The first Saturday of June is always National Trails Day. For the past three years Colorado Bend State Park has celebrated this day since there are such awesome trails to show off! Whether you like to hike, run, mountain bike, or just sit and enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors, CBSP has a place for you to enjoy yourself! There were a lot of people who took advantage of the special activities the Friends of Colorado Bend State Park offered this year. Check out the report below! (Remember you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.)
Guided Mountain Bike Ride-Experienced: There were no takers for this ride so the volunteer who was going to lead it found another productive thing to do. He took a weedeater to a number of trails and cut grass that had grown up because of the recent rains! Maybe you had a chance to enjoy the results of his work that day!
Gorman Falls Tours: Rickey, our Gorman Falls guide for the day, had 53 participants on his 3 hikes ranging in age from 8 months to 78 years old. The smallest tour group had 5 and the largest tour group had 33! As usual, most people did not carry enough water, but they were able to take advantage of the water the Friends group had placed at the trail head for refills. As a bonus, those who wanted to were able to hike the Gorman Springs trail with Denise.
Denise and Rickey are on the left below, pictured with one of the tour groups.
Parts of the trail to Gorman Falls.
Couples, families, and groups took their pictures in front of Gorman Falls.
Gorman Falls as it looked on National Trails Day 2014.
Cave Tours: A number of people took advantage of the extra cave tours that were offered. Five volunteers led the tours at different times throughout the day. Participants were able to crawl, climb, and wiggle their way through some of the caves in the park.
Trained cave guides Kris & Will, Genia, Adrian, Tyler, and Denise.
First picture below: One tough grandmother and her granddaughter were two of the folks who took advantage of the cave tours. Second picture: Ready to jump in!
Cave Guide Adrian gives important instructions and information before entering.
Then away they go!
Going out is as much fun as going in! Showing off your muddy caving clothes afterward is great fun too!
Guided Tour of the Tinaja Trail: The Tinaja Trail is the newest trail which just opened in the spring of 2014. This trail has some amazing views and an awesome tinaja! Eleven people took advantage of the guided tour including the guide, two rangers who hadn’t seen the trail yet, two new volunteers, and six visitors, several who said they were interested in being volunteers and helping build and maintain the trail system! New volunteers are always welcome and we can’t wait for these folks to join us!
Most of the tour group is pictured below. The guys (volunteers) were waiting at the trailhead.
The guide gave some information before starting the hike on the trail.
The first stop of many to look at a view and continue.
As the group worked their way down the hill, the tinaja came into view.
At one of the rest stops, Ranger Chris gave some information about the ice packs she had just handed out to keep some of the hikers cool. The ice packs placed behind the neck, under the arms (armpits) and on the chest help to lower the core body temperature when a person is becoming overheated.
Below: Another view, a great path that some of the trail builders made out of rocks, a really neat cedar tree, a great rock slot, and more views!
The group spotted several cacti in the shape of a heart.
Ranger Debbie told the group about this plant named mullein. It is widely used for herbal remedies and can be made into a tea. It’s used in topical applications against a variety of skin problems and has been used as a bandaid. The plant has been made into a torch and also rolled and smoked like a cigarette. These plants are all over Colorado Bend State Park! Warning: Do not use if you are pregnant!
At one point on the trail you can see where Gorman Spring is by the very green and healthy trees that surround it!
One section of the trail has some really neat rock walls with holes big enough to crawl into if you choose to. Several of the group chose to, including the two rangers who took it a level farther by BOTH getting inside this small space!
By the end of the hike, most of the group was tired, but everyone seemed to have had a great time!
Kids’ Hike: The Kids’ Hike led by Ranger Jason was a big hit! Here are a few pictures from that activity.
Guided Mountain Bike Ride-Beginner: This ride was in the middle of the very hot afternoon and only the volunteers who were going to lead and help with the ride came. That didn’t stop them. They did the ride anyway!
Wayne and Joe riding under a tree on the River Trail.
Wayne and Joe standing by the ‘animal tree’ on the River Trail. Some think this tree looks like a deer, complete with antlers!
The end of the planned ride was at Gorman Cave. A quick climb down the hill and… air conditioning on a hot day! The temperature in a cave stays pretty much the same year ’round, so they are air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. (This cave is currently closed/gated.)
The flowers were out and riding through them was very nice.
Moonlight Hike: This was a night time adventure and ranger guided hike under the waxing gibbous moon. It took the participants up on Spicewood Canyon Trail for a great view of the canyon below. For most of the hike, the light of the moon was all that was needed. The park intern brought binoculars and the group enjoyed passing them around and looking at and identifying stars. Not too many pictures were taken because it was dark and no one wanted to mess up their night vision with a light!
The night hike group.
Ranger Jason explaining what the hike was all about.
It was already beginning to get dark when the hike started.
The trail building project at Colorado Bend State Park in Texas is a family friendly project. We welcome anyone who wants to help build and maintain trails, from children to great-grandparents. To get emails announcing project weekends, email TrailBuilding@aol.com and request to be put on the trail building notice list.