hike1

2019 #hike2 - Eagle Mountain Park

My old standby…


Quick Stats

Date: Sunday, January 6, 2019

Location: Eagle Mountain Park - NW Fort Worth, TX

Distance: 5.1 miles

Trails: Main trail, Shoreline trail, S Shoreline Trail

Miles from Home: 27

Weather: Mostly Sunny, Mid-50s

Equipment: Apple Watch, iPhone, Olympus TG-5 camera


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Highlights

  • Beautiful day and many miles of trails

  • Variety in elevation - nothing like the mountains, but much better than just flat

  • Most of the muddy creek crossings had stones for jumping

  • Horses and pets are not allowed, which keeps the trails clean and less rutted

Low Points

  • People have created many side trails, use your head and stick to the main ones

  • There is some oil & gas machinery near one of the trails, it can be annoying/smelly

  • Very muddy but not impassible

I call this place my old standby because if everything else falls through, I can always come here! The trails have variety, the lake always provides a breeze, and the terrain is more challenge than common flat trails in the area. There are always people at the park, so be warned that if you want peace go before 8 am. Today I strolled in around 10 am, much later than normal for me, and I saw plenty more people because of it. Most people were friendly, though, and all were covered in mud. Some runners had legs caked in the gray dirt all the way up to their knees.

Many runners use this place a circuit of sorts and I passed by one guy so many times it just caused me to laugh out loud the last time. I was strolling along at a moderate pace and he was running by over and over.

This park suffers from major trail offshoots and overfull trash cans at the parking lot. Today, the cans weren’t quite as bad as normal, but the mud had people making tons of new trails. I lost count of all the offshoots, but did my best to stay on path and follow Leave No Trace guidelines. Go through, not around. Getting muddy can be half the fun of a good hike! I will always recommend this place to anyone looking around DFW metro area, and that opinion hasn’t changed today. Go check it out if you want a fun, varied hike/run/casual stroll. Be warned, it’s a little muddy today but you’ll be rewarded with trickling drainage streams bubble along the way.


Before & After

2019 #hike1 - Shoreline Trail at Lake Lewisville

It is outside and it is dirt, so it counts.


Quick Stats

Date: January 5, 2019

Location: Shoreline Trail (starting at Stewart Park in The Colony, TX)

Distance: 3.7 Miles

Trails: Shoreline Trail is only one trail

Miles from Home: 26

Weather: Sunny and mid-40s

Equipment: Apple Watch, iPhone, Olympus TG-5 camera


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Highlights

  • Only a few people out and about meant I had the place mostly to myself

  • Nice gravel path with very little clay

  • Nice bridges over the really swampy drains

  • Dogs are allowed and there were plenty of dogs along the way in yards

Low Points

  • Very populated areas, would be more suited for daily walks than a “hike”

  • Noisy - road noise, people doing yard work, etc.

  • Very muddy and flooded in parts due to neighborhood drainage

This is a great trail for neighborhood locals needing a good run or to walk their dogs. This was not a hiking trial, by my standards. I enjoyed the stroll, regardless of what this trail was, but did miss the seclusion other urban parks in the area offer. I saw several birds including mallards, cardinals, and blue jays. I’d recommend this to any local inhabitant within a few miles, but I will not likely be driving 26 miles for this one again. The point in which I turned around due to flooding was the point where the trail was furthest from neighborhoods, so there is some potential for a more secluded walk that I just didn’t get to experience today.

The actual walking/hiking revealed that I’ve been way too lazy for way too long. I noticed it back in Alaska too, and I’m glad to be getting outside again. This trail technically the “hike with a body of water” in the 52 Hike Challenge Adventure Series, but I intend to aim higher for this one. Until the next one, happy trails!


Before & After

#hike1 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

Date: January 6, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 9.55 miles

Trails: Cedar Brake Outer Loop, Paluxy River

I arrived at the park early, before the staff arrived, and checked in.  I left home in shorts, because it was nearly 40 degrees at home, but it was only 25 at the park so I had to change into the pants I brought along.  I was the only car in the parking lot upon arrive, and was one of ten when I left.  The crowds for this park don't usually show up until about 8-9 am, making early morning hikes fairly quiet and peaceful.  I made it 7.5 miles in before seeing anyone, but then it was more people than I could count.  For the first hike of the year, I wanted to "go big" with a longer hike.  I visited this park four times last year and did the same few trails each visit so this hike was also about exploring a part of the park I hadn't hiked in 2017.  Seeing new-to-me trails and the furthest corners of the park boundaries satisfied the need for a little adventure within.

I spent the majority of this hike reflecting on the hikes of 2017 and warming my hands.  Like an idiot, I didn't really plan well for the temperatures, despite my constant preaching of preparedness.  Halfway through the hike, I remembered having gloves in my pack and that was a great relief.  As I warmed my hands, I pondered what worked well last year and what I need to adjust to make the 2018 hikes even better.  Dinosaur Valley is becoming my new go-to park simply because I love the terrain and proximity to my family's home - can accomplish a visit and get a hike in.  All in all, it was a challenging and robust start to my hikes for 2018.

Dinosaur Valley State Park Tidbits:

  • almost all trails require crossing the Paluxy River - always check trail conditions on the park's Facebook page before heading out
  • the park has varied terrain - be sure to check out the trail map for more information
  • many trails are shaded, thought plenty have sunny portions so always bring enough water and wear sun protection
  • tourist attractions such as dinosaur track viewing areas and other dinosaur related businesses outside park boundaries exist for family fun before or after your hike
  • crowds are limited in cooler months, and earlier in the morning - I always try to get there around 7 am to enjoy some solitude

Here are some photos from the hike, enjoy and happy hiking!