North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Outlook

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!
User: MikeHikes - 6/23/2014

Location: San Angelo State Park

Difficulty:  Solitude:
Miles Hiked: 8.20 Miles  Elapsed Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes


Out        Bell's Trailhead > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands Trail > River Bend Trail > service road (East) > Cougar Outlook  5.4 miles
Return    Cougar Outlook > service roads (North) > North Scenic Loop > service roads (NNE) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead              2.8 miles

Best way to understand and trace my route is to look at Google Earth satellite view or a trail map - it is easy to follow !!!

A very nice hike that takes you along the edge's of the North Shore's boundaries.  Due to recent severe winds, tree branches were downed and although the majority of the trails are clear and passable, there are bits of tree debris, to include mesquite branches with thorns attached, still on the trail, so caution is advised.  I had to stop a few times and pull mesquite branches off the soles of my hiking sandals - the thorns were embedded in the soles!

The day was overcast, high humidity with temps mid to upper 80's to start and gradually increasing to low 90's by the time the hike was complete.  Inconsistent winds allowed the ever present gnats to swarm but there weren't too many mosquitoes.

Saw a large (about 4 foot long) non poisonous snake on the trail, I believe it was a rat snake, as well as numerous lizards and birds.  The most interesting birds spotted were two juvenile Great Horned Owls (picture attached) on Dinosaur Trail and a male Painted Bunting on the Badlands Trail.


The info kiosk at Bell's Trailhead has been destroyed by the high winds - unknown if/when it will be repaired or replaced.

Water, shade and an info kiosk are available at Dinosaur Trail rest stop (outward bound) and the Upper Ghost Camp (on the return leg) which also has dry toilets.

Log Photos
Juvenile Great Horned Owls
Area around San Angelo State Park
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