Best Hikes of 2018 So Far

My last blog and this blog have both been rehash blogs for a good reason. I had plans to visit several west Texas state parks this summer but I have sustained an injury that is aggravated when sitting for a long time. My travel has been limited to just about nowhere. Hopefully, I will be back at 100% by August. I have gotten in a bunch of hikes this year so I will list the best.

10. Quanah Hill-This is a cool little park located in Weatherford, TX. Nice trails with lots of elevation change and clean.DSC00261.JPG

9. Eagle Mountain Park-Located on the northwest side of Fort Worth. This park is just a nice nature park to hike.DSC00033.JPG

8. Eisenhower State Park-A surprisingly good trail system at a park located in Denison, TX. The beaches and cliffs were great.DSC00283.JPG

7. Mount Nebo SP-Located in Dardanelle, AR, this was a surprisingly neat park. The summit trail around the top is a must.20180511_181132.jpg

6. Chickasaw National Recreational Area-Located in Sulphur, OK, this park is all about waterfalls. I love me some waterfalls.DSC00384.JPG

5. Bastrop SP-Located in Bastrop, TX, this was a park I have wanted to go to for a longtime. Although it was foggy he park did not disappoint.DSC00668.JPG

4. Petit Jean SP-Located in Morrilton, AR, this was another must see park for me that lived up to all the hype.20180513_075502.jpg

3. Enchanted Rock SP-I returned to this park for the third time. I got to finish the park and it was as good as the first two trips.DSC00568.JPG

2. Caprock Canyon SP-My second visit to this park located in Quitaque, TX. Even fog could not ruin the colors of this beautiful canyon.20180421_090844.jpg

1. Mount Magazine SP-This state park has the highest point in Arkansas as its peak. Located in Paris, AR, it has some great cliff views.20180512_092318.jpg

This was a hard list to create and I think I left off a good hikes at Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin and Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano. I have at least five never been before hikes planned in the fall so this list might change by the end of the year.

Quanah Hill

Quanah Hill park is located in Weatherford, TX which is about twenty minutes west of Fort Worth. The park is across the road from Lake Weatherford and is sort of hidden off the road in a gated parking lot. I passed it when I thought my GPS was wrong. I followed a car with a bike on the back and was lucky enough that the car was actually going to the park. This is another park in which the main activity is mountain biking. The trails had the typical mountain bike course set up. It had plenty of switchbacks and hills that were not trail running or state park hills. Those types are hills are long and occasionally steep but mountain bike hills are short and steep. Quanah Hill had plenty of surprises for a mountain bike trail. I will say this to start, it would be one heck of a trail run race set up. I was planning on a three and a half mile hike but ended up doing almost five miles. I got on the wrong trail like I usually do and added the mileage but it was worth it. The thing that makes this trail better than all other mountain bike trails I have hiked is that there is a constant change of elevation. The hike does not give you a break. I was going up or down a hill the entire time. A flat spot on the trails was a rarity. I like this type of hike because it makes a simple hike more difficult. The constant elevation change is taxing on the legs and I get a great workout without having to go a longer distance. The trail had a mountain hike feel also with narrow trails along a steep cliff. Another plus of these trails are the stuff on the side of the trails. There are some odd things on the side of the trails and I had a difficult time telling what was placed there on purpose or left by a mistake or just littering. The horse head and toilet were most amusing. Lastly the signs on the trails were both informative and comical. DSC00240.JPGDSC00246.JPGDSC00255.JPGDSC00258.JPGDSC00256.JPGDSC00275.JPGDSC00271.JPG

This has been one of my favorite trails to hike. The funny thing is that I have never heard of this trail until a trail runner on Facebook was looking for anybody to runs trails here. This was hike 14 of my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.

I am going to get to those four state parks.

Fort Richardson State Park

I just happened to be west of the DFW metroplex so I decided to head to Fort Richardson State Park in Jacksboro, TX. The park is located in the city which is about an hour and a half west northwest of Dallas. The park is known for the well maintained buildings when the park was an operating fort. I was not here for a history lesson so decided to pass up the historic buildings even though they peaked my interest. I was here for the hiking. This is my first state park trip of the year and I finally got to use my little point and shoot camera. The first thing I notice was all the huge birds circling overhead. I then saw five deer just standing and looking at me. Of course, there was the usual squirrels and mice but also a huge crane. The first trail, Lost Creek Nature Trail,  was well marked and easy to follow. The trail has some nice rock formations and views of the creek/river. The second trail was a little harder to follow and much rockier. The Rumbling Spring Trail also was harder to follow but had more rock formations to walk in between. DSC00094.JPGDSC00104.JPGDSC00112.JPGDSC00114.JPGDSC00117.JPGDSC00125.JPGDSC00146.JPG

I was pleasantly surprised by the hiking in the park. There was not much elevation change but it did have some good views. Plus all the wildlife around made it exciting. This was also hike 11 in my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.

The next few hikes are in city parks. I am trying to get to different and original places with this 52 Hike Challenge.

Knob Hills

I decided to give this place a hike since I will run a 10K on these trails. The trails are located Roanoke, TX which is about twenty minutes north of Fort Worth. The trails are well maintained and clearly marked. The trails are primarily mountain bike trails and have similar features to most area mountain bike trails. There are many switchbacks, short steep hills and narrow trails. The biggest negative is the trash on the side of the trails. I do not know if it is always there but it was the day I hiked. I also notices a bunch of mice on the side of the trails. The mice stay to themselves on the side of the trails and borrow in the leaves when I walk near. There is a creek that runs through the trails and a very small waterfall. The waterfall had a tire in it. I hiked to the area that overlooks Grapevine Lake which was very nice.DSC00056.JPGDSC00058.JPGDSC00059.JPGDSC00060.JPG

This is hike 8 in my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer series. I have plans to go to some new states parks in the next few weeks.

Eagle Mountain Park

I had a chance to get back on the trails between the cold fronts. I headed out to Fort Worth, TX. In the far northwest part of Fort Worth, there is a beautiful park and lake. The homes are not bad either. The park is located thirty minutes northwest of downtown Fort Worth. The main trails are well marked with mile markers and “you are here” signs. The trail also has many smaller off shoot trails that are not marked but I might try some of those next time. The trails I hiked were the Main Park Trail and the Shoreline Trail. The trails had some good elevation change and views of the lake. I also got to try my new point and shoot camera. The pictures came out very good. I was not shooting in a majestic canyon but the views were nice and the camera did it justice. I saw a armadillo and many colorful birds. I also saw deer tracks on the trail. DSC00017.JPGDSC00031.JPGDSC00027.JPGDSC00036.JPGDSC00048.JPG

This is a very enjoyable park. I nice park to have a relaxing stroll. I would also like to do some trail running out here at some time. This is also hike 7 in my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.

 

 

2018 hiking plans, maybe.

download_2_medium.png

I am at it again. I already have done six hikes. This year is the Explorer Series so I will be doing 52 different hikes. No repeating hikes during this challenge. I am also going to try not to repeat hikes from last year. Which means going to many different Texas state parks this year. I went to 26 different parks in the last challenge and already two more in this challenge. I looked at a Texas map and began to find some close day trip parks and then some distant vacation type parks. I also will go to a few parks from last challenge but hike different trails. I came up with three list of parks. I am hoping I can do what I have planned out but that rarely happens. So hear it goes.

New Parks for day trip: All of these parks are with a two and half hour drive except the first one.

Abilene SP, Eisenhower SP, Fort Richardson SP, Lake Arrowhead SP, Lake Tawakoni SP, Purtis Creek SP and Ray Roberts Lake SP.

New Vacation type trips: These parks are over three hour drive away and might need to make a weekend out of the trip.

Atlanta SP, Bastrop SP, Blanco SP, Bueschler SP, Copper Breaks SP, Government Canyon SNA, Guadalupe River SP, Lockhart SP, Longhorn Cavern SP, and Palmetto SP.

Repeat parks: These parks will fall under the previous two but I will do new trails.

Caprock Canyon SP, Cleburne SP, Colorado Bend SP, Dinosaur Valley SP, Enchanted Rock SNA, Garner SP, Hill County SNA, Inks Lake SP, Lost Maples SP, Palo Duro SP, and Pedernales Falls SP.

I also have plans to go to Texas’ suburb states of Oklahoma and Arkansas again. Plus  there are local hiking trails I would like to visit and I got a good list from 52 Hike Mike.

See you on the trails.

One Ale of a Trail 5M

I wanted to up my mileage so I will be prepared to start doing 10Ks by the end of the year. I picked this 5 miler over another 5K. I missed this race last year when the medal was an all purpose tool. The race was moved to Fort Worth on the Trinity Trails. The trails are flat and fast but not much of true off road trails. The course was concrete, gravel and some grass and sand. They basically moved a road course ten feet away from the Trinity River and called it a trail run. Despite the lack of a true trail, this is a Run Project run so it will be a good atmosphere. The after race party was awesome with an 90’s theme for some reason. Plus as the name would suggest they had beer. There was a bunch of people dancing and it was also kid friendly. I cranked out a 51:08 which was good for fourth place. I missed third by eight seconds. I was really happy with my time so the close fourth place finish was not too disappointing. 20170408_080041.jpg20170408_080150.jpg17854667_1499125063432871_6950150732057816397_o (1).jpg20170408_081102.jpg

For the next trail race, I upped my distance again. I was prepared for the craziest of the Waco hills.