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San Angelo State Park

Trail (4.34)234
(1.21) (4.63)
50.00 Miles N/A
N/A
N/A Yes
$4.00 More Info
San Angelo Tom Green
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San Angelo SP (Photo by Eveline) San Angelo SP You can almost see the lake. (Photo by Eveline) San Angelo SP Near Burkett Park Trailhead (Photo by MikeHikes)
San Angelo SP Looking toward the dried up lake (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking North from Isabel Harte Day Use Area Looking to the North from the southern end of the Winding Snake Trail at the Isabel Harte Day Use Area. (Photo by MikeHikes) San Angelo SP Turkey Creek Southern terminus of Turkey Creek Trail - looking North. (Photo by MikeHikes)
San Angelo SP Typical trail (Photo by MikeHikes) San Angelo SP Another trail view. Some are hiker and biker others hiker and equestrian. (Photo by MikeHikes) Bell All North Shore trails begin here. Water in the campground but the info kiosk has been destroyed by high winds 7-30-14. (Photo by MikeHikes)
North Shore   Beginning of Dinosaur Trail Most of the trail is hard packed dirt; some portions are wide, others not so much. (Photo by MikeHikes) Along Dinosaur Trail The ever present prickly pear and mesquite trees. (Photo by MikeHikes) North Shore Dinosaur Trail - Wide open spaces This trail has quite a bit of wide open spaces. Can be extremely hot in the Summer (Photo by MikeHikes)
Badlands Trail Beginning The Badlands Trail is mostly dirt and is easy to follow. (Photo by MikeHikes) 5 Points Junction River Bend, Turkey Creek and Flintstone trails converge at this point. Water, info kiosk and shade is available for horses, bikers and hikers. (Photo by MikeHikes) Javalina Trail As can be seen, not all the trails are dirt, there are lots of small rocks on some trails. (Photo by MikeHikes)
South Shore Tasajillo Trail start This trail begins at the Playground parking area. It is mostly dirt and connects to various trails that head West and North. (Photo by MikeHikes) South Shore Tasajillo Flats Trail Most of this trail is hard packed dirt although there are patches of caliche and other exposed rock. (Photo by MikeHikes) Tasajillo Trail Lots of trees and prickly pear cactus. (Photo by MikeHikes)
BEWARE of the Bees!! At the end of the Nature Loop Trail, look to the right. There is an active beehive inside the sign so avoid this if at all possible. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lanky Lackey Trail Lanky Lackey Trail has lots of small rocks on the trail. It can be a little tricky if you don't watch your footing. (Photo by MikeHikes) Winding Snake Shelter This is one of the abandoned picnic shelters encountered along Winding Snake Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
South Shore East Potts Creek This is near the beginning of the East Potts Creek trail. Lots of mesquites; an easy to hike trail until you get near the end where it connects to Armadillo Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes) Armadillo Trail signpost Lots of rock and some easy climbing. When you follow the trail, keep your eyes open to the left for a path that goes to the plateau - you should take it. (Photo by MikeHikes) Playground Trail to Bell Playground Trail along the edge of the plateau is rocky and narrow in some places. Scenic views on this route!! (Photo by MikeHikes)
5 Points Junction This road runs East and connects with another service road which takes you back to Burkett Park. Be advised the road is not consistently groomed and can be overgrown with waist high weeds. (Photo by MikeHikes) Resident Longhorns at the Park Just a few of the longhorns at the park. Observe but don't annoy - they are best left alone, especially when calves are present. (Photo by MikeHikes) Burkett Park Burkett Park has a parking area, dry toilets, water for humans and horses and a covered picnic table with a few more picnic tables down the road. Good place to begin many hikes in the South Shore. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lace Cactus Bloom Saw this Lace cactus on Armadillo Ridge Trail. Was one of a colony of two blooming cacti. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Park Resident With the recent moisture, I won't call it "rain", some flowers are blooming. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Park Resident I sighted my first Horned Toad of 2014 while on Dinosaur Trail. PLEASE be aware of the park's small residents! It would be very easy to accidentally step on, or roll your bike's tire over, one of these guys and if you did, you know how you'd feel :-( (Photo by MikeHikes)
Longhorns Wander Through the Park Be advised the longhorns wander within some hiking areas of the park - they are NOT PETS and can be protective when calves are around. Respect them, leave them alone and they will leave you alone. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lace Cactus & Bee The lace cactus are blooming and the bees are busy! Take the time to observe and appreciate all the beauty in the park and don't worry about how fast you can hike, bike or ride the trails! (Photo by MikeHikes) Dragonfly on the Trail Lots of dragonflies out near the pond on Winding Snake. Don't know what his proper name is but when he is flying, his wings look like box kites! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Looking North This view is from Roller Coaster Trail as I look to the North. The houses to the left of the juniper bush are in the Highland Ridge Housing Area which abuts the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) One of the few Cactus Blooms Prickly pear cactus are starting to bloom and this one is the best example. In a few weeks there should be many, many more! (Photo by MikeHikes) Nighthawk hunting during the day Although the word "Night" is part of the Common Nighthawks' name, they can be found swooping through the air catching insects during the day - beautiful birds! (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Can of Snake! As can be seen, this old can served a useful purpose to a small snake. The snake used the sharp edge of one hole so it could shed it's old skin. No bones found in the can so the snake was able to slither out successfully. (Photo by MikeHikes) Camouflaged Rabbit It's easy to see how these guys blend into their environment. He watched me but didn't take off until after I snapped the shot. (Photo by MikeHikes) Grey Fox This fox was hunting for a minute or so and didn't notice me at all. When he saw me and walked closer to investigate, he finally caught my scent and disappeared within a second or two. He was seen around noon on an overcast, windy day. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Literally Eating While on the Fly! This Mississippi Kite and his/her numerous companions were out in force today. I was able to capture a few shots of this one chowing down on what looks like a cicada, while flying. (Photo by MikeHikes) They are not Pets! As cute as they are, these calves are not pets! Calves are with their mothers who can be very protective. Stay safe, take a picture from a distance and leave them alone! (Photo by MikeHikes) Horned Toad checking me out This guy was watching me as I approached. When he was first spotted in this photo, he was standing up, however, the closer I approached, the lower he went. By the time I reached him, he was flat on the ground. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Mexican Ground Squirrel Eating Saw this female Mexican Ground Squirrel eating what I think is a nut near Cougar Outlook. Don't see too many of these squirrels on the trails. (Photo by MikeHikes) Drink Plenty of fluids or ....... this guy is always looking for a meal - don't be his next one! Drink plenty of fluids, watch where you step and stay safe while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lots of Cicadas out! There are a lot of cicadas still out and about. I can't count the number of times I would startle one of these guys and they would fly away with a loud buzzing sound. A couple of times, I was whacked on the head as they flew into my hat! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Juvenile Great Horned Owls Was very surprised to see these two owls at 11am! They were about 20 yards or so off the trail and content to observe us as we stopped to take their picture. Always a treat to see the many types of birds at the park! (Photo by MikeHikes) Night Falling at the Park A photo I shot while at the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) The Zombie Apocalypse Has Begun ! I've seen a few of these abnormal cicadas missing the entire lower body yet it's very much alive - or is it merely a re-animated husk ready to devour any living cicadas it encounters? Perhaps this is the dawn of the long dreaded Zombie Apocalypse!! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lots of Weeds! Saw quite a few weeds with their seeds waiting to be taken by the wind or when touched by humans or animals. (Photo by MikeHikes) Flowers still in bloom Flowers continue to blossom at the park! The majority are these purple flowers as well as some large sunflowers located near the streams and ponds. (Photo by MikeHikes) Climbing to see his reflection This guy was fascinated by his reflection in my camera lens. Once his curiosity was satisfied, he climbed back down and scampered off. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Hawk contemplating his next meal This hawk made a swoop and miss at the adult duck who got her ducklings under the tree. After awhile, the hawk left and the ducks continued their lives undisturbed. (Photo by MikeHikes) Get a Room! Working on the next generation of dragonflies! (Photo by MikeHikes) Don Although we've had some rain lately, this sign is from L-O-N-G ago. Maps show O.C. Fisher Reservoir as being a fairly large lake - it is currently at 1% capacity and all the water is at the southern end by the dam. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Mississippi Kite Family An adult Kite is bracketed by two juvenile Mississippi Kites. saw lots of other birds as well today. (Photo by MikeHikes) Vanilla Scented Bee Brush in Abundance! Hiking throughout the park, the wind carried the strong scent of vanilla from this plant. The plants are throughout the park and made the hike very enjoyable. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watch Your Step!! Found on East Potts Creek Trail. I saw him from about three feet away, I backed up and had tossed a few sticks to get him to move off the edge of the trail. He went into the brush and rattled his warning as I gave him a wide berth. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Low Water in the North Concho River The rock you see is normally covered when the water flows in the river - easy to see what the drought has done to the area. We need rain and lots of it! (Photo by MikeHikes) A L-A-R-G-E Rattler with 11 Sets of Buttons This guy was 5-6 foot long! He did not mind me taking his picture so I left him as I found him and when I returned a few hours later, he was gone. He has a role in Nature and I respect that. (Photo by MikeHikes) Thistle are Appearing More and more of the purple thistle are showing up - means Fall isn't far behind and we'll soon see migrating birds. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Non-Rattler Testing the Air Don't know what kind of snake except he is not a rattler. Saw him stretched on the trail and was able to get a few pics of him tasting the air. He went his way, and we went ours. (Photo by MikeHikes) Changing Colors of the Mesquite Bean Pod Not everyone around here likes the mesquite tree but I do. The trees provide shade for me and food for all kinds of animals. (Photo by MikeHikes) Burkett Trail Head Southern Burkett Trail Head (Photo by rodavenport)
Bells Point Monument Bells Point Monument (Photo by rodavenport) BigFoot was here!! Somebody hiking in toed shoes makes for interesting footprints (Photo by rodavenport) Cross Monument Cross Monument (Photo by rodavenport)
I-Beam Cross I-Beam Cross (Photo by rodavenport) Bedrock Flintstone Village on the Flintstone Trail (Photo by rodavenport) Where the Dinosaurs Roamed One of the better defined fossilized tracks. They are not nearly as clear and defined as the tracks at Dinosaur Valley SP. (Photo by rodavenport)
North Scenic Loop One of the prettier trails in the park. Make sure and catch it on the way by (Photo by rodavenport) Shady Trail Tunnel Shady trail located on the north side of the park has this interesting tunnel effect in a small grove of trees. (Photo by rodavenport) Overhead Raptor Best guess is a juvenile Broad-winged hawk. He was very leisurely flying overhead and at one point, he got into a small raptor's territory and the smaller bird chased him off! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Just a Snap I take my camera whenever I hike so when I spotted this tree and clouds, I had to take the shot - it just looked nice! (Photo by MikeHikes) Feral Hogs I'm aware of the feral hog problem in Texas but this is the first time I've seen feral hogs at the park. Photo taken at Cougar Overlook at 1:15 10/8/14. (Photo by MikeHikes) Sun Spider or Wind Scorpion - Solpugid First time I've seen one of these! I saw this one on the Turkey Creek Trail as I was heading back. Probably about two inches long - Note the ant caught on his leg (which were covered in hairs) (Photo by MikeHikes)
Sunrise at the Park A nice picture taken awhile back while staying at the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Road Block! About 25-30 members of the Longhorn herd decided to rest on a portion of the Flintstone Trail. When I approached, they watched for awhile before eventually getting up and walking the trail in front of me, all the while depositing lots of fresh dung. (Photo by MikeHikes) Road Runner goes Hungry Came upon this road runner as he was hunting a tree lizard on the Lanky Lackey trail. The road runner went into the tree and the lizard was saved. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Monarchs Enjoying the Bee Brush A few bee brush plants are blooming once again and the butterflies are enjoying them. I enjoy the vanilla scented blooms as well! (Photo by MikeHikes) Last of the Sunflowers Was surprised to see this sunflower still in bloom and a moth sipping the nectar. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking North This was taken near Cougar Outlook in the middle of the park. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Not a Meteor Although it may look like a meteor, it wasn't. The upper atmosphere was still and I watched as a jet left a contrail from one edge of the horizon to the other. (Photo by MikeHikes) A portion of Turkey Creek Trail Just a nice view along Turkey Creek Trail looking South. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking Southwest on Dinosaur Trail Just some of the scenery on the trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Survivors A group that survived the latest genocide attempt by humans on the species Meleagris gallopavo during the month of November. (Photo by MikeHikes) Just some type of Vegetation Have seen these in huge clusters in the North Shore section of the park. Don't know what they are but they photograph well! (Photo by MikeHikes) Three Little Javalinas Maybe not so little but they looked more juvenile than adult. Of course they spotted us first so I only have a picture of their rear as they wandered deeper into the thicket. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Nice Colors at the Park Autumn is always a good time for photographs! Love the gold, red and orange colors. (Photo by MikeHikes) Look Over There Along the fence line in what was once the O.C. Fisher lake bed, some wag placed a glove on a fencepost. (Photo by MikeHikes) Headin Looking Northwest from the southern end of Winding Snake Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Javalina on Lanky Lackey Saw a pair of adult javalinas at the northern end of Lanky Lackey. They were resting on the side of the trail but when they saw us, they got up and slowly wandered off. (Photo by MikeHikes) Just a Meadowlark First meadowlark I've seen this season - they used to be very numerous and very common. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking North from Burkett Park View from Burkett Park looking West. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Looking East from Burkett Park Just some scenery looking Northeast from Burkett Park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Scenery on the Trail Just some nice scenery I enjoyed while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking West on Rollercoaster Trail Looking to the West from the mid-point of Rollercoaster Trail (Photo by MikeHikes)
On the Trail Not all of the trails are dirt! Lots of rock as well as some inclines. (Photo by MikeHikes) Big Yawn! This javelina's photo was taken at the park's South Shore bird blind. I think, if irritated, this guy could get a good chomp out of anyone. Observe but don't annoy! (Photo by MikeHikes) Ladderback on the Trail Saw this male Ladderback Woodpecker near the southern end of the Roller Coaster Trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Tree at Red Dam A stylized picture of the tree at the end of the Red Dam. Water hasn't been in this portion of the park for a very long time. (Photo by MikeHikes) 1st Snake of 2015 Weather was unseasonably warm and brought out the first snake of the year - a Texas Patchnose Snake (non-poisonous) - hope he finds shelter before the freeze hits in another day or two! (Photo by MikeHikes) Heading North on the Playground Trail Some of the best scenic views in the park are to be seen on the Playground Trail as you hike to Bell's Point. (Photo by MikeHikes)
If I sit real still, they won Saw this roadrunner relaxing a foot off the Roller Coaster trail. He was alive and well, just resting and putting a little too much trust in his camouflage. Got the snap and left him alone. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Rare Foggy Morning Don't get much fog here so when it happens, I have to get a picture. Taken along the service road near Bell's Trail head as I was outward bound. (Photo by MikeHikes) AWACS Overhead Don't normally see one of these while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Badlands Trail A nice view of a small portion of the Badlands trail - doesn't look too bad here. (Photo by MikeHikes) Great Blue Heron Nest Saw one Great Blue Heron guarding the nest along the North Concho River while hiking. (Photo by MikeHikes) Catching some Rays First lizard of the year spotted sunning himself alongside the trail. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Rattler by the Signpost This rattler was about 4-5 feet long and seemed thick. I counted nine sets of buttons on his tail; they didn't rattle at us so it was a good encounter. (Photo by MikeHikes) Black Throated Sparrow on the Trail This Black Throated Sparrow was singing but flew away after I snapped the picture. (Photo by MikeHikes) Horned Toad on the Trail This is one of the two horned toads I saw today. A few years back, it was VERY rare to see a toad anytime, I hope they are making a come-back! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Blooms Just a few of the many wild flowers blooming throughout the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Few Dark Clouds About half way through my hike, the clouds gathered and darkened; only a few rain drops fell though. Taken at the junction of Winding Snake and Chaparral Trails as I look Northwest. (Photo by MikeHikes) Flowers at the Trailhead Quite a few yellow flowers blooming at the Burkett Park trail head. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lace Cactus Blooming Saw quite a few of the lace cactus blooming but there were still some blooms that have not yet opened. (Photo by MikeHikes) Lace Cactus This photo was taken last week (4-22-15) while hiking - the Lace Cactus have already lost their bloom. (Photo by MikeHikes) Singing for a Mate Perched high in the tree, this Cactus Wren was very vocal in his singing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Small Horned Toad This guy was found on a service road and is small - maybe the size of a half dollar. Further down the same road, we found two larger horned toads. (Photo by MikeHikes) Agarita Berries The berries are here - very colorful and tasty! (Photo by MikeHikes) The only creature sharing the trails today This horned toad was sharing part of the trail with us today while on East Potts Creek Trail. After snapping his picture, he scurried off into the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Shady Trail Flood  Debris When the North Concho River flooded, there was a lot of debris left behind in the park that will take some time to remove. This mound is on the Shady Trail (North Shore). (Photo by MikeHikes) A small butterfly resting on an Indian Blanket Looked so nice and peaceful that I had to snap the picture. After taking the picture, I walked by and the butterfly took off. (Photo by MikeHikes) North Concho River Still Has Water The North Concho river is still pumping water in the O.C. Fisher Reservoir but the reservoir is only 13.5% full. The drought continues :-( (Photo by MikeHikes)
Looking North from Playground Parking Area A nice day and some nice clouds in the sky. (Photo by MikeHikes) I C U My every move was watched intently by this young rattler. After I got a few photos, he made his way into the grass, always keeping his eyes on me. (Photo by MikeHikes) Mourning Dove on her Nest We saw this Mourning Dove just off the Winding Snake trail. She didn't make a sound or move as we watched her. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Titmouse Egg on the Trail Found this egg on the trail - I'm not enough of an expert to know if the egg was discarded after the bird hatched or if the remnants of the yolk means he didn't make it. (Photo by MikeHikes) Eye Level with a Horned Toad This was the smallest horned toad I saw today - about three inches long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. He allowed me to put my camera fairly close to get this shot; when I stood up, he scampered off. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Female Pyrrhuloxia Fledgeling A very chipper fledgeling peeping and fluttering for food. (Photo by MikeHikes)
An Inquisitive Road Runner Watching us with interest, this Road Runner was seen on the Badlands trail. He sat in the tree watching us and allowed me to get pretty close. (Photo by MikeHikes) Longhorns at 5 Points Junction These longhorns were coming to the 5 Points junction as we were leaving. Quite a few groups of cattle were out today. As can be seen, the grass has grown a lot due to the extra rains. (Photo by MikeHikes) Yellow Billed Cuckoo Spotted on the Horny Toad trail. He kept moving deeper into the trees as I tried to get a good photo. This is the best of the bunch. (Photo by MikeHikes)
O.C. Fisher Reservoir has some Water! With all the rains in the past month, the lake is at 14.7% which isn't much but a few months ago, all you would have seen was dry land; not a drop of water in sight. (Photo by MikeHikes) Grasshoppers A Plenty! LOTS of grasshoppers at the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Park Longhorns near Burkett Trail The longhorns are hanging around the Burkett park area as well as the East Potts Creek and Armadillo areas. Be aware and don't harass them - they'll leave you alone. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Found on the Trail Although I don't know what kind of bird lays this egg it looks like a successful birth! I hope the heat doesn't kill the new fledgeling. (Photo by MikeHikes) House Finch Egg This egg was laying alongside a portion of the Red Dam Loop. It was undamaged but there was no nest nearby. I suspect another bird raided the nest and dropped it. (Photo by MikeHikes) Fence Post at Burkett Park Just a nice view of an old fence still being used to keep the longhorns confined to the old lake bed area. (Photo by MikeHikes)
5 Points Drink As previously mentioned in my logs, the longhorns wander all over the mid and northern sections of the park. I was at the 5 Points Junction when this longhorn came to drink. When I returned later, others were there as well. (Photo by MikeHikes) Molting Mockingbird eyeing a Wasp Saw this bird jump into a tree and took a few snaps to see what it was. I didn't notice the wasp until I was processing the shot but as you can see, the mockingbird did notice and was watching it closely. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Feast for Grasshoppers! A group of grasshoppers were enjoying a prickly pear fruit. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Bee and Thistle The thistle continues to sprout purple but no seeds yet for the birds. The bees and grasshoppers seem to like it though. (Photo by MikeHikes) Pond created by the North Concho River This is part of the North Concho River but with the water low, it is instead, a small pond. (Photo by MikeHikes) Road Runners at Cougar Overlook I normally see Road Runners individually, this pair watched me at Cougar Overlook. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Feathergay and Butterfly. Lots of light purple feathergay blooming; the butterflies are feasting as are the bumblebees. (Photo by MikeHikes) Monarch Butterfly The Monarchs are migrating and this one stopped on a gayfeather to grab a bite. (Photo by MikeHikes) Monarch sipping nectar One of the many Monarch Butterflies encountered on today's hike. They are migrating South for the winter. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A View Looking North While on the crest of Roller Coaster Trail, the view looking North. Very pleasant day when I took this photo. (Photo by MikeHikes) Red Eyed Turtle First time I've seen one of these in the park. After getting some pics, he wandered away. (Photo by MikeHikes) Curious Cactus Wren The sound of the shutter fascinated this wren for a short time. Eventually, he flew away. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Flood Victim ? This guy might have drown during the last heavy rainfall. No visible wounds so it was either the rain or old age. (Photo by MikeHikes) 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! (Photo by MikeHikes) Native American Nuclear Option Saw this today on Armadillo Trail - looks like something the Native Americans would have launched when all other options failed. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Bee Brush in November! Numerous plants were blooming along the hike - tonight we get a hard freeze so I fear these blooms will be short lived. (Photo by MikeHikes) Tree This grey fox ran up into the tree when our dog saw him. We kept the dog away and the fox departed in peace. (Photo by MikeHikes) Burned Park Area Controlled burn was conducted at the South Shore bu park personnel. Much of the park has NOT been burned. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Rats!! All this year I've seen rats but didn't photograph one until I went to the park's bird blind. Saw three rats at once come out and scrounge for food. (Photo by MikeHikes) Park Longhorn The longhorns are in the park midsection along the trails. Be aware of them and leave them alone. They won't bother you if you don't bother them! (Photo by MikeHikes) Nice Welding Job! Saw this on the old service road to Cougar Overlook - I wish they would move it to one of the main entrances. Nice use of re-bar! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Park Longhorn The majority of the cattle are used to people but it is best to leave them alone -- especially when calves are present. (Photo by MikeHikes) One of the Controlled Burn Areas This area is off Tasajilla Flats trail. A lot of the burned material seemed to be mesquite, scrub and prickly pear cactus. I've already seen grass growing in the burned areas. (Photo by MikeHikes) Great Blue Hunting on Land Until today, I was unaware Great Blue Herons hunted on land. This one is hunting by the parking lot for some of the numerous rodents in the park. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Water in the North Concho Water continues to flow in the North Concho which feeds O.C. Fisher Lake. Granted, it's not much water flowing but nonetheless, it is flowing. The debris in the tree above the river is from the floods of 2015. (Photo by MikeHikes) A View of a Burned Area Still smell the smoke from the burn! LOTS of brush burned as well as mesquite trees and prickly pear. I recognize the necessity of the burn but it is depressing to walk through the areas burned. (Photo by MikeHikes) More of the Burned Area Another view of one controlled burn area with O.C. Fisher in the background. Already, green grass is growing in clumps and will hopefully, take root and flourish. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Yield to Who? This warning was posted near a junction by a boat ramp (the boat ramp now leads to dry lake bed) when there was more traffic on the park roads. Looks like a few folks decided the sign was a too good of a target to resist. (Photo by MikeHikes) An Early Bloomer! The smell of a blooming agarita bush was unexpected but welcome! Looked and saw a bush with these small flowers just beginning to bloom. (Photo by MikeHikes) O.C.Fisher at 16% Although the lake has more water now than it did a year ago, it still has a long ways to go before this boat ramp will be usable. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Many More Blooms! On Sunday I saw a couple of agarita bushes with a few blooms, today there were many more blooms as evidenced by this photo. Whenever I smell the blooms I think of heat, dust and mesquite smoked honey. (Photo by MikeHikes) Trees along the North Concho Some nice looking trees along the North Concho River near Cougar Overlook. (Photo by MikeHikes) What The roadrunner started to run away but as soon as I took his picture he stopped and listened to the sound of my camera's shutter at high speed (10 fps). After a few seconds, he departed and began hunting for food on the road. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Nice Grey Fox! Saw him coming from the area where the park's bison normally are. He saw me, sauntered across the road and disappeared in the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes) 1st Verdin seen in a LONG Time! I saw one of these birds for the first time over ten years ago but never again until yesterday while hiking on Roadrunner Trail. Beautiful little bird! (Photo by MikeHikes) Looking for a Mate This Curved Billed Thrasher was singing loudly and for a long time. Winter appears to be over and the mating season has begun! (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Bad Hair Day Watched this Pyrrhuloxia at the bird blind. Very windy which caused his crown to flutter! (Photo by MikeHikes) Yellow Flowers have Appeared These yellow flowers are appearing in greater numbers at the park. Not many bees or bugs yet. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Fellow Trash Collector While picking up trash I noticed this Turkey Vulture perched on a dead tree. From one "cleaner" to another, I salute you! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Phoenix Rising Like the legendary Phoenix, the park is coming back to life after the controlled burns. (Photo by MikeHikes) Male Vermillion Flycatcher 1st Vermillion Flycatcher I've seen at this state park. Beautiful, flighty bird was taking a bath in the river by diving in and flying back to a tree branch to preen. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Pair of Meadowlarks Haven't seen as many of these birds as in the past. I know they are on their way North for the warmer months. (Photo by MikeHikes)
The Turkey Trot Saw about ten Turkeys along Roller Coaster trail. They didn't panic when they saw me but kept moving into the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes) Another Verdin Saw this one near the southern end of Winding Snake Trail as he was singing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes) Yup, They Park has signs rattler are out- my photo verifies this. This was about 3 1/2 to 4 foot long. He was gliding through the grass near the southern end of Playground trail and when he saw me, he stopped and watched but didn't rattle. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Spring Ritual A mating pair of horned toads. First pair I've seen this year but I saw a single horned toad a month or so ago. (Photo by MikeHikes) Wing Damage Seems to have no Effect This hawk was flying high with an apparently damaged wing. Looks to be missing feathers only; seemed to have no effect on his flying abilities. (Photo by MikeHikes) The Singer I saw numerous Mockingbirds singing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Prickly Pear Blooms Look closely at the yellow bloom and find the ant! (Photo by MikeHikes) Being Chased The hawk was being chased by the two smaller birds. Didn't seem to bother the hawk much but he did leave the area. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Rare Sight for Me It's been about seven or eight years since I saw my last Blue Grosbeak at this park. I only saw this one for a few minutes before he flew off. Very colorful bird! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Peeking This Mexican ground squirrel was hiding in the weeds and popped his head up to see what I was doing. Not many of these in the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Mourning Dove Nest See log entry for the back story! (Photo by MikeHikes) Another Painted Bunting This year I've spotted more Painted Buntings than every before. This one was spotted just below Bell's Point. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Protective Cactus Wren While on Playground Trail, this Cactus Wren was twittering and watching me to make sure I left her nest alone. (Photo by MikeHikes) HOT at the Park ! This Lark Sparrow was very hot and trying to cool off. He allowed me to get close for a photo. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Juvenile Scissortail Flycatcher. Don't normally see them eating seeds, I usually see them with insects so this was a surprise. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Joke or A Warning? This skull was placed directly in the middle of the West Potts Creek Trail and I assume it was meant as a joke and not as a warning! (Photo by MikeHikes) Great Horned Owl I've seen an owl the last four times I've been to Bell's Point and this is the first time I could get a photo (from a distance). (Photo by MikeHikes) The Optimist Seems late to be building a nest (taken 8/21/16) but maybe he knows more about the upcoming weather than the weathermen. (Photo by MikeHikes)
New Stream at North Slick Rock. Recent rains provided some run-off down a portion of the North Slick Rock trail. (Photo by MikeHikes) Preening Roadrunner A solitary Roadrunner preening his feathers before he flew off - not many birds were out today. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watch where you step! Rattlers are still out and about at the park so watch where you put your feet, your horse's hooves or your tires! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Sonoran Gopher Snake Encountered him at the beginning of the hike. Even though he was only 12-18 inches long, he acted aggressive so I gave him a wide berth and all was well. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watching Each Other The male Golden Fronted Woodpecker jumped into the tree and disturbed the Hummingbird. They kept an eye on each other until they both flew away. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Harsh Law Some will die so others may live is a harsh, but true, fact of life. This Praying Mantis was devouring the butterfly when I snapped this shot. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Don A sizeable rattler who acted rather aggressively; perhaps due to hunger or the time of year. He coiled about a foot off the trail continuously rattling and I was able to get by with no harm. (Photo by MikeHikes) One of Many on the Tumbleweeds One of the numerous caterpillars enjoying the green plants which will become tumbleweeds. (Photo by MikeHikes) Dead Caterpillar Crawling The greenish cluster on the caterpillar's back are wasp eggs. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae will feed off the caterpillar - LIFE IS HARSH. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Watch out below! Some of the numerous pelicans flying around the park as they land or take off from O.C. Fisher reservoir. (Photo by MikeHikes) Noisy Neighbors The hawk was sitting on the branch when the two starlings appeared so he decided to leave. (Photo by MikeHikes) Ready to Pounce This Loggerhead Shrike was ready to pounce as he watched for prey. While I observed him, his vigilance was not rewarded. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Blooming Once Again! Fourth time this year the Bee Brush has produced flowers and the intoxicating vanilla scent. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Common Sight at the Park One of the commonly seen birds at the park but nonetheless, always enjoyable to spot! (Photo by MikeHikes) Some of the Burned area Quite a bit of the park was recently subject to a controlled burn. Lots of brush and vegetation has disappeared as a result. (Photo by MikeHikes)
I Want A Drink! This male Cardinal was trying to get a drink from the horse trough at 5 Points Junction. To make it a little easier for the birds, I put a few sticks across the trough so they have a place to perch and get closer to the water. (Photo by MikeHikes) A Handsome Fellow White crowned Sparrow was preening for me so I took this photo. (Photo by MikeHikes) Peace Offering Accidentally disturbed an ant nest so as a peace offering, I gave them a small chunk of my Clif Bar - they seemed happy to accept the food as restitution! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Look Closely at the Left Rear for the Second Fox These two foxes were very nonchalantly walking on Winding Snake Trail. When they saw me, they calmly took a detour and disappeared in the brush (Photo by MikeHikes) A Pair of Inca Doves Not many birds out today but I spotted these Inca Doves. (Photo by MikeHikes) Agaraita Are Starting to Bloom! It's only February but the agarita are already beginning to bloom - to me, the blooms smell like a mixture of dust, mesquite smoke and honey - very intoxicating!! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Western Bluebird He was a ways off but easy to identify. Saw two males and one female near Bell's Trail head. (Photo by MikeHikes) Agarita Still in Bloom Although not as fragrant as a it was a few weeks ago, there are still enough agarita in bloom to scent the air. (Photo by MikeHikes) Newest Member of the Herd! Numerous calves are present so give them, and their parents, a wide berth. (Photo by MikeHikes)
1st Vermillion Flycatcher of 2017! Saw him on Tasajilla Flats - his very bright red color caught my eye. (Photo by MikeHikes) First Hummingbird Moth This Year! Saw this solitary Hummingbird Moth on Dinosaur Trail at the beginning of my hike. VERY spry and fast moving! I took numerous pictures but this is one of two that were any good. (Photo by MikeHikes) Vermillion Flycatcher Again I never tire of photographing these colorful birds! (Photo by MikeHikes)
View from the Cougar Lookout A view of the North Concho River that feeds O.C. Fisher Lake (or reservoir). When the river is full and flows normally, the large rocks are submerged. Just shows we're still in a serious drought! (Photo by MikeHikes) First Cactus Flower of the Year This was the first cactus flower I saw this year. Further down the trail, I saw more but there were still lots of unopened flowers on the cactus pads. (Photo by MikeHikes) Take My Picture! High winds kept most of the birds out of the air. This guy popped up from the ground and posed for my camera. Once I took the photo, he jumped back down. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Taking Flight A Scissortail Flycatcher just lifted off from the branch. Nice to see them back in the park. (Photo by MikeHikes) Get Away from Me! This roadrunner ran in front of me on the Tasajilla Flats trail. He'd occasionally turn and squawk at me for having the nerve to follow him. (Photo by MikeHikes) Watchful Kingbird One of the numerous Kingbirds I saw today. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Portion of Playground Trail As can be seen, this portion of the trail has been groomed and is easy to see as well as traverse. Very nice! (Photo by MikeHikes) If I Stay Real Still Nobody Will See Me First Horned Toad of 2017. Would not move until after I stepped over him when he moved a few feet to some greenery. Be cautious where you put your feet when hiking! (Photo by MikeHikes) Gotta Go ... See Ya! While on Tasajilla Flats this grey fox saw me first and took off through the brush. (Photo by MikeHikes)
A now common sight ! What was once an uncommon bird is now becoming very common. I see the Painted Bunting at more locations in the park on nearly every hike. A very beautiful bird! (Photo by MikeHikes) One of Two One of the two fawns I spotted at the beginning of my hike. (Photo by MikeHikes) Open Fields in the North Shore Most of the park's trails are in the open with lots of sky but few trees and little shade. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Some of Lanky Lackey Many of the trails in the southern portion of the park are rocky like this. Of course, some trails like Winding Snake, are mostly dirt. (Photo by MikeHikes)

Log Entries

South Shore Playground parking area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
By MikeHikes on 8/6/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park        3.7 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Burkett trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park     3.7 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chapparal > Playground parking area    2.8 miles

Temps start at 78, end at 96.  Sunny, a few wispy clouds, fairly steady West breeze.

Unusual number of people in the park today and on the trails; all mountain bikers except one equestrian.  Trails are for the most part, groomed and easy to traverse.  The major exception is on the northern portion of Tasajilla Flats where the grass has grown quite a bit.

No animals seen, even the birds were hunkered down.  I did see a few lizards and one horned toad. 

NOTES

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

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

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Lookout Loop
By MikeHikes on 7/30/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Out      Bell's Trailhead > service road (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur tracks viewing area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Dinosaur Trail > service road (WNW) 50m > Badlands > River Bend > service road (ENE) > Cougar Lookout          5.8 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > Javalina > service road (ENE) 50m > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > service road (N) > North Scenic Loop > service road (ENE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead   3.5 miles

Temps in the mid 70's at start and mid 90's at end, sunny with a few clouds, slight breeze.

Trails are dry and easy to traverse.  Most are clear of vegetation but there are patches that need to be cleaned up.  Not as many birds out today and I only saw a few lizards and one fawn.  Don't know the reason for that.  Very peaceful and very enjoyable hike but there just wasn't much going on so I'll close this report.

NOTES

Water and shade available at the campgrounds near Bell's Trailhead.

Shade and info kiosk available at Dinosaur tracks viewing area.  NO WATER AT THIS TIME!!!!

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Ghost Camp.  CAUTION is advised if you use the dry toilets (snakes and insects).

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout Figure 8
By MikeHikes on 7/16/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Out       Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 yds) > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo (ENE) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (NE) > Cougar Lookout         6.0 miles

Return   Cougar Lookout > service road (WSW) > River Bend (SW) > 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (ENE) > East Potts Creek > Burkett trail > Burkett park   4.7 miles

Temps - 82 at start and 100 at end, sunny with intermittent light winds.

First hike in the park's mid-section since the severe wind storm of a month ago.  Nothing on the trails now but easy to see where branches had fallen and were moved off.  Trails are dry and easy to traverse.  The North Concho River seen from Cougar Lookout still has water but the rocks in the river are easier to see which means the water level has dropped - not a good thing.

Saw two fawns at the start of the hike but no other animals; not many birds out either.  Saw a few mountain bikers but that was it. 

Not too long ago I found my first tick on my sock.  Today I found my first tick stuck to my leg.  I scrapped her off (checked and it was a female Lone Star tick), saw she still had her head so I terminated her.  Squeezed blood out of the bite wound and cleaned it best I could.  Will keep an eye on the wound but I'm not too concerned about infections right now.  In all my years of hiking, I've been lucky in never having a tick bite but this year, my string of good luck regarding ticks has been broken.      

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets at Burkett park.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

Water, shade and info kiosk at 5 Points Junction.

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

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett park
By MikeHikes on 7/9/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out    Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett park         3.6 miles

Return Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area      3.3 miles

Temps in the low 70's to start and low 80's at end, sunny, slight, steady breeze.

The park had been closed due to a severe wind storm that hit the park on June 23rd.  Park personnel have cleared the trails so they are passable but there are still some mesquite debris, i.e., sticks with thorns, on the trails.  Mountain bikers need to be aware of this.

Due to the storm and the rain, some of the loose soil has washed off exposing more rocks on the sloped portion of the trails and a little more soil now covers the rocks at the bottom of the trails.  Overall the trails are easy to traverse.

I see the same birds and a few animals but no snakes or lizards.

NOTES

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

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

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park and Roadrunner Loop
By MikeHikes on 6/12/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 10 minutes

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

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 yds) > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area    3.6 miles

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

Temps start at 75 end at 93, sunny with a few clouds, steady light Southerly breeze.

An earlier than usual hike this morning.  Trails were dry and for the most part, easy to traverse.  Red Dam Loop and parts of Winding Snake need grooming but were easy to hike on.  Just be on the look out for snakes!

Numerous birds were seen.  A few such as the Painted Bunting and Vermilion Flycatcher were, a few short years ago, rarely seen.  Now, it's unusual if I don't see a few on my hikes.  The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is another bird I'm seeing more of as well.

While on Tasajilla Flats, I saw a grey fox but he saw me first so I only got a few photos as he took off (photo attached). 

Cottontail rabbits, white tail deer and a few lizards were spotted as well.  No snakes seen but I know they're out there.  

NOTES

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 at the campsites alongside Roadrunner Loop.

Toilets available at the half way point of Roadrunner Loop.

 

 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Outlook and Return
By MikeHikes on 6/8/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out       Bell's Trailhead > service road (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) > Cougar Outlook      5.7 miles

Return   Cougar Outlook > Javalina > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > service road (NE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead      3.5 miles

Temps in the low 70's to start and mid 80's at end. Very high, hazy clouds and a slight Southerly breeze.

Trails are dry, easy to see and traverse. At some point, park personnel had cut back the vast majority of the vegetation from the trails. The lack of rain and the heat is keeping new growth at bay.

Quite a few birds out - Painted Buntings, some kind of hawk and a Yellow Billed Cuckoo were spotted as well as all the usual suspects. Saw my first Horned Toad of the year (photo attached). What surprised me was he didn't move as I approached, I stepped over him before he moved off the trail to some nearby greenery.

Took my shoes off to clear out some of the arrowhead weeds and a tick crawled off my sock; easy to spot and remove. In all my time hiking the park, this is the first time I'd seen one and I hope it's the last. I know a person who had a very severe reaction to Lyme Disease and I want no part of that!

I was the only person on the trails, enjoying the sounds of the wind and the birds as I hiked; it was a very pleasant.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk are available at Bell's Trailhead - water is at the campsites

Shade and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area on Dinosaur Trail.  Water is available for horses but NO WATER FOR HUMANS.

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

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

USE CAUTION due to insects and snakes in the toilet area. 

THIS IS THE ONLY POTABLE WATER LOCATION on this hike.

Park Mid-Section Burkett park to Cougar Lookout
By MikeHikes on 6/3/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 - Burkett park> Winding Snake (20 yds) > Suzanne's Trail > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground (NW) > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction 4.5 miles

Leg 2 - 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (NE) > Cougar Lookout > service road (WNW) > River Bend (S) > 5 Points Junction 2.6 miles

Leg 3 - 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (ENE)> East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett park 3.4 miles

Temps in the 70's, humid, overcast and a light, steady Easterly breeze.

Leisurely hike today. There were lots of birds out especially the Painted Buntings - I saw five different ones at various locations; to me, this was a large number! Cottontail rabbits, deer and a solitary javalina were also spotted.

All in all, the trails were, for the most part, clear of vegetation with the exception of Playground Trail which had some sections in need of grooming.

All the trails were visible but the overhanging vegetation is a safety concern due to the danger of stepping on a rattlesnake.  I saw a 2-3 foot non-rattlesnake stretched on a trail but was able to get it to move without incident.

As always, it was enjoyable and I can't wait for the next hike!

South Shore Playground parking area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
By MikeHikes on 5/28/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park       3.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 feet) > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky lackey (W) > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo (E) > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett park     3.7 miles

Leg 3 - Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 ft) > Suzanne's Trail > Lanky Lackey (S) > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area     3.7 miles

Temps in the low to mid 80's, partly cloudy and steady Northerly wind.

Memorial day weekend crowds enjoying the park today so there were quite a few people on the trails - everyone pleasant and cheerful so no problems.  Lots of birds out at first - saw Painted Buntings, Vermillion Flycatchers, Kingbirds, and all the usual crowd. After noon they all took a siesta. Still no raptors though.

Saw my first "real" snake today - about five feet in front of me getting ready to cross the trail; it was some type of coachwhip and was brownish, very long (guesstimate about four feet long) and thick.  As I was raising the camera, it did a 180 and disappeared quickly.  Still no rattlers sighted this year but I did talk to an equestrian who told me she saw three rattlers last week when she was riding in the park.

Trails have been worked on and are very easy to traverse, you'll still get some weeds in your shoes but it's not too bad. Bee brush is once again in bloom - 3rd time this year - and scents the air with vanilla perfume!

NOTES

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

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

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Roadrunner Loop
By MikeHikes on 5/16/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park      3.6 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett park > Winding Snake (20 yards) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area   3.7 miles

Leg 3 - Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area  2.9 miles

Temp 72 to start, 88 at end.  Overcast then sunny, humid and strong WSW wind.

Park personnel have been busy !  Most of the trails have been mowed although Red Dam Loop still needs a trim.  The trails are much easier to traverse.  While you still have to watch for snakes, now it is easier to do.  Speaking of which, a park attendant told me a HUGE rattler had been killed recently - still haven't seen any this year.

I saw a fairly large number of Nighthawks flying around.  Lots of other birds including a Vermillion Flycatcher, a Painted Bunting, lots of sparrows, Mockingbirds, et al.  For some reason I haven't seen many raptors.

A good hike nonetheless!

NOTES

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

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

Water and toilets available at the mid-way point of Roadrunner Loop.

Water and shade available at numerous campsites running alongside Roadrunner Loop.

 

 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Lookout
By MikeHikes on 5/7/2017
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out     Bell's Trailhead > Dinosaur Trail > Lower Big Hill > service road (S then NW) > Badlands > River Bend > service road (ENE) > Cougar Lookout       5.8 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > Javalina > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > service road (N) > North Scenic Loop > service road (ENE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead   3.3 miles

Temps 70 to start and 87 at end, sunny, no clouds with steady South wind.

A good hike that would have been better if the trails had been groomed.  The vegetation is covering major portions of Dinosaur Trail resulting in a slower pace as I had to constantly be aware of where the trail was and watch for snakes.  The vegetation is so dense on Lower Big Hill Trail I recommend you stay off unless you are familiar with the trail and have to use it - use Upper Big Hill instead.

Saw two snakes today - one about 8-10 inches long, very thin and dark grey/black in color.  The second was a 2-3 foot water snake in a pond - unknown what type.

The sun was shining, there was a steady breeze to keep pesty bugs off, the wildflowers were blooming, bugs pollinating and bird singing with quite a few lizards sunning - it was a very good hike!

NOTES

Water and shade available at Bell's Trailhead - water in the campground/picnic areas.

Shade and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area - NO WATER AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.

Shade, info kiosk and a Bicycle Repair Station (!) available at Cougar Lookout.  The repair station is legit and contains attached tools and an air pump.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at the River Bend Ghost Camp. CAUTION WHEN USING THE TOILETS DUE TO INSECTS/SNAKES.


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