hike5

2019 #hike5 - Cleburne State Park

“The hills kicked my ass” - Me


Quick Stats

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019

Location: Cleburne State Park - Cleburne, TX

Distance: 7 miles

Trails: Fossil Ridge Trail, Coyote Run Nature Trail

Miles from Home: 59 miles

Weather: Cloudy, humid, 60s

Equipment: Apple Watch, iPhone


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Highlights

  • No one at the park

  • Frequent hills to keep it interesting

  • Lots of shade

  • Views of the lake

Low Points

  • Lots of trash on the trail today

  • Rocks are basically like ice when wet, which they were today

  • So many people have made their own trails, it is difficult at time to see the real trail

Well, it took five hikes but I finally had to break through spider webs. I went a solid month without having any in my face and today I more than made up for it. The trail I chose today followed the edge of the state park boundary and was pretty well shaded for those summer days. The rocks that make up the trail, mostly the hills, were slick today because it had been damp and misty for a couple of days. The first mile of the trail is noisy due to the mine next door and natural gas compressors nearby. Once you get past the noise, it gets mildly quiet until a dog in a neighboring house barks or you begin to hear the noises of the campers in the campground. If you’re looking to fully escape, this place will get you halfway there. The trails near the lake are a bit nicer, but overall this place isn’t an “escape” from the real world like other parks can be. It’s a great place to camp and hike, don’t get me wrong, this is just my take on it. If you want to escape, head west. #westisbest

Today I did about 7 miles of hills, 3.5 miles around and back, and it really was a nice little up and down. At the end of my 3.5 miles was supposed to be a scenic overlook, but with so many side trails made it hard to tell if I was at the right spot. I found a lakeside clearing and took a break anyway, sipping on my cider and basking in the breeze. I was sweaty. The hills were a workout for me and my hat was soaked through as were my shirt and shorts. The entire 3.5 miles back to the car were basically me wiping dripping sweat from my head. I bagged two small bags of trash, mostly bottles and juice boxes, and deposited them in the dumpster near the entrance. The trash I picked up was blatantly thrown out, nothing looked accidental. Some people really need to check themselves.

I hope you find your trail and pick up some trash along the way. Hike 6 will be a series of hikes this week when I go to Minnesota, so stay tuned for that next week! Until then, happy trails!


Before & After

#hike5 - Eagle Mountain Park

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Date: February 3, 2018

Location: Eagle Mountain Park - Fort Worth, TX

Distance: 5.5 miles

Trails: All but purple and yellow, see this map for reference

Eagle Mountain Park is one of the locations in Fort Worth that I don't mind revisiting, especially if the weekend doesn't allow for an out of town adventure.  My friend Nikki joined me for this hike and I was thankful to have someone along to chat with about nature, news, and pop culture.

This was the fourth time I was at Eagle Mountain Park, located on the east side of Eagle Mountain Lake, and I was expecting a familiar route with my friend, but we were constantly distracted by things we hadn't noticed before.

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  • Was that log always there?
  • DId you ever notice that forest area?
  • Was that tree always down?
  • OOH, deer!
  • Oh, look at that bird! What kind of bird is that?

Rediscovering a familiar place is a treat and part of the reason these hikes are important to me.  As we walked, we kept discovering things that went under the radar before and reminded me that I need to slow down and be a bit more observant.  Nikki suggested we educate ourselves, so we are going to learn more about plant identification and various other information related to the ecology here in Texas.

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Things to know about Eagle Mountain Park

  • There are hills, they're not terrible, but they are there so be aware
  • The trails wander between wooded and wide open areas, so you can find shade in the summer but always plan ahead with a hat, sunscreen, and water
  • Take the shoreline trail - it's beautiful and you usually can catch a nice breeze
  • If you want to avoid crowds, get there before 7:30am
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This hike was especially refreshing, both mentally and physically, after a week of travel and getting back into the workflow.  I'm thankful for good friends, good talks, and slowing down and seeing the little things in a familiar place.  Happy trails!