Abilene State Park

The main reason I went to this park was to sleep in a yurt. I got a few more surprises. The park is located about 20 minutes south of Abilene. This is a CCC park but I only saw one CCC structure. I did not see the pavilion which is the main CCC attraction. My first surprise was when I was driving my Jeep doing jeep things I was hit by a tree. No worries the tree was not hurt. My Jeep on the other hand did not fair so well.20180817_175252.jpgIt is much worse than it looks in my eyes. The trails were mainly flat and the small pond was not very attractive. A tree was down and blocking a trail so I had to double back. This lead me to surprise number two. I got a great picture of a deer. It just stood there looking at me. They usually run and never get a good picture but this guy wanted his picture taken.20180817_192047.jpgI thought the park would be much more picturesque. Driving to the park from all different directions there are nice views all around the park. I might just have missed to good parts. I did like the red river flowing through the park and the vultures on the water tower. The third surprise was a hog rooting was too close to me. I paused it looked up and snorted. I truly thought I was in huge danger. I have always heard these wild hogs were aggressive and fast. The hog looked about 400 pounds. I was lucky that the hog ran the other way very fast. It was a scary situation.20180817_175603.jpg20180817_193809.jpgDSC01187.JPGDSC01191.JPGDSC01189.JPG

The yurt was nice but that was about it. My west Texas trip is halfway over. Two more state parks to visit. I am excited about the next two. This was hike 35 in my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.

Next up a lake park in the middle of nowhere.

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is located in Sherman, TX which is an hour north of Dallas. I had never heard of this place before visiting. I had no idea what to expect to see on this hike. I randomly picked the Haller’s Haven Trail. It seemed like a good trail to start with and the distance was not too long or short. The lady at the visitor’s desk did mention that it is legal to hunt on this trail. I am not a hunter but she said if you see some cars already there you might want to hike elsewhere due to possible hunters shooting. I was intrigued by the possibility of being shot so I posed the question of what would they be hunting. She replied small game animals like squirrels and other small rodents. So I decided to take my chances if people were already out there to hike anyway. What is the worst that could happen, I get hit in the foot by 410 shot or a .22 slug. Not too surprising there were no cars at the trailhead when I got there. The terrain was flat but the trails were really nice. I kept thinking to myself these are the perfect flat trail running trails. They were wide and tree lined. You could see small rolling hills in front of you and behind you. The trail did have one stretch of uphill hiking but it was not steep and relatively not that long. There were two small ponds and Lake Texoma on the trail. I also like the bridge that was near the beginning of the trail. There was nothing to scenic unless you like birding. I am guessing that this is what it is most known for. There were all different types of birds everywhere. As for anything else not much to see. It was a relaxing stroll the day before race day.  20180216_133454.jpg20180216_133627.jpg20180216_133943.jpg20180216_134012.jpg20180216_140034.jpg20180216_135240.jpg20180216_141952.jpg20180216_135719.jpg

This was the second wildlife refuge I have visited. They are vastly different. In retrospect this place is also very different than the state park nearby and a natural public use area. This was hike 16 of my 52 Hike Challenge Explorer Series.

 

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.