#hike50 - Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

Location: Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Date: 12/20/17

Distance: 1.5

I'm recovering from the stomach flu and thought this would be a nice easy hike.  It was, but I wasn't strong enough to go very far.  The trails are a mix of paved paths and natural surface.  Yesterday was an extremely wet day so all of the natural surface trails were muddy, a clay type mud that cakes on your shoes.  I should have taken photos of my shoes, they were coated in with mud, leaves, and more mud.  We didn't get very far, but it was nice to get outside and take in some fresh air.


#hike49 - Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

Location: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Date: 12/17/17

Distance: 7.6

Trails: Canyon Ridge & part of Greer Island

Today, in one word, was FANTASTIC.  I set out to do two hikes today, but it didn't happen and I've never been more okay with it.  I set out at the FWNC&R not knowing what to expect, and what I got was fantastic.  Yesterday was a day of rain, into the night, and today was the recovery.  The air was a bit heavy, in a good way, and the temps were below 50.  The smells of this trail were loamy, earthy, and quintessential fall/winter.  I was transported today, to somewhere else.  Parts of this trail felt like Michigan or Oregon, while others were very much Texas.  I was just so pleased.  I encountered only 4 people on my out, and 9 on my way back.  Today was cool, full of good smells, and scenic.

#hike47 - Cedar Ridge Preserve

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve Date: 12/3/17

Distance: 2.4 miles

I've been having a real internal struggle with getting out to the trail lately and I don't like it one bit.  Aside from moderately busy weekends, household chores, and shorter days, I am so anxious about going hiking and it's all-consuming on weekend mornings when I have the time to go.  But, thanks to Chewy the Dog, I got my self together and we went to the ole standby for some nature time.  It was busy, so busy, and it was overwhelming at first but leveled off.  There were a lot of dogs, a lot of people, and a lot of trail runners.

I was going to do the Fossil Valley Trail with a mix of others, but in my desperation to get out of the way of the trail running folks, I turned without looking where I was turning and went down the Cedar Brake trail.  Cedar Brake is my favorite one there, it's the most woodsy and further from the highways so there is less noise, so this was a happy accident.  I started to get lost in the trees and the way the light was dancing on the ground when it peeked through the clouds.  My body was happy to get exercise and my brain was happy to get a tiny break - though most of the hike was thinking about things and stopping to take notes about those things.

Here's to you, old standby, not too far and usually not too busy...I started WAY too late in the morning.  I'm still ONE hike behind, which I really need to make up - either this weekend or next.


#hike36 - Eagle Mountain Park

Location: Eagle Mountain Park on Eagle Mountain Lake (NW Fort Worth, TX) Date: 9/9/17

Distance: 5.11 miles

Trails: All south of the parking area

I was excited to show my friend this park - as I knew she'd appreciate it.  I know it's a repeat of a last week's, but I just couldn't resist with limited time this weekend.  We hiked the Main Park Trail, South Overlook Trail, Overlook Trail, and the Shoreline Trail.  Starting at 7:30 offered great morning light and kept the amount of people to minimum.

#hike35 - Eagle Mountain Park

*It's not a real mountain, but the trail does offer a few good views of the lake. Location: Eagle Mountain Park on Eagle Mountain Lake (NW Fort Worth, TX)

Date: 9/4/17

Distance: 8.17 miles

Trails: All of them

Eagle Mountain Lake has some grand homes on the west side and this nice park tucked in on the east side.  The park has about 8 miles of trails, give or take a few, and they're quite nice.  There are many hills, expansive views, and the trails are generally well maintained.  The paths are marked with color coded posts and there are plenty of maps throughout to guide you through.  I got there early, thankfully, because as I was wrapping up everyone and their brother was unloading and starting their day.  I found many quiet spots, cleared my head, and got some good exercise too.  The Shoreline trail is very peaceful with the sounds of wind through leaves and waves gently hitting the land.  Starting before 8 AM, I found most areas to be well shaded until about 9-10 AM.

#hike29 - Cedar Ridge Preserve

Date: 7/22/2017 Placed: Cedar Ridge Preserve

Distance: 2.91 miles

My friend wanted to hike, so I wanted to show her Cedar Ridge as it's one of the nicest places within the city limits.  We went, did Cedar Brake and a little of the Cattail Pond trail and had to head out.  It was nice to get back into the local swing of things and I'm looking forward to Fall when the temps go back below 80.

This hike wasn't too long, and I really am working on getting for longer distances...



#hike21 - Cedar Mountain Nature Preserve

Date: 5/29/2017 Location: Cedar Mountain Nature Preserve (Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center)

Distance: 2-3 miles


I started out with intentions of going to Cedar Hill State Park for a hike on the DORBA trails and maybe the Duck Pond trail... I got to CHSP, was told the trails were closed, and left kind of bummed out.  I didn't have cash in the car for Cedar Ridge Preserve so I drove down the road and saw Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center and remembered reading that there was a trail there.  I had to go turn around then do a U-Turn, but I finally made it to the parking area.  I set off, not knowing much about the trail and was quickly delighted.  After an initial portion of the trail near Belt Line road, it went uphill and into the woods.  For the most part, the entire trail was shaded and cool.  It was probably just over a mile to the loop and I did the loop again to take it all in.  All in all, I think I did about 2.3 miles - Google Fit kind of messed up and had a GPS error so it said WAY more than it was.  It's a nice, light and easy trail for anyone!

#hike16 - Lake Tawakoni State Park

Date: April 22, 2017

Time: noon

Place: Lake Tawakoni State Park

Distance: 5.53 miles

It was a dreary and cool day, but the hike couldn't have been better.  My better half invited a friend and we set off to hike every trail!  It rained the night before, so most of the trails were wet, but none were too soaked for our means.  I wouldn't have mountain bikes them, but walking seemed fine and without damage to the trail base.  We encountered so many different mushrooms, mosses, and plants.  We dodged puddles and branches and almost blew away in the wind coming off the lake.  On the Spring Point Trail we found wild blackberries, some even ripe enough to sample.  What a great day!  The only reason we did not do was the White Deer Trail.  All in all, this place was great.  The trails are in the woods with plenty of tree and plant variety to keep it interesting.  The trails give glimpses of the lake and offer many points of interest.  Some parts of the trails are as if you're walking through a tunnel of trees, very neat.  Overall, this hike was relaxing, fun, and perfectly lovely for a gray day!

#hike9 - Cedar Hill State Park

Date: March 4, 2017 Time: 9:20 AM

Place: Cedar Hill State Park

Distance: 8.1 Miles

Solo hiked the DORBA blue loop today, and it was even better than the green loop.  The trail is designed for mountain biking, but allows hikers too.  Bikers go one way, hikers go the opposite.  Some spots along the way are worn into a trough, but it's nothing too major.  I had hiked the green loop which is 3 miles before, but the additional 5 of the blue loop was even more beautiful.  The trail winded, in mountain bike trail fashion, and took me along the lake and through the woods.

Things I learned today:

--Stretching is important --People's voices carry well in the middle of nowhere --Water is important

This  was my longest hike, at 8.1 miles.  I did the hike in 2.25 hours, which is okay.  The hike is labelled as challenging but it isn't as bad as I expected.  This was one of the most rewarding hikes - in terms of pushing my limits and knowing what I can do.  I look forward to pushing the boundaries a bit more and seeing how much further I could go.

Happy hiking!

A little list. (updated 4 Jan 2017)

This is a working list of locations I'm considering for the 52 Hike Challenge.  As it stands, I know there will be weekends that I will not be able to leave too far out of town and thus I'm sure some of the local areas will get reused.  I'm hoping to take advantage of holiday weekends and my vacations to Alaska, Minnesota, and Michigan that are already on the calendar for 2017.  If I could teleport, this would be so much easier.  If anyone in DFW is interested in going to any of these locations, get in touch somehow.  

Hiking Ideas for 52 Hikes with Mike – 2017

  1. Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge - Texas
  2. Lake Murray State Park – Oklahoma
  3. Tyler State Park – Texas
  4. Davey Crockett National Forest – Texas
  5. Cleburne State Park – Texas
  6. Dinosaur Valley State Park – Texas
  7. Cedar Hill State Park – Texas
  8. Garner State Park – Texas
  9. Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway – Texas
  10. Possum Kingdom Lake State Park – Texas
  11. Caprock Canyons State Park – Texas
  12. Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Texas
  13. Monahans Sandhills State Park – Texas
  14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Texas
  15. Carlsbad Caverns National Park – New Mexico
  16. Big Bend National Park – Texas
  17. Big Bend Ranch State Park – Texas
  18. Enchanted Rock State Park – Texas
  19. Garner State Park – Texas
  20. Lost Maples State Natural Area – Texas
  21. Padre Island National Seashore – Texas
  22. Pedernales Falls State Park – Texas
  23. Angelina National Forest – Texas
  24. Herman Vogler Conservation Area – Michigan
  25. Lake Tawakoni State Park – Texas
  26. Daingerfield State Park – Texas
  27. Besser Natural Area – Michigan
  28. Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Michigan
  29. McFarland Lake – Minnesota
  30. Denali State & National Parks – Alaska
  31. Chugach National Forest – Alaska
  32. Ozark National Forest – Arkansas
  33. Eagle Mountain Park - Texas
  34. Bandelier National Monument - New Mexico
  35. Guadalupe River State Park - Texas (dog friendly)
  36. Hill Country Natural Area - Texas (dog friendly)
  37. Cedar Ridge Preserve - Texas (dog friendly)
  38. Grapevine Lake - Texas (dog friendly)
  39. Inks Lake State Park - Texas (dog friendly)
  40. Franklin Mountains State Park - Texas (dog friendly)