I was pleasantly surpised by this hike. It is true that you are within earshot of the park's roadways, and will occasionally pass through the picnic areas used by campers. However, the trail is remarkably secluded and natural. Your solitude experience will depend upon how many campers and boaters are at the park. If you go on the weekend when the weather is perfect, you can expect that you won't have so much solitude. The ability to bail-out of the trail if you have an emergency makes this a good training or beginner's hike. I hiked the entire trail from Armadillo hill to marker 14 and back. The trail guides list it as 9 miles for the loop and that felt about right. As the trail map shows, the trail is a lot of up, down, and back up. I took my time exploring fossils and the rocky shoreline. After 5 and half hours, I felt like I had a good work out. At marker 14 (Fossil Ridge), there is a large picnic area with plenty of shaded tables that are tucked into the woods. The area also has restrooms and water source. Perfect for the halfway mark. I started the hike at noon on a weekday when it was 100 (non heat index) outside. Neededless to say, I didn't encounter anyone else on the trail, and I rarely heard a car on the roadway. The heat also negated the need for any bug repellant. I didn't get a single bug bite. Most of the trail is along limestone outcrop, so you are walking on gravel and rocks for most of the trail. I couldn't imagine anyone with a bicycle or stroller on this trail, although I did spot a few tire tracks here and there. The trail had many opportunities to explore fossils and drop down to the rocky shoreline. The hike takes you right past the lake's official beach and several other access points for swiming. Bring your water shoes and swim suit in your back pack. If you are going to do this hike in the summer, bring at least 60 ounces of water with the expectation to refill with your micro filter at Fossil Ridge.
"This book will be in great demand by travelers, park visitors, and aficionados of Texas landscapes."