plectrudis's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 34 (Rank: 12nd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 139.48 Miles (Rank: 11st)
Average Distance: 4.10 Miles

Average Rating: (3.43)
Average Difficulty: (2.05)
Average Solitude: (2.83)

Earliest Log Entry: 9/21/2015
Latest Log Entry: 10/28/2017

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

Photos

Pretty, autumnal blue skies

Sky was mellowly autumnal, but it was super-humid and sticky. Still, the views were gorgeous. [St. Edwards Park - Hill Trail]

Log Entries

Beautiful park on the swamp
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park - 10/28/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Hiked the Wildlife Trail and pootled around the Wlnut Slough area of the northern part of the park.

The trail was mostly level, with a couple of nice bridges/boardwalks over the lake.  There were a few roots but it was generally pretty easy footing.  The bright, brisk October weather was gorgeous, most of the trail was shaded, and we saw lots of neat plants, from wild southern Magnolias to American beeches and black walnuts.

Will definitely return to do more hiking.  There are also extensive paddling trails, so would love to come back with a kayak.

Butterflies galore, shady trails
Purgatory Creek Natural Area - 10/21/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: N/A

Like a lot of trails in Texas, this one's enjoyability depends heavily on the weather.  Today it was a solid 4, but when it's hot and humid out, it's more of a 3.

Highlights--a poop-ton of butterflies!  It's October, and there are butterflies all over the place.

Nice lunch spot in the bed of the now-dry creek, under a rocky, ferny bluff.

Good shade coverage for much of the hike.

Saw a neat green snake climbing an oak tree.

Another big oak totally festooned with Spanish moss.

Nice scenic overlook.

Plenty enough trail to get a nice, long hike.

Negatives:

When you're hot and tired, the hike up from the creek to the hilltop can be a chore.

A lot of ankle-twisty rocks.

Gnats and mosquitos can be bad in the creek valley.

Pleasant, easy trail with nice native plantings
Mel Bilich Karst Preserve - 10/9/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.25 Mile Duration: N/A

This is a really short trail, but the caves are a nifty feature, and the trails are dotted with nice pockets of native landscaping.  I combined it ith Dick Nichols and the Latta Greenbelt to make a decent ~3.5 mi hike.

A varied combo of urban walks/hikes
Dick Nichols Park - 10/9/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.25 Miles Duration: N/A

I walked the loop on the right side of Beckett and then crossed and did the leg of the Latta Greenbelt.  Not sure if I did all of it--it appeared to dead end at a library or community center, and I couldn't pick it back up.

The loop, which is mostly paved, is pretty busy, but I only ran into a few people in the greenbelt.  The shade on the loop was particularly pleasant. 

I was a little disappointed there wasn't a better trail connecting to the adjacent Karst Preserve--there were some wading-through-the-grass-and-chiggers kinds of trails, but nothing that looked official.  When you put all three parks together (Dick Nichols, Latta Greenbelt, and Karst Preserve) you can get a good 3.5 miles or more, which is just the right length for an after-work hike.  The combo was kind of fun--part neighborhood trail, part city park, part hiking trail, plus a bit threading across a retail block to get to the karst--quite a varied experience.  You'll never forget you're in the middle of a city, though.

Overlook and ponds--improved trail needs more trees!
Southeast Metropolitan Park - 10/7/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.40 Miles Duration: N/A

We hiked the primitive trail loop and then, to pad out our steps, took the unprimitive sidewalk around the playing fields to a jeep track to the shoulder of 71, then back to the trailhead.

The good: the primitive trail is nice and shady and includes a scenic overlook and couple of ponds.  There are flush toilets and picnic tables near the trailhead.

The meh: It's pretty-ish, but it's no Wild Basin or Turkey Creek.  Lots of mesquite.  The primitive trail (the only part that feels like "hiking") is a little short, and much of the paved/graveled non-primitive path is hideously treeless and exposed.  And we accidentally wandered onto private property and had to take the 71 shoulder to get back to the park, which was no kind of fun at all.

The uncategorizable: the battered and dessicated corpse of a mid-size mammal lay in the middle of our path.  We couldn't tell what it was--young coyote? Juvenile hog?  It was certainly interesting, but, lordy, it did not smell good.