MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 320 (Rank: 4th)  [List Them]  [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,517.60 Miles (Rank: 2nd)
Average Distance: 7.87 Miles

Average Rating: 4stars (4.27)
Average Difficulty: 1star (1.18)
Average Solitude: 4point5stars (4.55)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 6/22/2019

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

Photos

An Early Morning Riser!

A young doe enjoying breakfast in the early morning sun. [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 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.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction and back
San Angelo State Park - 6/14/2019  [View Log Page]
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
San Angelo State Park - 6/6/2019  [View Log Page]
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
San Angelo State Park - 5/25/2019  [View Log Page]
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
San Angelo State Park - 5/16/2019  [View Log Page]
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.