North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook and back
By MikeHikes on 11/23/2020
Distance: 10.10 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 50 minutes
Out - Bell's Trailhead > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NNE) > Cougar Overlook 6.3 miles
Return - Cougar Overlook > Javalina Trail > River Bend > Lower Ghost Camp > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > North Scenic Loop > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead 3.7 miles
Temp started at 45, ended at 64. Overcast until the last 2 miles then partly cloudy. Cool, southerly wind at 10 mph.
A great hike today! I saw two Bobcats on the North Concho River at Shady Trail, quite a few deer as well as numerous birds including a Belted Kingfisher (photo attached) that I'd spotted on my last hike. The Bobcats were on the opposite shore from me and were just starting to get a drink when there was a loud SNAP!; they both ran up the embankment like bullets and were gone. The noise was created by the longhorns who came down to get their morning drink as well.
The Kingfisher was near the River Bend Campground and seems to have staked that part of the river as his territory. I saw him a few weeks back but couldn't get a photo. This time I was better prepared and got a few good pictures. He was very spooky and wouldn't let me get close so what I got was the best I could get.
Trails were dry and easy to traverse. There were quite a few equestrians camped at the north shore campground but I didn't see anyone else on the trails.
Info kiosk and a bicycle repair station at Bell's Trailhead. Water and shade available in the local campground.
Water, shade, and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.
Shade, info kiosk and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.
Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at the River Bend Campground area.