Return to San Angelo State Park

South Shore Playground parking area to Isabel Harte and the Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 1/20/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > park road (NNE) to Isabel Harte > Chaparral Trailhead     3.0 miles

Leg 2 -  Chaparral Trail > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral Trail > Playground parking area     2.0 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area    3.0 miles

Temp started at 37, ended at 50.  Partly cloudy then sunny.  Little to no wind.

Trails on legs 1 & 2 were damp but easy to hike on.  Numerous deer were out in small and large groups - in one herd, I counted 12 deer.  There were few birds out and the ones that were, stayed fairly low to the ground or in the brush.  When I hiked on Roadrunner Loop, the trail was much wetter; numerous times, I stopped to knock off clumps of mud that stuck to my hiking boots.  On this part of the hike, there was no animal or bird activity.

Overall, the hike was uneventful but relaxing. 

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station are available at Playground Parking Area.

Water and shade are available at various campsites parallel to Roadrunner Loop.  Toilets available at two locations alongside the the trail as well.

South Shore Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop and back
User: MikeHikes - 1/9/2020  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Roadrunner Loop (by park entrance) > Playground parking area    6.0 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park      2.9 miles

Temps in low 70's, sunny with a steady 10 mph Westerly wind.

First hike of 2020!  Starting mileage is 2665.4 miles with 335 logged entries.

Late start for the hike - started at 1300 - but it was good nonetheless.  The animals and birds were not visible until near the end of the hike when I saw a couple of deer as well as a few birds.  It wasn't until I was driving back home that I saw 11 javalinas crossing the park road in front of me.

Trash was picked up along the trail, I got to stretch my legs and enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures so it was a good hike.

NOTES -

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

Water, shade and bathrooms available at various points at the campsites parallel to Roadrunner Loop.

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground parking area.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook and back
User: MikeHikes - 12/31/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 8.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out -      Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > service road (ENE Trailhead to Trailhead Trail) > Cougar Overlook    3.0 miles

Return -  Cougar Overlook > service road (SSW) > River Bend (S) > 5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     5.4 miles

Temps started at 64, ended at 54.  Sunny with high wispy clouds, light wind.

Last hike for 2019!  The route out was very easy since the majority of it was on the service road.  I watched two fairly large hawks chase after birds - the birds escaped and the hawks went hungry.  The return leg was almost as easy, the trails were dry except for a few places where there was mud from rains we had a few days ago.  Longhorns were out wandering in groups of six or less; some of the groups had young calves with them.

All in all, it was a nice, quiet hike and a good way to end the year.

STATS - Mileage at beginning of the year - 2324.5   Mileage at the end of the year -  2665.4     Total miles hiked -  340.9  Number of hikes this year - 40

NOTES

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

Shade, info kiosk and bicycle repair station at Cougar Overlook.

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

 

 

 

 

South Shore Roadrunner Loop and a Trash Pick-up
User: MikeHikes - 12/27/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 5.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 - Park road to park entrance and back.   2.8 miles

Leg 2 - Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area     3.0 miles

Temp was 64, heavy overcast and 10-15 mph wind.

As I drove along the park road to the entrance, I was saddened by the amount of trash lying along, and near, the road so I resolved to spend the first portion of today's hike picking it up.  I walked both sides of the road and filled a large black trash bag with empty beer bottles and cans, lots of fast food wrappers, a few Starbucks and AllSup's cups, plastic straws, innumerable cigarette butts (the Marlboro Man continues to ride!) and quite a bit of loose paper.  I'm sure in a day or so, there will be some trash to replace what was picked up but at least for the time I was there, the entire road to the park entrance was trash-free.

The hike along Roadrunner was good - the trail had been groomed and leveled in the recent past (photo attached).  I saw about a dozen white tail deer at various places on the trail, no bucks though.  A few birds were out but it was pretty quiet.

Not much else to report!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, a bicycle repair station and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water and shade are available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop and there are two shower houses/toilets along the route.

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Overlook and Back
User: MikeHikes - 12/13/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Out  -      Bell's Trailhead > service road (.25 miles S) > Dinosaur Trail > DInosaur Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NNE) > Cougar Overlook      5.7 miles

Return -   Cougar Overlook > Javalina Trail > River Bend (WNW) > service road (N) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > South Slick Rock > service road (WNW) > Scenic Loop > service road (N) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead      3.7 miles

Temps started at 44, ended at 70.  Sunny with no wind on the way out but a steady 10-15 mph NNW wind on the way back.

Hiked along damp and, in some places, muddy trails today.  Saw numerous turkeys, deer (bucks, does and fawns) and various birds including Kestrels, hawks, White Crowned Sparrows, and others. The North Concho River has water in places but there are a lot of parts of the river that are dry; easy to see this when you get to Cougar Overlook and view the river.  There is a large rock in the middle of the river that's a good gauge - when there is water in the river, the top of the rock is visible but when the water is low (like now), the entire rock is dry as well as the land around it.  We need rain and lots of it!

NOTES

Water and info kiosk available at Bell's Trailhead.

Water, shade, info kiosk are available at the Dinosaur Viewing Area.

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

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Campground.  Be cautious when using the toilets

South Shore Burkett Park to Armadillo Ridge and Playground Parking Area
User: MikeHikes - 12/6/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo Trail (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground Parking Area

Leg 3 - Playground Parking Area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park

Temps started at 46 and ended at 64.  Sunny with light N wind.

Hiked along very familiar trails that were dry, groomed and easy to see.  The park had been closed for hunting earlier this week but I saw three fairly large bucks (photo of one buck attached) as well as doe and fawns.  Also spotted a lone javalina that didn't even pay any attention to me.  Hawks and Loggerhead Shrikes were out hunting but I saw no kills.  Saw a lot of birds including Black Throated Sparrows, Black Tufted Titmice and others.

More people were on the trails than I expected but it was still a nice, peaceful hike.

NOTES

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

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

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Back
User: MikeHikes - 11/19/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Out      -  Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park      3.6 miles

Return  -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area      3.2 miles

Temps at start were 39, at end 71.  Sunny with high wispy clouds and little to no wind.

During last week's hike, the temperatures rapidly changed from warm to cold; this week, they went from cold to warm!  An easy hike along dry, groomed, easy to see and traverse trails. With the seasonal change and little to no rain, almost all of the vegetation has died back and dried up so the trails are very easy to see and hike on.  Animal and bird activity was pretty good - I saw white tail deer as well as quite a few birds including some migrating pelicans flying over the reservoir which is at 11% capacity (not a lot of water but some is better than none and it attracts the migrating birds).  A few grasshoppers and other insects were also spotted with a lone butterfly seen as well.

Not much else to report.

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 Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 11/11/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out -     Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points JUnction    4.0 miles

Return - 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park    3.5 miles

Temps started at 62 and overcast with light wind.  Finished with temp at 43, heavy overcast, and strong north winds.

A quiet stroll through the park's mid-section before the park was closed due to a scheduled hunt, for the remainder of this week.  I saw four 4, 6 and 8 point bucks, three does and four fawns at various times during the hike - good luck to them!  I saw some birds but not many, due to the dropping temperatures and steadily increasing winds, especially when the north winds gustily signaled that an anticipated cold front had arrived.

All trails were easy to see and traverse.  Even with the sudden temperature drop and stong, cold winds, it was a very nice hike!

NOTES -

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

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

Water and shade available at Bell's Point. 

South Shore Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 11/5/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.10 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Route -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     6.1 miles

Temps started at 55, ended at 71.  Partly cloud with light, intermittent breezes.

Entire route was groomed, dry, easy to see and traverse.  Animals were out - I saw a family of 5-7 javelinas but could only get a photo of one that decided to sit still and not be seen.(photo attached). I also saw a whitetail doe and her two fawns leisurely eating as I watched.  Numerous birds were out such as a Kestrel, a Loggerhead Shrike, White Crowned Sparrows as well as others.  I also saw, for the first time in quite a while, a cotton rat as it scampered up the trail ahead of me before disappearing in the scrub. 

Not much else happened today!

NOTES

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

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and back
User: MikeHikes - 10/22/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Out      Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park       3.9 miles

Return  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Horny Toad > Talley Vally > Chaparral > Playground parking area   3.6 miles

Temp started at 45, ended at 73.  Sunny, light wind, low humidity.

Slow, leisurely hike on well defined and groomed trails.  Saw a few deer - no bucks, only does and larger fawns.  Birds were somewhat active at first but then stayed in the brush or much higher up. We saw Turkey Vultures, Black Buzzards, a few raptors as well as an American Kestrel and a Loggerhead Shrike.  Saw a few Orange Crowned Warblers (photo attached).  Not much else to report.

NOTES

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

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

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/25/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.60 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out -     Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett park       3.7 miles

Return - Burkett park > Winding Snake > Chaparral    2.9 miles

Temp started at 75, ended at 85.  Sunny with high wispy clouds, steady SSW wind.

A quiet hike along dry, easy to see and traverse, trails.  Birds were somewhat active as I saw a lot of usual suspects and no unusual ones.  No animals spotted although I saw a few lizards.  The only creatures seen in abundance were grasshoppers of all sizes; they were seen on all the trails.  

A quiet and peaceful hike to be sure!

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 Junction Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/21/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Out -     Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadill > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction       4.3 miles

Return - 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > Playground Trail > Bells Point > Playground Trail > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     3.6 miles

Temp started at 74, ended at 89.  Partly cloudy and steady s wind at 10-15 mph.

Pleasant hike along dry, easy to see trails.  Only a few portions of the hike had vegetation issues and they weren't severe.  There wasn't much wildlife or bird activity except right at the beginning when I spotted three Axis deer with some White tail deer.  Otherwise, the wind kept most of the birds low to the ground. 

There were quite a few grasshoppers still out.  Purple thistle as well as a few wild flowers were being occupied by various insects.

All in all, a nice, quiet, relaxing hike with a cooling wind blowing constantly.

 

NOTES

Water, Shade, Info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water, shade, info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction

Water, shade, info kiosk available at Bell's Point.

 

 

South Shore Trail Loop
User: MikeHikes - 9/3/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Talley Valley                 3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL COnnector > Burkett Park    3.4 miles

Temps started at 71, ended at 86.  Sunny with no wind, some humidity.

A pleasant hike this morning along easy to see and traverse trails. The only portion of today's route that needs some attention is located on the Talley Valley trail; the vegetation needs to be groomed but the trail is easy to see and hike on.

Not much animal activity this morning although I saw a couple of Loggerhead Shrikes at different places on the trails (first in some time), a rather large hawk sitting in a tree a distance away (unknown what type) and at the end of our hike, a Red-tailed Hawk sitting in a tree at Burkett Park . 

Also spotted was a good sized Horned Toad, numerous dragonflies and some small birds.  While on Red Dam Loop, there is a patch where large numbers of thistle and sunflower plants are in bloom.  The buzzing of bees was very loud but I didn't see too many flying around.  Caution is advised when going through this area.

Not a lot more to say except the hike was good!

NOTES

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

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Roadrunner Loop
User: MikeHikes - 8/28/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours

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 > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area     3.2 miles

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

Temp started at 71, ended at 90.  Humid, overcast with none-to-light wind.

An unusually cooler day which means time to hike!  All trails except portions of Roadrunner Loop were dry, groomed and easy to traverse.  Portions of Roadrunner Loop are in need of grooming but can still be traverse easily enough. 

Today I saw the smallest snake I'd ever seen!  On Winding Snake Trail, I saw what looked like a piece of a black shoelace laying on the trail about three feet in front of me.  When I moved forward, the "string" moved!  It was a Ringneck Snake - jet black with a yellow ring-like collar (photo attached).  The snake was only 4-5 inches in length and extremely thin - literally as thick as a shoe lace.  He quickly slithered away into the brush.  No animals except for a few white tail deer were spotted and bird activity was surprisingly minimal.  Later, while on Roadrunner Loop, I spotted a much larger coachwhip snake. 

Hiking Edition LPT (Life Pro Tip) - if you have the foresight to bring TP in case "Nature calls", stow it in a Zip-loc bag (or two).  This keeps the paper dry, easily accessible and also gives you an easy and sanitary way to dispose of the used paper.  Do your business, then put the used paper in the Zip-loc, pack it out and safely dispose of the bag.  Although the waste, as well as the paper, is biodegradeable and will eventually disappear, it's rather rude to leave a pile of used paper somewhat near the trail where it can be seen by others.  Be courteous to your fellow park users and pack out what you bring in. Thank you!

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 available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop.  There is a toilet located near the mid-point of the Loop.

 

 

 

 

 

South Shore Armadillo Ridge to Playground Parking Area Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 8/25/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo (WSW) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.8 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area     2.7 miles

Leg 3 - Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.7 miles

Temp started at 71, ended at 96.  Sunny with light intermittent breeze.  Humid at first then drying.

A few days ago, San Angelo had "scattered thunderstorms"; well, the trails and area North of Burkett Park were wet and the trails and area South of Burkett Park were dry! The trails were easy to see and traverse.  Due to the recent rain mentioned earlier, the trails on the first leg were damp to wet and the trails on the second and third legs, were all dry. 

I saw activity on the first leg of my hike - a young skunk foraging, birds hopping from tree to tree and bush to bush and a family of seven javalinas wandering the trail.  Once I started the second leg of the hike, the birds disappeared as did the wild life with the exception of a couple of white tail deer, otherwise, it was as if all the wildlife went back to bed.  Normally, I only battle mosquitoes and gnats, today however, the biting flies were aggressive and I killed quite a few since they would not leave me alone.  Grasshoppers are still around but the cicadas were silent.

There were a few mountain bikers and hikers on the trails otherwise it was a quiet, peaceful hike.

NOTES

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

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

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 8/21/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 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 (N) > Cougar Overlook > service road (WNW) > River Bend (S) > 5 Points Junction       2.7 miles

Leg 3 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park    3.6 miles

Temps started at 74 and ended at 96.  Sunny with light then a steady breeze .

Since we've had no rain for almost two months and have had almost a month of 100+ temps, the trails are dry, easy to see and traverse BUT the same weather conditions have caused the soil to become so dry and loose, it is easier to lose your footing on the rocky portions of the trails.  Surprisingly, the majority of the park, for the most part, is still green!  There were a few portions of the Playground and Armadillo trails that could use some grooming but overall, the trails were very good!

Perhaps due to the heat or the time of the year, the bird activity is minimal.  What birds that were out were mostly making short flights from bush to bush or down to the ground - there were very few in the tree tops singing or trying to draw attention to themselves. 

I saw a fox (photo attached) which is becoming a normal event. In the past, seeing a fox was rare - for the last few hikes, I've seen at least one each time.  Don't know if the population is increasing or they are hungry and looking for food when I happen to be out. 

I saw and learned something about the longhorns today.  The park is divided in sections by barbed wire fences and cattleguards so they can run the cattle in different locations.  Well, while on Flintstone heading to Cougar Overlook, I saw three young longhorns by a cattle guard and fence.  Two of the calves spooked and ran away from me down the fence line.  The third, a slightly larger calf, ran toward the cattleguard and jumped over the cattleguard while simultaneously ducking under the poles supporting the cattleguard and fence thereby joining the rest of the herd on the other side of the barbed wire fence!

I was told some of the larger longhorns jump over the cattleguard with no problem - I learn something new every day!

NOTES -

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

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

Info kiosk, shade and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to River Bend Ghost camp and back
User: MikeHikes - 8/17/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.20 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out -      Bell's Trailhead > DInosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Lower Big Hill > North Scenic Loop > service road (W) 50 meters > Badlands > River Bend > service road         4.7 miles

Return -  Service road (ENE) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > South SLick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) (service road) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead                2.5 miles

Temps started at 79 and ended at 96, sunny, light and steady wind.

All trails were dry, easy to traverse and had been groomed fairly recently.  The only animals seen today were the longhorns; there were some birds out but they were not abundant.  The one creature we saw the most of, were spiders - specifically, Garden Spiders!  It seemed every minute or two, we saw another spider either in it's web or on a plant close to the trail.  Grasshoppers were also evident; these were "normal" grasshoppers, the larger ones we saw only a time or two.

We had the trails to ourselves with the exception of seeing a few mountain bikers and a pair of equestrians. 

NOTES

Water and info kiosk available at Bell's Trailhead; water is located at various campsites near the trailhead.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.

Water, shade, info kiosks and dry toilets available at the River Bend Ghost Camp area.  IMPORTANT - although water is available, when I tried it, the water had a noticeable "swampy" smell and taste. 

 

South Shore Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 8/12/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours

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

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area       3.0 miles

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

Temp started at 76, ended at 96.  Sunny with steady light wind.

Trails are all dry and have been groomed.  We're in the 15th straight day of 100+ degree temps with no rain so vegetation has not grown much.  The birds were not active at all; individual flyers were out and I saw a dozen baby quail with an adult pair fly out when I approached, otherwise, not many birds were out and the ones that were, are looking scraggly!

I saw about 10 white tail deer, including one fawn with spots, at various locations.  A grey fox was seen on Lanky Lackey - it had been lounging in the sun when it jumped up and watched me from some bushes (photo attached).

Overall, a good hike on a very warm day!

NOTES

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

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

Water and shade available at various campsites parallel to Roadrunner Loop.  There are toilets available at the midway point of the Loop.

 

South Shore Armadillo Ridge to Playground Parking Area Figure 8
User: MikeHikes - 7/27/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.7 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area        3.8 miles

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

Temp started at 68, ended at 83.  Sunny with light wind.

The trails were crowded - at least they were crowded compared to the normal amount of traffic I see which is one or two people at most.  The trails themselves are dry and easy to traverse.  Almost all have been groomed and those few spots that haven't, are pretty insignificant as far as obstacles or hinderances.

Today I saw a number of deer; the bucks were 6 and 8 pointers with lots of velvet covering their antlers.  Birds were fairly numerous - cuckoos and painted buntings along with the normally seen birds.   I also saw a small, thin, black snake that may have been one foot long at the most.  Not a quarter a mile down the same trail, a Horned Toad about the size of my thumb, was catching some rays in the middle of the trail.  I got a snap (photo attached) then got him off the trail to safety.

NOTES

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

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

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Lookout and back
User: MikeHikes - 7/20/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 8.80 Miles Duration: 4 hours

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 > River Bend > service road (E) > Cougar Lookout > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction       2.6 miles

Leg 3 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (NE) > Trailhead to Trailhead Trail (S) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park    1.9 miles

Temp started at 72, ended at 92.  Sunny, slightly humid, light breeze.

A very relaxing hike on dry, easy to see and traverse trails. I started early and was rewarded with seeing a fox on two different trails (photo attached), a Tarantula as well as numerous low flying birds.  As I hiked and felt the sun on my back and the wind gently blowing, I happily realized it doesn't get much better than this!

NOTES

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

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

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

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park
User: MikeHikes - 7/17/2019  [View Log Page]
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
User: MikeHikes - 7/12/2019  [View Log Page]
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
User: MikeHikes - 6/28/2019  [View Log Page]
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
User: MikeHikes - 6/22/2019  [View Log Page]
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.


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