#hike45 – Cedar Ridge Preserve

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve

Date: 11/12/2017

Distance: 2.1 miles

I had been avoiding going hiking all weekend – despite needed to get moving.  It was a gray, rainy morning but that wasn’t going to stop us.  We went to Cedar Ridge and it was damp.  The rain picked up as we arrived, which was fine.  The trail was slick, but passable, and there weren’t that many people out.  It was quick hike, but a solid couple of trails as usual.  So glad Cedar Ridge is so close.

Rainy, misty, wet hikes are officially my thing.  I am ready for winter!

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#hike44 – Eagle Mountain Park

Location: Eagle Mountain Park on Eagle Mountain Lake (NW Fort Worth, TX)

Date: 11/5/2017

Distance: 5 miles

Today was a special hike because the fall colors finally started to show!  I grew up in Michigan, with fall being that magical time of year when the leaves changed and the weather got cooler.  Things are a little different here in North Texas, as the temps are still high but the leaves have started to turn.  Beautiful oranges, golds, yellows, purples, and reds mixed with the usual greens.  The views from the higher elevations were beautiful and the entire hike was filled with that autumn peacefulness.  The blue grass has turned a majestic purple-red, almost unreal, and the oaks vary from orange to red.  Everything had a touch of morning glow, so that helped too.

We did the main loop, and followed the shoreline and caught a nice breeze from the lake.  Along the way we saw an armadillo, several deer, squirrels, a field mouse, and a murder of crows.  I love sharing this place with others and today I went with my friend Nikki, who’s gone before, and my other half who hasn’t.  We had a nice big lunch after and it was just a great way to start this week ahead.  Happy hiking everyone!

#hike43 – Goat Island Preserve

Location: Goat Island Preserve – Dallas County

Date: 10/29/2017

Distance: 3.1 miles

Was sick of the same old places, so we tried something new that I had forgotten about in Dallas County.  Goat Island Preserve is a neat little place along the Trinity River.  Today we walked down what appears to be an old access road for the locks and dams along the river.  There are a ton of off-shoots for mountain biking per DORBA.  It was an easy walk with plenty of opportunities to trek through the woods.  This was a nice way to enjoy a Sunday morning.  We arrived to an empty lot and only passed three people on their horses on the way out.  Happy hiking!

#hike42 – Cedar Ridge Preserve

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve

Date: 10/28/2017

Distance: 2.25 miles

Today Chewy the Dog and I went to Cedar Ridge.  I was going to go somewhere dogs weren’t allowed, but he gave me the look when I was leaving that I couldn’t ignore.  We walked to Cattail Pond, a little past and then back up the Escarpment Trail.  All in all, an easy and peaceful hike.  I felt refreshed and relaxed during and after the hike.  It was a brisk 37 degrees this morning, with it getting as low as 30.  There were quite a few people there, as usual, probably due to the cooler temps.  This is a make up hike for last week, I’ll go again either later or tomorrow for this week’s.  Here are some pics from our stroll.  Happy Hiking.

#hike41 – Cedar Mountain Nature Preserve

Location: Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

Date: 10/15/2017

Distance: 1 mile

Had a busy weekend, so went out to the old standby.  Walked the path with the dog and my other half.  Nothing too exciting, but it was around 5 so the tops of the trees were looking Golden with sunshine.  There was a sign along the trail warning of poison oak being prominent and to watch out for copperheads.  Ah, Texas, snakes and spiders galore!

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#hike40 – Lake Fort Smith State Park

Location: Lake Fort Smith State Park / Ozark National Forest

Date: 10/7/2017

Distance: 3 miles

Trails: Ozark Highlands Trail

My other half and I (along with Chewy the Dog) went up to Rogers, AR to visit some friends and decided to take a morning/noon hike a few exits down at Lake Fort Smith State Park.  We did some Google image searches of the place, checked out the state park website and and figured it would be a good, quick hike we could fit in to the schedule.

It rained Friday night into Saturday morning, so the sky was still gray and the ground still damp.  The rocks were slippery, making it a little difficult for Chewy the Dog.  We started at the state park visitor center and went about 1.5 miles into the woods before deeming it too slippery for the dog and realizing it was later than we thought.  The trail itself was well maintained in near the state park, but became narrow and slightly more difficult beyond.

Highlights: mosses, rocky overhangs, some leaf color change, and the smell of the woods obviously.  Here are some photos!  I’d like to revisit this trail – maybe without the dog and with less time restraints – to go a bit further into the woods.

#hike39 – Caprock Canyons State Park

Location: Caprock Canyons State Park

Date: 9/30/17

Distance: 9 miles

Trails: Main highlights were Canyon Loop and Upper Canyon (did some walking down random stream beds, along the roadway, etc)

Trail Map

It was gray and misty, mild humidity, and cool in temperature.  We set out from the campground down to a desert stream bed to see if it would lead to where we needed to go.  Long story short, the stream bed did not take us where we wanted to go so we made our way back to camp and out to the road and onward to the trailhead parking lot – about a mile or so.  Started on the Canyon Loop trail, which was familiar from our spring trek, and headed around to the Upper Canyon trail.  We followed the Upper Canyon trail to the northeast corner of the park to a spot called Fern Cave.  We passed two women hiking out of Fern Cave and they said it was spectacular.  As we headed down the steep rocks into the cave, we realized they weren’t kidding.  The natural spring and temperature control create the perfect habitat for these ferns to grow.  I’ve included a photo from 3/4 of the way down the descent:

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Fern Cave

The dog enjoyed fresh, cool water, and then we made our way out.  We ran into a couple that was camping near us – and their dogs – and chatted for a second before heading back the way we came.  We passed the women we saw earlier, they were enjoying a snack break, and we carried on.  We get almost two miles down – to the point where we almost turn right on the Canyon Loop trail, and we are stopped because there is a huge bison on the trail.  The bison was rolling in the clay when he wasn’t staring us down.  The women catch up, we brainstorm, and try a few options for getting around him as you aren’t supposed to get too close or interact.   We finally find a path through the woods – or overgrown brush really – that get us far enough around him to be safe-ish.  The bison did start coming off trail towards where we were, but we just booked it as quickly as we could to put distance between us.  The last mile-mile and a half was spent processing a situation I would have never guessed would happen.  A lesson learned is always be prepared – it may have not been a bear or mountain lion, but a bison could be deadly if he charges.

By far, my most memorable hike yet.  Here are some photos:


Happy hiking!  Here are some stats I compiled, after seeing that Sara Beth did something like this in her blog which you can find here: Inner Compass Blog

Hike 39 of 52

Total Miles: 174.5

Total solo hikes so far: 13/39

Total companion hikes so far: 27/39

Total hikes w/ the dog: 14/39

Total unique locations: 24/39

Total number of hikes fully enjoyed: 36/39