North Shore Big Square hike

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.
User: MikeHikes - 6/10/2014

Location: San Angelo State Park

Rating:
Difficulty:  Solitude:
Miles Hiked: 9.90 Miles  Elapsed Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Comments:

Out       Bell's Trailhead > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill Trail > Badlands Trail > River Bend Trail > Multi Trail Junction          5.5 miles

Return  Flintstone Trail > Javalina Trail > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > Upper Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock Trail > service road >North Scenic Loop > service road > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead             4.4 miles

This route encompasses the outer trails along the North Shore.  The vast majority of the trail is dirt although there are a few places where it is rocky, in particular the Upper Big Hill trail which has a steep incline as well as rock and the South Slick Rock trail which has a steep decline and loose rock/dirt.  Although there are quite a few trails listed, all the trails are easy to see and connect to one another.  The laminated park map available for $3 at the South Shore station or Google Earth are the best ways to view my route.

Temps started in the lower 70's and rose to the mid-80's during the hike, a light northerly wind kept the majority of bugs off but when I went into areas of no wind, the gnats were a force to be reckoned with!  I'm sure our recent rains helped increase the gnat's activity and although I don't like gnats, I'll tolerate them if it means we get more rain.  

LOTS of lizards out and about as well as birds.  Saw a group of four Great Blue Herons near Shady Trail when I was outward bound and one Great Blue on my return leg.  The extra water in the creek area has been a boon to the wildlife!

A tip of the hat to the park staff who maintain the trails!  Even after the rains, the trails are easy to traverse and in a few cases, I could see where park personnel had already repaired rain damaged sections. 

Keep up the good work!!

NOTES

Info kiosk at Bell's Trailhead, no water.  

Water, shade and info kiosk are available at the Dinosaur Trail rest area, the Multi Trail junction (where Turkey Creek, River Bend and Flintstone Trails meet - my half way point) and at the Upper Ghost Camp area which is also called River Bend Camp Area on a few signs in the park.  This last area also has dry toilets available.

Ground bees are active so be aware of them!  I saw a small group at the southern end of the Shady Trail in the service road.  They didn't bother me and I didn't bother them.

 



Log Photos
Mexican Ground Squirrel Eating
Area around San Angelo State Park
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