MikeHikes's Logbook


Total Log Entries: 288 (Rank: 4th) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,248.30 Miles (Rank: 3rd)
Average Distance: 7.81 Miles

Average Rating: (4.29)
Average Difficulty: (1.20)
Average Solitude: (4.52)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 9/19/2018

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


Butterfield Stagecoach - Pinery Trail Ruins

Just a few parts of walls are left of the rest area. Nice informative signs detailing the types of vegetation though. [Guadalupe Mountains National Park]

Log Entries

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 9/19/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 11.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1  -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park       4.0 miles

Leg 2  -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > Potts Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > Lanky Lackey (15 meters) > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.9 miles

Leg 3  -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area      3.2 miles

Temp started at 79, ended at 89. Partly cloudy, humid and steady southerly breeze.

Very pleasant hike today.  Most of the trails are clearly visible and easy to traverse with some exceptions.  The northern-most portion of Tasajilla Flats Trail has become overgrown due to the recent rains but on the positive side, the bee brush is in full bloom and the vanilla scent from the flowers is very pleasant.  

The northern-most portion of West Potts Creek has been worked on, however there is still a steep dropoff that requires some caution.  There are a few places along the trail where standing water is present, consequently, insect activity is high.  Speaking of insects, there was an inordinate amount of dragonflies buzzing about during the entire hike and as usual, the grasshoppers were also in abundance.  Few birds were visible although I spotted a juvenile male Vermillion Flycatcher and a Common Nighthawk. 


Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area. IMPORTANT - when I finished today's hike, I went to get water and it was not on at the sink in the Men's Room.  Don't know why and I hope it is temporary.  If the water is still turned off, water is located at other toilets in the area as well as at the various campsites nearby.

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

IMPORTANT - As I've mentioned in my most recent reports, the park has updated the trail maps that are given out at the gate.  These maps are not 100% in sync with trail posts (notably Armadillo Trail which is absent from the map but is still seen on trail posts) and the maps displayed in the park's info kiosk.  If in doubt, trust the new paper maps!


North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Lookout and Back
San Angelo State Park - 9/13/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 11.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 50 minutes

Out       parking area > Bell's Trailhead > service road (S 100m) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) > Cougar Lookout       7.0 miles

Return   Cougar Lookout > Javalina > service road (NE) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead Trail (N, service road) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead > parking area     4.7 miles

Temp started at 73, ended at 85.  Most to partly cloudy, sporadic, light breeze.  Somewhat humid.

Some siginificant (for this area) rain last week "green-ed" up the park quite a bit and put some water in the reservoir, creeks and rivers.  Most of the trails were wet to one degree or another and it was very apparent where the rain water collected.  The trails are still easy to see but the vegetation is covering more portions than before and there are more areas that will need repair because of the water run-off or the longhorns and horses causing deep tracks in the muddy soil.

Bee brush is still in bloom (photo attached) providing butterflies and other insects with food.  Soon the Monarchs will begin their migration and will need whatever sustinence they can find.  Thistle is also making an appearance and there are quite a few prickly pear tunas are still evident.  Grasshoppers are abundant as well!

It was a good hike but a longer one than usual because of the extra hiking from the parking area across the river to Bell's Trailhead.


Water available in the campground by Bell's Trailhead.  Toilets also available at other areas of the campground.

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

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campground. Toilets are not serviced/maintained on a regular basis so caution is advised if you use them.

IMPORTANT - Park trail maps have been recently updated but the maps displayed at the info kiosks have not - trust the park's trail map if in doubt.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout and Return
San Angelo State Park - 9/1/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out      Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey (W 10 meters) > Roller Coaster > West Potts > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction > River Bend (1 mile) > service road (NE) > Cougar Lookout       5.6 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > Flintstone> Trailhead to Trailhead trail (S) (it's a service road) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.2 miles

Temp started at 79 ended at 90, sunny, no clouds, slight breeze.

Uneventful hike along familiar trails that were easy to see and traverse.  Surprisingly, not many people were out today - I expected more of a crowd on a Labor Day weekend but there were only four other people spotted.  I did see a couple of Whitetail deer, a cottontail rabbit, a four foot long greenish colored coachwhip and a few birds.  Some of the park's longhorns were out as well but they were content to lay or sit in the shade of the mesquites near a watering area and didn't bother me as I walked past.


Park personnel have updated the trail maps but there are still a few minor inconsistencies when looking at trail signage and more importantly, the info kiosks.  The kiosks will be updated eventually as will the signage so rely on the paper map if in doubt.

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

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

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

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett and Roadrunner Loop
San Angelo State Park - 8/26/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours

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

Leg 2 -   Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 m) > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground Parking Area     3.9  miles

Leg 3 -  Playground Parking Area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground Parking Area    3.2 miles

Temps started at 80 and ended at 94, sunny with no clouds and a steady southerly wind.

Very pleasant hike this morning along the South Shore's main trails.  All trails are easy to see and for the most part, very easy to traverse.  The vegetation is being to grow along and cover some portions of the trails which is a concern because of rattlesnakes.  A few birds were out but for the most part, they were not seen.  There were quite a few biting flies as I discovered when I went into parts of the trail that were shielded from the wind - I have four welts from the flies!

On a positive note, the bee brush is blooming and scenting the air with a very pleasant vanilla scent (photo attached). 


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

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

Water and shade available along most of Roadrunner Loop at the campsites across the road from the trail.  At the mid-point of the Loop, toilets are available at the campground.

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Lower Ghost Camp and Back
San Angelo State Park - 8/16/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Route   Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > service road (S) > North Scenic Loop > service road (S) > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Trail (W then N) > Badlands > service road (N) > North Slick Rock > Upper Hill Trail > Dinosaur Trail > service road (N) > Bell's Trailhead        7.3 miles

Temps in the upper 70's to start and mid 90's at end, mostly sunny with light winds and higher than normal humidity.

A relaxing hike today after receiving some much needed rain last week.  The trails are still visible but, in places, not as "smooth" as before.  This has been caused by the combination of a wet trail and large hooved animals, i.e., the longhorns, that walk on it while it is muddy.  The mud dries and what was once a smooth surface is now very bumpy.  Hikers will be concerned because it is easier to twist an ankle, bikers will experience a rougher ride and equestrians will have to watch where their horses step.

Saw a pair of Lesser Goldfinches (photo attached) as well as many Scissortails and other birds.  Six whitetails of various sizes bounded out as I hiked and at Shady Trail, fresh evidence there is still a beaver bringing down trees.  There were innumerable grasshoppers along the entire hike and while on the service roads especially, the humming of bees was LOUD.  I didn't see any flowers but watched the bees gathering on all kinds of vegetation. 

The park has re-mapped their trail system and paper copies are now available.  A word of caution - the paper maps do not correspond 100% with existing trail markers.  The park is working to update the trail markers and it will take a little more time before there is a perfect correlation between the two.  If in doubt, use the paper map. 


Water is available at the campground by Bell's Trailhead.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at the River Bend Campground.  CAUTION - dry toilets not maintained/serviced on a regular basis so watch for insects, reptiles and animals if you plan to use it.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area (approx 1.5 miles from Bell's Trailhead on Dinosaur Trail).