MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 360 (Rank: 4th)  [List Them]  [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,840.20 Miles (Rank: 2nd)
Average Distance: 7.89 Miles

Average Rating: 4stars (4.24)
Average Difficulty: 1star (1.13)
Average Solitude: 4point5stars (4.55)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 6/24/2020

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

Photos

Busy Bee in the flower

This bee got a lot of pollen on his body before departing to the next flower. [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook (Short Route)
San Angelo State Park - 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
San Angelo State Park - 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
San Angelo State Park - 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)
San Angelo State Park - 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
San Angelo State Park - 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.