I am back at Pedernales Falls Trail and this time I went further upstream. Just to get this out of the way, I got lost on the way back and had to follow the horse trail to the main road. I used a compass to go in the right direction and from the main road I hiked back to the parking lot and trailhead.
The falls were flowing with more intensity than the last time I was here. I decided to go to the obvious picturesque spots then headed up the river. I was happy that there were few people out today and got all the pictures I wanted. It was a midday day middle of the week hike so I did not expect to see many people. As most know I love waterfalls and I just kept following them further up the river. I would have kept going but the sound of thunder and a cool breeze with darkened clouds cut my hike short. It did not rain but this area is prone to flash floods and the river rises fast. I did get to parts of the park I had been to before and it was a great hike. The park gets better every time I am here and it did not disappoint. My favorite picture of the dayFour armadillosTrying out new settings on my camera phoneMy favorite beach spotSky was changingClear water and darkening clouds
I have one more day in the Texas hill country before returning home. I visit another park I have to but a different park.
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.
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.
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.
7. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Kite Trail-bouldering over mini waterfalls, what more can I say.
6. Enchanted Rock SNA, Summit Trail-I felt very accomplished summiting The Rock.
5. Inks Lake State Park, Devil’s Waterhole Nature Trail/Valley Spring Creek Trail-This combination of trails is the hidden gem of Texas.
4. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Little Baldy Mountain Trail-Another summit but this one combined hiking and rock climbing.
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.
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.
- Colorado Bend State Park, Gorman Falls Trail-I was just so amazed at these falls. 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.
I know the this post was suppose to be about the waterfall Texas state park in the middle of the hill country but I am changing it up. I have been googling, reading other blogs and looking at my social media for what hikes are out there that I might want to do. I would like to conquer Texas, for the most part, but there are so many places in the surrounding states that I want to hike.
The point is that I have been to 23 Texas State Parks, 13 Nature/Wildlife Preserves/Parks, 3 National Forest, 2 Arkansas State Parks, 1 Oklahoma State Park and 1 National Park and it seems like I have been nowhere. The best part of the problem is that I find more places to hike and more places I want to see.
In Texas alone I found out about the Lone Star Hiking Trail. This is a thru hike in Texas just north of Houston covering 96 miles. There are an additional 32 miles over crossovers and footpath only trails in which the length ends up being 128 miles. It is also the longest wildness footpath in Texas and the only long distance National Recreation Trail in Texas. I am saying I will hike the entire thing but parts of it would be nice and who knows completion might be possible.
I also have a fascination of summit/ peak hikes. I am a dayhiker for the most part so they would to be able to be completed in an out and back day hike. It is possible, I have done a 12500 feet above sea level hike that started at around 9000 feet above sea level in a half of day. In west Texas there are a couple of places with 8000 foot peaks which would be the highest in the state. I would like to hike all of them. I am not talking about 8 peaks in 8 days but over time getting to the summit of all of them would be nice.
I also have unfinished business in Arkansas. I need to get to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain but I also want to see the waterfalls of Petit Jean State Park. These two are my must sees in Arkansas but I also want to do some hiking in Hot Springs National Park and Lake Catherine State Park. The pattern of mountains and waterfalls continue in my post.
I have not forgotten about Oklahoma either. There are two must sees and a revisit. The revisit is Turner Falls Park while there I did not get in any hiking or get many pictures. The two must sees are Chickasaw National Recreation Area and Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. Once again I want to be on the mountain tops and see the waterfalls.
I read a bunch of list that people want to do i.e. Bucket List or 40 before 40 list. First I am not planning on kicking the bucket anytime soon and secondly I am closer to 50 than 40 so that is out of the question. So I am making a 15 by 50 list for myself. A big part of the list is embedded in the above post but I will list them out not in any particular order.
- Hike to the Mount Scott Observation Area
- Hike to the Guadalupe Peak
- Hike El Capitan
- Summit Elk Mountain(WMNR)
- Summit Pinnacle Mountain
- Summit Mountain Top Trail(HSNP)
- Hike to Cedar Falls(PJSP)
- Hike the Canyon Loop Trail(Caprock Canyon SP)
- Hike the Lighthouse Trail(Palo Duro Canyon SP)
- Hike the Rock Garden Trail(Palo Duro Canyon SP)
- Summit Old Baldy(Garner SP)
- Complete Crystal Cave Trail(Garner SP)
- Complete East Trail(Lost Maples SNA)
- Find the Twin Falls(Pedernales Falls SP)
- Hike to the Moss Lake Trail and back on the Echo Canyon Trail(Enchanted Rock SNA)
My list is not particularly difficult and it will not change after I complete each hike so people do some don’t. I will do another when I am finished or 50 whichever one comes first.
Next blog post will have words about waterfalls and pictures of those said waterfalls.