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.

Lake Whitney State Park

Next up was a guided nature hike at Lake Whitney State Park in Whitney, TX.  Whitney is about and hour south of the DFW metroplex. The hike was early morning and I thought there would be a hand full people like the last two guided hikes. I was wrong. I had never heard of this park prior to going on this hike and I guess not many people know about this park also. On the hike it was the guide, my son and myself. The guided part of the hike was not very interesting. The guide was nice and very knowledgeable but she did not have much to work with at this time of year. She did say that you can hunt at the Texas State Parks which I did not know and you can fish without a permit also.20170211_095228.jpg20170211_102553.jpg20170211_102817.jpg

Yes there were two bridges and a lake but not really anything that was eye popping. The second part of the hike in which we did without the guide was more scenic. We were closer to the lake and walked on a red dirt beach. We saw some deer tracks on the sand beach and about 30 ducks in the lake. This should have been the part of the park that had a guided tour. The park only has two trails and second one had more to offer. I wanted to see and old Native American settlement but of course I misread a map and found a trail but not the settlement. If I am in the area again I will go back to the park and find that settlement and hike around the lake again.20170211_110602.jpg20170211_111751.jpg20170211_111839.jpg

This was the best part of the park. I liked the hike and the beach. The hike was flat but you could tell that there were plenty of deer and other wildlife. I still prefer a hike with elevation change or something new to see. We did go to another park after this one since the hike started early.