds singing and I saw a couple of deer, a cottontail rabbit and a grey fox trotting along the road. While hiking along Burkett Trail (Leg 2) I noticed numerous bees buzzing about. I realized the trail goes through a grove of mesquite trees and the trees have produced fronds which appear to attract the bees. The bees were really numerous but didn't bother me so I picked up the pace until their buzzing sound was in the background.

Since the day was so nice, as well as being a Saturday, there were a larger than usual number of hikers and mountain bikers enjoying the trails with me.

Overall, it was very pleasant to hike, listen to the birds, hear the wind blowing through the trees and feel the warmth of the sun.

NOTES

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

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

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction and back
San Angelo State Park - 6/14/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out     -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Rollercoaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction        4.3 miles

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

Temp in mid-70's, sunny with a few clouds, steady wind.

Leisurely hike along dry, groomed trails.  The park personnel had been out and cut back a lot of vegetation from the listed trails although there were a few spots they didn't get.  Overall though, the trails were very nice!

With the somewhat high winds, didn't see a lot of birds flying around except for Turkey Vultures.  Saw the "first of this year" Horned Toad (photo attached) - it was small, about the size of my thumb, but active.  Lots of flowers were still in bloom, additionally, the bee brush is still in bloom and scenting the air.

An easy, relaxing hike for sure!

NOTES

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

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