San Angelo State Park

Trail
50.00 Miles
N/A
$4.00
4stars (4.27)316
1star (1.12)
4point5stars (4.62)
N/A
Yes
N/A
N/A
San Angelo
Tom Green
More Info
Photos
To The Death!
The wasp and Black Widow fought and the wasp was the winner - Nature is not always kind. (Photo by MikeHikes)
One Eye (of a) Jack .... Rabbit
No injuries observed! When I readied to get a photo, he saw me and tucked a little deeper into the grass, but was still easy to see. After I snapped the shot, he took off ....... like a Jack Rabbit! (Photo by MikeHikes)
A Good Singer
Lots of songs came from him as he sought a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Watch Where You Step!
The "second of the year" Horned Toad I saw; he was just off Tasajilla Flats at the beginning of the hike. He didn't move fast so always watch where you step. (Photo by MikeHikes)
First Horned Toad for 2019
An active little guy who scampered off the trail but kindly paused long enough for me to get a photo. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Where's The Trail?!?
Most of Tasajilla Flats Trail is overgrown due to the recent rains. Caution is advised where you place your feet! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Lemon Mint and  a Butterfly
Don't know what kind of butterfly this is but it made for a nice picture! (Photo by MikeHikes)
Cottontail Rabbit
Commonly seen in the past, rarely seen in the present - the Cottontail Rabbit. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Mist on the Reservoir
Rain from the day before and a cold front this morning, helped produce mist above the Reservoir. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Buddies on the Branch
The Scissortail seemed content to listen to the male Pyrrhuloxia sing for a mate. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Doing the Strut
These Toms were strutting their stuff but I saw no hens - I guess they were just practicing their moves. (Photo by MikeHikes)
Always Look Around
I've been informed bees do this when they move to a new hive. These were seen on a mesquite tree a few feet from the trail I hiked on. (Photo by MikeHikes)

Only showing last 12 photos. View All Photos

Log Entries
South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park
By MikeHikes on 7/17/2019
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park     3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Horny Toad > Talley Valley > Chaparral > Playground parking area   3.4 miles

Temps in mid- 70's to mid-80's.  Sunny with some clouds, humid and steady 10mph breeze.

I started earlier than usual.  The animal, bird and insect activity was higher than normal.  Among the highlights were young white tail bucks, tarantulas (which I don't usually see), hummingbirds fighting among themselves as well as one hummingbird defending his territory from a Lark Sparrow.  There were an unusually large flock of grackles hanging around, making lots of noise for no visible reason.

My "first for this year" rattlesnake sighting was made when a 3-4 foot rattler decided to cross the trail about 10 feet in front of me. He started across but then stopped so I tossed a few small stones by him so he'd move.  He made a coil and shook his rattle a few times but seemed to recognize I was not a real threat.  He slowly went into the brush and I quickly got past him. 

I also witnessed a fight to the death between a Black Widow spider and a black wasp; the wasp appeared to have won the battle as it dragged the spider away.

The trails have been groomed and are easy to see except for a few sections of Red Dam Loop.  These sections weren't groomed because the mowing machines can't get to those areas due to the terrain.  IMO hand held weed whackers will be needed to clear those areas.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground Parking Area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park. 

IMPORTANT - in my last report, I said the faucet at Burkett was damaged, it has been repaired and water is now available.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
By MikeHikes on 7/12/2019
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out      Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > (East) Potts Creek > Armadillo (NE) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction   3.9 miles

Return  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Rollercoaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     4.5 miles

Temp started at 74, ended at 92.  HUMID, sunny and light to no breeze.

A hot and humid hike today along mostly, groomed and easy to see trails.  Notable exceptions were most of Playground Trail as well as the northernmost section of West Potts Creek Trail.  There were some birds out, no animals except for two cottontails and a lone Jack Rabbit (photo attached).  Grasshoppers are still around and in fairly large numbers, there are some flowers still in bloom, a few strands of Bee Brush are scenting the air and the majority of the park's vegetation is still green; in part, due to some fairly brief but heavy rains on Monday.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park. 

IMPORTANT - as of this report, the water is NOT available at Burkett due to the faucet head breaking on Thursday (July 11, 2019).  Park personnel are aware of the problem and I'm sure the faucet will be repaired soon BUT it is better to bring your own water just in case.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

 

 

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park + Roadrunner Loop
By MikeHikes on 6/28/2019
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.30 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area       3.1 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.3 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parking area     2.9 miles

Temp started at 73, ended at 90.  Overcast then partly cloudy.  Intermittent light winds.

The trails were dry and easy to traverse, in large part because park personnel have been busy cutting the vegetation and clearing the trails.  A case in point is Roadrunner Loop - a month or so ago, the trail had some very overgrown areas but it has been recently groomed and leveled so it was fairly easy to hike along. 

Today was also a good day to view the various birds populating the park. Besides the usual birds, I also saw a Painted Bunting, a Vermillion Flycatcher, a few Black Throated Sparrows and a Verdin - the Verdin being the first I've seen since 2015 or 2016. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground paring area.

Water and shade available at various campsites along part of Roadrunner Loop.  There is a toilet near the mid point as well.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
By MikeHikes on 6/22/2019
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > (East) Potts Creek > Armadillo (SW) > West Potts Creek > Rollercoaster Trail > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park   3.7 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop >Chaparral > Playground Parking Area      3.3 miles

Temp started at 75, ended at 93.  Sunny, then partly cloudy with steady southerly winds.

The vast majority of the trails were dry, easy to traverse and had been groomed with a few notable exceptions - portions of Red Dam Loop (Leg 3) and the section from West Potts Creek/Armadillo junction to Potts Creek (Leg 2).  Both of these areas are overgrown so caution is advised where you place your feet - I saw the tail end of a snake (no rattles) as it slithered into the brush when I slowly approached through the high vegetation covering some of the Red Dam Loop trail.

There were numerous birds singing and I saw a couple of deer, a cottontail rabbit and a grey fox trotting along the road. While hiking along Burkett Trail (Leg 2) I noticed numerous bees buzzing about. I realized the trail goes through a grove of mesquite trees and the trees have produced fronds which appear to attract the bees. The bees were really numerous but didn't bother me so I picked up the pace until their buzzing sound was in the background.

Since the day was so nice, as well as being a Saturday, there were a larger than usual number of hikers and mountain bikers enjoying the trails with me.

Overall, it was very pleasant to hike, listen to the birds, hear the wind blowing through the trees and feel the warmth of the sun.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at the Playground Parking Area

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction and back
By MikeHikes on 6/14/2019
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out     -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Rollercoaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction        4.3 miles

Return - 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (ENE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     2.1 miles

Temp in mid-70's, sunny with a few clouds, steady wind.

Leisurely hike along dry, groomed trails.  The park personnel had been out and cut back a lot of vegetation from the listed trails although there were a few spots they didn't get.  Overall though, the trails were very nice!

With the somewhat high winds, didn't see a lot of birds flying around except for Turkey Vultures.  Saw the "first of this year" Horned Toad (photo attached) - it was small, about the size of my thumb, but active.  Lots of flowers were still in bloom, additionally, the bee brush is still in bloom and scenting the air.

An easy, relaxing hike for sure!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park Loop
By MikeHikes on 6/6/2019
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.10 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out -     Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      4.0 miles

Return - Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area     3.1 miles

Temp started at 65, ended at 73.  Sunny, few clouds, slight breeze.

Despite some rain earlier in the morning, I decided to hike.  The trails were very muddy or at best, merely wet.  Because of all the recent rains, the vegetation has grown a LOT!  As of this morning, Tasajilla Flats was very overgrown (photo attached) as were parts of Winding Snake. I'm sure once the ground dries out, park personnel will be assigned to groom the trails so I advise anyone planning to hike, to first check with the park personnel and get the latest trail info. 

A small group of Whitetail deer were spotted and I saw a pair of Yellow Billed Cuckoos, the first seen in a few years.  There are still wildflowers and bee brush in bloom although I didn't see any cactus flowers at all.  Surprising to me, there were few mosquitoes out.  One more piece of good news - I saw no trash on the trails!!

Although it was not the best of hikes, it was better than sitting at home.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground Parking Area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points then Isabel Harte
By MikeHikes on 5/25/2019
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Rollercoaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction        4.3 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (ENE) > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     2.1 miles

Leg 3 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > park road to Isabel Harte entrance > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.3 miles

Temp started at 76, ended at 79.  HUMID, overcast and light rain (rain ended after Leg 2 completed).  Light winds.

Trails were wet and overgrown in places due to recent rains and vegetation growth.  One or two spots on West Potts Creek have fairly large brush/tree branches blocking the trail.  Rollercoaster Trail had numerous places where running water was coming off the hill.  Because of the rains, there are lots of places on all the trails that have no soil on the trail, only rocks.  With the moisture, there were slick spots galore as well as lots of sticky mud.  With the moisture comes mosquitos and gnats!

There were some birds out, a group of 20 park longhorns were blocking parts of Turkey Creek and were very reluctant to move - eventually they did. No other animals or reptiles were seen.  I spotted a Blue Grosbeak (first for the year) near Burkett Trail, numerous Mockingbirds as well as all the other usual suspects.  Lots of flowers are still in bloom, numerous butterflies are out and the cactus seem to have a second spurt of yellow cactus flowers.

Even though it was a fairly uneventful hike, I'd rather be hiking in the rain than sitting in a dry house!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water, shade, and info kiosk are available at 5 Points Junction.

 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Outlook and back
By MikeHikes on 5/16/2019
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Out       Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Trailhead to Trailhead (S) > North Scenic Loop > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Camp Area > Lower Ghost Camp Trail (S) > service road (50 meters) > River Bend (100 meters) > Javalina > Cougar Outlook         3.5 miles

Return   Cougar Outlook > service road (W) > River Bend (NW) > Badlands > service road (N 50 meters) > Dinosaur Trail (N) > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail (N) > service road (N) > Bell's Trailhead   6.1 miles

Temp started at 69, ended at 80.  Overcast then partly cloudy with light to intermittent winds.

I hiked this in reverse order than I normally do and have decided I'll do it the way I'm used to for future hikes.  The trails were dry with some spots wet with morning dew.  The majority of the trails have been groomed and leveled fairly recently but there are a few areas that are in dire need of grooming, specifically the South Slick Rock Trail and the portion of Lower Ghost Camp Trail that is below the River Bend Camp Area.  Vegetation is very high and in a few places, the trail was not visible.

The water continues to flow in the North Concho River but no water fowl were seen in the wet areas.  As a matter of fact, not many birds were spotted today while I hiked. I saw a couple of Whitetail deer, numerous park longhorns and a pair of javalinas.  I startled the javalinas as I walked past them hidden in the brush; one became pretty agitated so I continued my hike at a slightly brisker pace until we had some distance between us. 

The flowers still display their colors and the butterflies are very numerous. I find it ironic when I hear, or read, about locals who will drive for hours so they can "see flowers" yet they won't drive a few minutes/miles to the park, get out of their car, walk the trails and see more flowers than they would from their car as it whizzes down the road.

One interesting, and sad, find - a lone cicada was on Javalina Trail and seemed to be on his/her last legs.  I assume it hatched too early and will, unfortunately, die a lonely death as I've neither seen, nor heard, any other cicadas. 

It was a good hike although not what I had hoped for with regard to picture taking.

NOTES

Water and shade available at the camping area near Bell's Trailhead.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Camping Area.

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Outlook.

Shade and info kiosk available at Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.  IMPORTANT - the water faucet has been turned OFF and I have no idea if/when it will be turned on again - the problem has been reported to park personnel.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Roadrunner Loop
By MikeHikes on 5/13/2019
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.50 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park         2.9 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Horny Toad > Talley Valley > Chaparral > Playground parking area      3.5 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area    3.1 miles

Temp started at 50, ended at 75.  Sunny, slight breeze.  Humid at first then drier air.

Today's hike could be entitled "There Will Be Mud".  After some always welcome rain on Saturday, I started early to get sunrise photos of O.C. Fisher with morning fog (photo attached).  Then I began my hike - the trails were "wet to muddy" for the entire hike.  Of course with the rain, comes vegetation growth which means high, wet grass.  My feet and sandals were caked in mud but seeing so many different birds made the hike enjoyable. In addition to seeing all the "usual suspects", I was pleased to see numerous Dicksissels and Nighthawks; both of which I haven't seen for some time.  I also saw a Painted Bunting, a pair of Killdeer and a solitary Great Blue Heron by the reservoir - no photos attached but a couple of good photos are on my hard drive.

The flowers continue to blossom but the Indian Blankets are slowly fading; a few Mexican Hats were spotted and will soon take up the "red flower" spot at the park.  More cactus blooms are on visible as well.  Bee brush, always giving off a pleasant scent, are thicker and as full of buzzing bees and other insects as I've ever seen them.

The biggest bonus though was watching a female Grey Fox while I was hiking.  She walked onto the trail about 20 meters in front of me, stopped and saw me.  After watching for a few seconds, she walked along the trail for a bit before disappearing into a pile of junipers and cactus.  I waited for her to come back out or go into a more pictureesque spot but she never did.  rather than continue to wait  for her, I left her in peace.

A very good hike!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground Parking Area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water and shade are available at various campsites parallel to portion of Roadrunner Loop.  There is a toilet available at the Loop's mid-point.

 

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout Loop
By MikeHikes on 5/6/2019
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > (East) Potts Creek > Armadillo (E) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground (N) > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction     3.5 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > River Bend (N) > service road (E) > Cougar Lookout > Flintstone (S) > 5 Points Junction     2.6 miles

Leg 3 -  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     4.3 miles

Temp started at 68, ended at 83.  Sunny, with a light breeze which gradually became a steady breeze about half way through the hike.

Flowers were everywhere!  Yellow, red, blue, purple, white - it didn't matter, they were all in abundance.  The bee brush is blooming and a few cactus flowers are beginning to open.  Unfortunately, I missed the Lace Cactus bloom and only saw the withered flowers. 

The trails for the most part, have been groomed and are in very good repair but there are a few notable exceptions - specifically, Armadillo Trail heading East/North as well as part of the Playground Trail.  Armadillo, in particular, has vegetation completely covering the trail so it was a matter of being very careful where I placed my feet - no desire to step on any of the park residents, whether poisonous or not!  The same can be said for some of the portions of Playground Trail located between the junction of Armadillo and Playground and South of Bell's Point.  It looks like park personnel will have to use hand held weed whackers to clear the brush.

I saw numerous birds, a few lizards and some of the park's longhorns. I'll say it again - the longhorns will leave you alone if you leave them alone ESPECIALLY if there are calves around (like there were today).  Although I've seen no snakes so far this year, I found the remains of two snakes - both long dead and in the process of being consumed by insects; surprising to me, a large group of small butterflies were feasting on the remains of a 3-4 ft long coachwhip that was partly opened.  These same small butterflies are seen on piles of dung - seems Nature lets nothing go to waste.

This hike bumps me up on the Texas Hiking website roster for miles hiked from #3 to #2 - give me a few years and I may surpass #1.  I didn't realize until a few minutes ago, I was already #2 in miles hiked on the national Hiking Trailhead website.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.  This will be the last time I mention this - the water at Burkett looks "chalky" but its safe to drink - I've suffered no ill effects after consuming it on my last few hikes.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

Water, shade, and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Lookout.

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