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AustinWhitewater's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 6 (Rank: 90th) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 33.40 Miles (Rank: 89th)
Average Distance: 5.57 Miles

Average Rating: (3.80)
Average Difficulty: (3.14)
Average Solitude: (3.52)

Earliest Log Entry: 3/12/2011
Latest Log Entry: 12/25/2014

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

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Log Entries

Great weather for a Christmas day hike!
River Place Nature Trail - 12/25/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Contrary to what the WARNING in the description above says, the trail is now open all the way from the Canyon Trail Kiosk (highest point) to the Boardwalk Kiosk (lowest point), a distance of 3 miles, and that is exactly the direction I hiked it. Then I turned around and went back up.

As others have said, most, but not all, of the steep steps are in the 1 mile Canyon Trail, which has the largest overall elevation change from 920 feet to 680 feet. In this section, however, the accumulated gain and loss is greater as the trail and steps meander up and down several times.

The Canyon Trail then connects to the 1.5 mile Upper Panther Trail. It has a few steep sections but also some level sections. This section ranges from 700 feet down to 530 feet, but again the accumulated gain and loss is a bit more as there are some uphill stretches.

The Upper Panther Trail connects to the 0.5 mile Lower Panther Trail, which terminates at the Boardwalk Kiosk. This trail is fairly flat, only ranging from 560 feet to 520 feet.

Had great weather and quite a few people were out on the trail, but I had a fair amount of solitude as well. There wasn't much water in the creek but it was still a very pleasant day. Thanks to all the people from River Place and elsewhere that worked long and hard to get this trail open again!

Starting the out and back at the Boardwalk Kiosk is easier as you don't have to finish on the steep steps of Canyon Trail as I chose to do.

And if you only want to go one way, you will need to have transportation parked at both trailheads.

Bull Creek Preserve - 4/22/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Hiked this yesterday and did about 9 miles with all of the side trails we did. We were on the trails for about 5 hours.
 
But my friend's car was broken into while we were hiking. They broke the glass to get in. Great hike but bad experience!
 
BTW, contrary to what ayh123 said on 1/13/13, you DO NEED A PERMIT to hike in the fenced preserve during the period of March 1 thru July 31 of each year. Being in the preserve without a permit during this timeframe is a finable offense and rangers do patrol it.
 
You do not need a permit the rest of the year, and you never need a permit to hike the Bull Creek Park and greenbelt, which is not fenced.
360 trail head thru Bull Creek Preserve to St. Edwards Park and return
Bull Creek Preserve - 10/6/2012  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Saturday, to celebrate the cool morning, I decided to do one of my favorite hikes in and around Austin - Bull Creek Preserve to St. Edwards Park and return.
 
 
The Bull Creek Greenbelt entrance to the preserve is located at the northern parking area on the west side of 360. Please read and follow the restrictions for trail use posted at the entrance and just inside the pass-thru in the fence. Note that is it a no smoking area, and that no horses, dogs, even on leashes, or bicycles are allowed.
 
The are several shorter trails and loops close to the parking lot, and there is also good hiking in the more accessible greenbelt. The longer trails to St Edwards Park start inside the pass-thru to the right of the signs and all the way to the fence.
 
Following this trail up the hill you will come to three junctions fairly quickly. All three lead off to the right to the shorter loops. To stay on the longer option take the left forks at all. You will be heading mostly west and a little bit to the north as you can see on the trail map. All of the trail junctions inside the preserve are very well marked except for one, and I will get to that shortly.
 
At the next junction (the fourth) you will have the option of either left or right. The left options heads west up Jester Hill. The right option gets to the same place but a different, and I think better, way. The right option heads west also but this trail is steeper and more challenging, IMO.
 
Both the right and left options end up on a limited-access power line road. Whichever option you previously took, turn left on the power line road and continue up Jester Hill.
 
At the top of Jester Hill up will come a City street and on both sides of the street there is a pass-thru in the fence. Continue across the street and up the hill but now start paying attention for the junction to the right that leads north to St. Edwards park. The marker is nearly hidden buy the overgrown brush and the marker is a few feet to the right of the trail you will be on. If you come to a second City street you have passed it so turn around, go back and look for the trail off to your now left.
 
Once on this northern trail just follow the trail markers, which are plentiful and easy to see. You will have to negotiate several more pass-thrus and cross under a large overhead power lines, but will soon start the downhill section to St. Edwards. I like to stay to the left following the fence line, but there are numerous side trails off to the right I have not tried any of these but they are the trails in the hash-mark section of the linked map. They all look like they will take you down to the park where you will need to cross Bull Creek in you want to get all of the way into St. Edwards Park. The creek and all of its feeders are represented by the blue dotted lines on the linked map.

This out and back (Point A to B, then back to A) takes me  about 2.5 to 3 hours depending on how much time I spend at St. Edwards, but I  walk at a steady fast pace.

I have never taken my GPS on this hike (I should) so I can't give  you the mileage. Another poster describes the hike from the other
direction and says the round trip is 8.5 miles, but yet another poster says it is 6.58. I split the difference and said 7.5.

It actually could be all 3 depending on which and how many of the side trails you do or don't take. You can also do this one way, but that necessitates a car parked at each end.

There are people on the trails on weekends, but not many. I frequently do it on weekdays and have seen no one. Give it a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Canyon Trail to Upper Panther Trail to Panther Junction and back
River Place Nature Trail - 3/19/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A

This morning I did the upper two trails as an out and back starting at the Canyon Trail trailhead. Both trails have lots of up and down sections, whichever way you are headed.

This hike was more of a workout than my first one and was very different in that a good portion of the trails were well above the creek, unlike the lower trails. There were several spots high on the ridge where there were good vistas.

I saw more people this Saturday than last, but it was still far from crowded.

I also came across a coral snake on the last set of steps downhill before Panther Junction. Now that it is Spring I need to pay more attention where I am putting my feet when I am fast walking. If it had been a moccasin or a rattler I would have been bitten. Thank goodness for small snakes with small mouths!

Warbler Vista in the misty morning
Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Warbler Vista - 3/13/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.90 Miles Duration: N/A
Hiked all of the available trails at Warbler Vista Sunday morning:
 
Cactus Rocks Trail - 0.6 mile out
Vista Knoll Trail  - 1.2 mile loop
Ridgeline Trail to Sunset Deck - 0.75 miles out
Sunset Deck to Ridgeline Trail - 0.75 miles back
Cactus Rocks Trail - 0.6 mile back
Total - 3.9 miles
 
I was not being stealth as I was out for exercise but still saw one Golden Cheeked Warbler.
 
The Vista Loop showed lots of different scat but didn't see any mammels.
 
This was my first time here. It was worth doing and I will do it again.