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.

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.

 

 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park Day 2

I had an early morning start to day two of my adventures to the Texas canyons. It was 25 degrees when I started my second hike in Palo Duro Canyon. I do believe this was the coldest hike I have done all year. I chose the Lighthouse Trail for this hike. I wanted to see the famous Lighthouse hoodoo in the park. I did not know that there were other trails the also get a good view of the Lighthouse hoodoo and to get a really good up close view of this particular hoodoo I would have to break a rule. The hike was relatively easy and at the time I started I was the only one out on the trail. I do like when the trails are not busy. I get a chance to take all the pictures I want without other people wandering in them and also waiting for other people to take the picture I want to take. It might be selfish but I am OK with it. On the way back I saw a dozen or so people on their way out on the trail. This hike might have been a disappointment if there was not so many picturesque views on the way to the end of the trail.20171220_085511.jpg

As you can see there is more trail behind the “End Of Trail” sign. I really wanted to keep going but the sign must have been there for a reason so I stopped and went back. Little did I know is that if I continued on the trail I would been able to get to the base of the Lighthouse hoodoo. I did end up finding an additional mile of hiking off trail on the way back in a dried up creek bed. The part that made up for the lack of closeness to the Lighthouse hoodoo was how close I could get to the other rock formations and the bright colors of those rocks. I liked being in the canyon as much as being on the rim of the canyon. This place is truly awesome and is one of my favorite places I have ever been. 20171220_092341.jpg20171220_090021.jpg20171220_094854.jpg20171220_095939.jpg20171220_080332.jpg20171220_100138.jpg20171220_081334.jpg

I could spend an entire week here and still not get to all the parts of this park. I do plan on going to the Grand Canyon and if it is more spectacular than this then I will be absolutely amazed.

The next hike is at Caprock Canyon. Another Texas canyon with great sights and maybe some buffalo.

Lost Maples SNA Part 2

This visit to Lost Maples SNA was not planned. I had the whole family with me and we were going to spend the day at Garner SP but when we got there it was full and would not reopen till later in the day. I had big plans for Garner SP that day but the derailment did not discourage me so we went to Lost Maples SNA. This time I drove on scenic highway 377. The speed limit is 15 miles per hour for a reason. The road has a real Colorado Rocky Mountain feel to it but with guard rails. Steep cliffs are on both sides of the road and the inclines and declines freak me out. I usual have my wife behind the wheel for drives like this but this was an unpleasant surprise for me. Now if you like some of the most special views of the Texas hill country this is the road for you. The views were amazing when I dared to take my eyes off the road. It was a truly incredible drive but I just rather have two feet on the ground.

The good and bad of having the entire family is that we hike at a much slower pace but with the slower pace I can take in what I possibly missed the first time. This was a shorter hike on the East-West Trail and it was flat trail hiking only. I did get to get a better view of the second set of twin waterfalls. 20170712_151218.jpg20170712_151652.jpg20170712_154619.jpg20170712_155505.jpg20170712_160924.jpg20170712_160931.jpg

I also like some of the signs in the state parks in which I find humorous. Some are suppose to funny like the bigfoot crossing sign in Dinosaur Valley SP. Some are informative like the alligator signs in Huntsville SP. The ones I like the most are the obvious ones like getting to close to the edge is dangerous and there is a cliff behind the sign or this where the trail ends sign and there is nothing behind the sign.20170712_160202.jpg20170712_145257.jpg

I was thankful for the warnings but got a laugh out of both the signs. I did do the steep and rugged mile and a half hike the first time. The sign is very accurate and it was a tough hike and then some.

The next blog will about a park back up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area sort of.