Inks Lake State Park Again

I am back at Inks Lake State Park.  I have one more trail here to hike and I would have hiked the entire park.  I hiked Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail and that was it.  This is one of my favorite trails now.  The trail travels along the banks and cliffs overlooking Inks Lake.  The lake level was the lowest I have ever seen and the waterfall was dry.  I still enjoyed this trail and also seeing some people cliff diving into the lake.

The hike was peaceful and not many people on the trail.  Most of the people were in the lake because it was another hot day in central Texas.  I found different ways to get up and down the rock formations.  I was trying to find the correct angles to get some good pictures.  The only drawback was once again no Milky Way picture.  The rest of the time was great.20190723_182210.jpgTrying to get all the colors of the park20190723_182714.jpgI love the way the rocks enter in the lake20190723_183417.jpgThe cliff jumping area20190723_191134.jpgLake level view20190723_182327.jpgBalancing rock20190723_181455.jpgWhere the waterfall use to be.

Another wonderful time at Inks Lake.

2017 Top Ten Hikes

This list will consist of only hikes I have done this year. I will also bore followers with an all time list at the end of the year because I have one more trip planned this year. Next year I will be doing less hiking and more trail running trying to move up to the 20K and 25K distances at some time next year. This year was my most active year hiking ever. I have hiked over twenty state parks and a handful of other parks. I really want to finish the 52 Hike Challenge within the year and I am on pace to finish early. I have completed 48 hikes this year and I have two months to get four more hikes done. The majority of my hikes have been in Texas but I did get into Oklahoma for a weekend of hiking. I had adventures in the high hills of central Texas. I was blessed to see all different parts of Texas from the piney woods to the hill country and also the west Texas desert and the great plains. I had a difficult time narrowing it down to ten hikes and it might change depending on the day but here it goes:

10. Tyler State Park, Whispering Pines Trail-This really short trail was visually electric.20170222_102938_001.jpg

9. Lake Mineral Wells State Park, Penitentiary Hollow-Not really a trail but it a rock climbers paradise with bouldering and lake views mixed in.20170304_135240.jpg

8. Pedernales Falls State Park, Pedernales Falls Trail System-it is as long as you want it be but you must go down to the falls for a spectacular view of the water.20170122_133632.jpg

7. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Kite Trail-bouldering over mini waterfalls, what more can I say.20170930_173833.jpg

6. Enchanted Rock SNA, Summit Trail-I felt very accomplished summiting The Rock.20170406_095152.jpg

5. Inks Lake State Park, Devil’s Waterhole Nature Trail/Valley Spring Creek Trail-This combination of trails is the hidden gem of Texas.20170405_183904.jpg

4. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Little Baldy Mountain Trail-Another summit but this one combined hiking and rock climbing.20170930_183728.jpg

3. Lost Maples SNA, East-West Trail/East Trail-one of the toughest uphill hikes I had before #2 on this list but worth every step.20170711_180348.jpg

2. Hill Country SNA, Merrick Mile Trail/West Peak Overlook Trail-this was a great hike with better views. I later found out of a similar hike with even better views, need to see to believe. 20170712_092155.jpg

  1. Colorado Bend State Park, Gorman Falls Trail-I was just so amazed at these falls.20170405_143220.jpg So there is the 2017 top ten as of today. I could have easily expanded to a top twenty. I have enjoyed my hikes this year so far and am looking forward to my next set of hikes and hopefully they can crack this list.

The blog will be about trail running. The trail runs and hikes have gone hand in hand on many occasions. I like going to trail races just to hike the park at times.

Inks Lake State Park Part 2

I am back at Inks Lake SP and I have a good game plan this time. I was focused on where I was going and what I wanted to see. I now have experience at this park. I missed the Devil’s Waterhole on my first trip. I made this hike my priority this time. The hike had many surprises and more attractions that were not noted on the trail map. The rock formations and overlooks were very nice. The clear water and waterfalls were a nice scenic surprise. I also had another great stay at the cabins in the state park. 20170405_181737.jpg20170405_181437.jpg20170405_182646.jpg20170405_182427.jpg20170405_183321.jpg20170405_183152.jpg20170405_184923.jpg20170405_183831.jpg20170405_185505.jpg

I really like this park and will visit again. The location is perfect for visiting the state parks and other destinations in the Texas hill country. I will continue with the part 2 theme in my next blog.

Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park is an incredible place that I had never heard about before my trip. I needed a place to stay close to Enchanted Rock SNA and Pedernales Falls SP and Inks Lake had cabins. I did not know anything about the Texas hill country also but now I know the three parts of the hill country. This is an Austin area park located in Burnet, TX in what I call the central hill country. This post is about my first trip to the park. Since I did not have a plan for this park I really did not know what trails lead to what part of the park. I also found out that this is a park in which the trail map is not as accurate as most other maps. I did get off trail several times but quickly found my back. One of the most distinctive things at this park is the rock formations, they are fascinating.20170121_16481820170121_16272620170121_172358

Also the trails crossed creeks, dirt paths and rocky hills, everywhere I looked I found something interesting. 20170121_17164320170121_16331620170121_165739.jpg20170121_163331

After all the hiking I was rewarded with great views of Colorado River Inks Lake. The sun was going down and I wanted to get a couple of quick pictures before I was hiking back in the dark. The trails were not clearly marked and I did not want to try to use the map because I got lost using the map also. I actually got back to the trailhead when a stargazing guided night hike was heading out.20170121_165752.jpg20170121_165819.jpg

This park is a true gem of the hill country. I did return to this park to see the park’s highlight, the Devil’s Waterhole. I did not know it was there until I left and was so impressed I wanted to return and see what else the park had to offer. I did some research and planned it out a bit better. I did get a picture of it on the way out. It is just a taste of the second visit.20170122_080600.jpg

After this great hike I was really excited to go to the next two state parks. These were the better known state parks in the central hill country and the reason I was in the region.