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Distance: 11.50 Miles
Duration: 5 hours, 24 minutes
This hike spans the River Trail, Old Gorman Road, Gorman Falls, and the Gorman Springs Trail. Rather than break up my hike for each trail, which would be a lot of unnecessary, self-inflicted work, I will make one single log entry here. Hopefully, in the future, a single park like this one won't be split into 11 separate locations!
I did this hike as a part of a group. The River Trail was nice and shaded and provided scenic views of the Colorado River. We took the Dogleg Canyon Trail up the hill to the Cedar Chopper Loop cutoff, then went back down Old Gorman Road over to Gorman Falls. On our way back, we hiked up and back on the Gorman Springs Trail, then returned to camp along the River Trail.
I enjoyed this hike very much, even though it occurred on a day when the temperature was close to 100 degrees. Gorman Falls was a very scenic spot, much like a living postcard. Gorman Springs was also a very nice hike up a short, shaded canyon along the water. These two spots made the hike worthwhile and it also highlighted the tremendous diversity in this state park. In some areas, you see cacti and prairie grass; in others, you see waterfalls, moss and ferns.
The River Trail is a nice walk along the Colorado River. The mosquitos were not that bad, although a few came out at dusk. The Colorado River makes for some good swimming and a chance to cool off after the hike.
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Distance: 2.50 Miles
There are several hikes that lead you to the falls, but only one is short; that's the one we took. Us, and everyone else in the state of Texas, and their kids, and their dogs... we went on a Sunday afternoon and it was pretty crowded. The trail itself was hot and flat and boring; the path was filled with rocks and tree stumps. Then, after a mile or so, there's a sudden steep descent to the viewing area - there are wire handrails, but old and young people were still having trouble getting up and down it. The waterfall was, of course, awesome, though difficult to take pictures of. The viewing area was more dangerous than I'd expected because some kids had climbed up to higher ground and were knocking rocks and sticks down onto the people below. So, watch your head!
Nice short guided hike
[View Log Page]
Distance: 1.50 Miles
Beautiful Gorman Falls tops off any trip to this state park. The hike is a paid guided tour only and only on weekends at specific times.
We started out with just me, my wife, our 20 yr old daughter and our newly adopted 2 year old daughter, who was walking quite well. The hike begins by showing you the top of Gorman Falls, then the guide leads you about 3/4 mile to a somewhat steep, rocky descent to the river base where the falls can be seen. The 60 to 70 foot drop does have cabling installed to assist in descent, but my 2 year old with some help did it fine.
At the bottom, you can view the falls and surrounding area for about 15 to 30 minutes before the guide requires everyone leave and hike out. While there, however, you can relax on a deck built around a massive tree. The falls are viewable only and not accessible. In years past, the falls were open, but had to be closed to protect the foliage and the falls themselves. A nice treat was to hear the story of some kids who drove their car off the falls (before it became a state park). You can see part of the car sticking out of the river bed where they crashed (they survived).
All in all it was a great hike. We will likely do it again!