Hiked from Mineral Wells to Weatherford.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway
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Distance: 20.00 Miles
Duration: 7 hours, 30 minutes
This is a great trail for conditioning and building stamina. I started at the Mineral Wells trailhead at 7 a.m. and made it to the Garner trailhead in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Make sure you bring plenty of water as there aren't many places to refill along the way. In Garner there is a store and restroom facilities. I stopped for a quick breakfast and sock change and proceeded on towards Weatherford. Up until this point I hadn't encountered many people, only 4 bikers and a runner. During the 10 mile stretch from Garner to Weatherford traffic increased and the trail became more exposed to the sun. There are benches placed throughout the trail every 2 miles, sometimes closer. Approximately 6 miles from the Weatherford trailhead there is a latrine as well as water for horses. The last mile and a half run alongside a lake before curving around into the parking lot. It's a very flat and quick 20 mile hike, but I cannot stress the importance of bringing enough water. Take more than you think you'll need. I consumed just shy of 5 liters.
Other items that I found to be useful for the trail are extra socks, sunscreen, high calorie snacks, band aids and a basic first aid kit, cell phone, sunglasses and a few ziplock bags to waterproof any moisture sensitive items.
The scenery was pleasant along the way. Lots of pastureland, farms and ranches. You will see lots of bearclaw cactus, oak trees, mustang grape vines and many other kinds of plant life. I encountered two copperhead snakes along the way east of the Garner trailhead. Stay vigilant, especially when walking through the dead leaves that accumulate on the trail. There were many different species of birds; the white wing and morning dove were my favorites. Keep your eyes open and you can spot deer, coyotes, foxes and bobcats.
Overall it was a very enjoyable trail. I will be doing it again this weekend but I will explore the loop that goes into the state park.