Total Log Entries:
74.60 Miles (Rank: 32nd)
Average Rating: (3.69)
Average Difficulty: (2.29)Average Solitude: (3.39)
Earliest Log Entry:
Latest Log Entry:
Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.
Flat. Water questionable
4-C Hiking Trail
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Distance: 37.00 Miles
I hiked about 37 miles on the 4C trail on Mar 13-15, 2006. The trail: Well marked. No problem following it in daylight. The northern end is different from the southern end. The northern half has more elevation changes because of the overlook. It seems more open, especially with the almost mile walk along a power line right-of-way below the bluff. Both the north and south ends could be swampy in places when there is rain. Fortunately these places are well bridged. Trying to locate myself precisely based on the trail track on the maps and relating that to the ground was hit and miss for me. Water: There is no potable water on the trail! I thought that I would use my MIOXX purifier to take care of water needs along the trail, but with only a couple of exceptions, I was suspicious of even trying to purify the water that I found. It wasn’t the brown color in the water from the pine tree tannin. The problem was stagnation in this drought season. Mileage markers: I saw mileage markers 1-4 on Monday. I think there were relatively accurately placed. I didn’t see another marker until Tuesday when I was returning from Walnut Creek Camp. This was mile post 8. I think it was too far north. I passed it an hour south of Walnut Creek Camp. That would mean that I’d traveled two miles an hour. I seriously doubt that I did that. On Wednesday I saw mile marker 12 and it was only a couple of hours for me south of the northern trail head. I know it was out of place. That would have meant I’d traveled 7+ miles from the trailhead in about two hours and I only do that in my dreams. I saw the number 13 marker Wednesday night, but I’m not sure where that was. Note: Both Mickey Little’s book and the USFS’ brochure show a primitive camping site at Walnut Creek Camp. There is a shelter and a privy here. Mickey Little’s book shows a primitive camp site at Pond Camp. The USFS’ broacher reports a shelter at Pond Camp. There is no shelter or privy at Pond Camp! The privy at Walnut Creek Camp was in sad shape. Hunters had blasted holes in the commode itself and the privy area was not much better than a trash dump. The shelter was in good shape. There were 5-6 level tent sites around the shelter. Pond Camp was just an open area frequented by hunters with the usual amount of trash that they leave. The northern trailhead is primitive. There are no improvements. There is space to camp, but I recommend protecting your campsite by placing your vehicle between your tent and the natural path for vehicles to follow. A couple of good ol’ boys were screaming down the forest roads in their pickup trucks as I was thinking about setting up camp at the northern trail head. I decided that with those kinds of folks in the area, I’d camp at the rec area and just park my car at the northern trailhead. There is secure trailhead parking at the Ratcliff Rec Area for $3.00/night.
Nice day hike. Area at west end of lake is damp.
Meridian State Park
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Distance: 4.00 Miles
I overnighted at campsite #25. Primitive campsites can be reached by hard surfaced road. There is little road traffic, because the perimeter road does not go all the way around the lake. The staff has done a good job of marking a trail to an alternate stream crossing above where a bridge washed out. You might get your feet wet at the alternate crossing, but there is a convenient log upstream. Be wary of the buzzards roosting in the trees on the southwest side of the lake. The trail goes right under the roosting trees. Phew! Poop all over the ground. The road walk up to Shinnery Ridge is the toughest part of that trail. The ridge trail is flat. The trail connecting the two side of the ridge trail that shows on the park map does not exist any longer. The steepest climb on either the Bosque Hiking Trail or the Shinnery Ridge Trail is the road walk between pavilion #6 and the pavilions #12-18. Water was going over the spillway both times I've been at the park and the ranger recommended I use the road starting at the south end of the dam to campsite 23. I accessed the creek near campsite 22 and walked upstream until the informal path was blocked by trees. The climb out of the stream bed was challenging! I did not try any other trails in the park. The ranger said that they did not get much use and were yet to be cleared for this season. Nice, nice restrooms and showers on the lake near pavilion #1. Soda machines there too.
Nice day hike, solitude is marginal
Mother Neff State Park
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Distance: 4.00 Miles
Nice day, May 24. Humid and overcast in the morning, but nice breeze from the south. Trails are well defined and marked at most junctions. Bluff Loop Trail was the most secluded and challenging, although the steps up to the road from the Wash Pond can leave you huffing and puffing. The field north of the primitive camping area was a riot of wild flowers! See''em soon before the summer sun does them in. A trail not marked on the map has been mowed between the northern viewing area (Lookout)and the Prairie Trailhead (Alt T.H.). Nits and picks: Mother Neff is convenient to the Waco-Temple area. The entire trail system can easily be hiked in a leisurly four hours, including a lunch break. The Wash Pond is a relaxing place to visit. A good starter hike. Construction and road noise were always present, even if in the distance. The primitive camping area is a stone''s throw from the highway. Rather than camp in the absolute primitive area, try the low stone wall area (ruins) on the trail going east southeast from the Prairie Trailhead. This spot is away from the road and gives you a solid surface to cook on. Some streams in the park had dried up, but the major ones could provide water if you wanted to filter it. Oh, the scenic spot marked for the Wash Pond is too far west. The Pond is right at the junction of the trail coming up from the Rock Tower and Cave, and the one going east to the Primitive Camp site. 03-08-05 added. The construction seems to be finished, but there is still noise from the road throughout the park.
Good hike. Miles 0-7 are rough.
Good Water Trail
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Distance: 29.60 Miles
Water plentiful in mid April. Getting water from the lake at Cedar Hollow is easy, but finding a tent site is difficult with the rocks and slope. Water at Sawyer Camp requires wading in the lake to get some depth for pumping. Careful past MP 9. The two track trail splits. The corrrect route is to the right thru the fence and trees. No trail marker. MP 10 must be missing. (I didn't see # 12 either.) Look to the right after passing the trail marker at the end of the field after crossing the little dam. The two track trail around the edge of the field starts to parallel a path in the trees that goes straight to Tejas Camp. Tent sites at Tejas are $6.00/night. On the north side of the lake I lost the trail in the Walnut Springs Creek bottoms. I did not see the trail or a trail marker on the other side of the creek. Walnut Springs Camp is pretty rough. The privy is under construction. Returning the same route be careful after leaving Tejas Camp. The path through the trees that you followed earlier eventually goes down to the river while the Good Water Trail follows along the two track around the field and away from the river. The path just east of Cedar Hollow Camp is hard to see when it splits from the two track. The turn off is about 50 yards east of the Camp. When I passed there, there was a stack of three flat stones marking the path through the bushes.
Trekking poles or a staff are certainly handy for miles 0-7. Lots of rock! After mile 7 there was little elevation gain or loss, except for a hillock at mile 9. At the same time the rest of the trail that I took was mostly in the open and will be pretty hot in the next couple of months.