Elm Fork Trail 10/20/13

October 20th, 2013

Hike: Elm Fork Trail, near Denton, TX

Weather: clear, 60’s, sunny

Hikers: Ian, Court, Biff

Length: 6.14 miles

It was a bit chilly this morning.  Fall has officially hit Texas.  We hit the trail a little after 9:30am.  This was Biff’s first hike with his new backpack and he did really well.  The trail head is at the Old Alton Bridge, which is an iron bridge built in 1884.  It was decommissioned in 2001, but is still open to foot and horse traffic.

Old Alton Bridge

Old Alton Bridge

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The full trail is about 12 miles out and back, but we only hiked about half of it today.  The first mile was pretty flat and bordered a horse pasture before turning towards Lake Lewisville and getting deeper into the woods.

Court and Biff on trail

Court and Biff on trail

Biff's new backpack

Biff’s new backpack

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The morning was cool and damp, as it had rained for most of the week before.  A bit muddy, but the trail was in good shape.  There were two water crossings, but both were shallow.

Water crossing 1

Water crossing 1

Water crossing 2

Water crossing 2

As we got further along, we started to gain more elevation and the trail got a little more wild.  We crossed under a highway and then bordered the lake for the rest of the trail until we turned around at the 3 mile mark and another bridge.

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Lake Lewisville tributary

Lake Lewisville tributary

Court on the bridge at the turnaround point

Court on the bridge at the turnaround point

Biff was off leash for the first half, but on the way back we spotted a coyote just 20 yards off the trail and Biff was on leash for the rest of the journey.  Court picked up a coyote stick to protect us, despite my laughing.  Shortly after, we noticed quite a few animal remains that must have been the coyote’s leftovers.  We labeled this section the Trail of Death.  There was a crow skull, a pile of bird feathers, parts of an armadillo, and a fresh possum carcass.  The coyote must have been eating well.

Court looking fierce with her coyote stick

Court looking fierce with her coyote stick

Coyote leftovers

Coyote leftovers

Trail sign

Trail sign

The rest of the trail was uneventful, but very pretty, winding through the forest and staying in the shade.  The round trip took a little over 2.5 hours.  We ran into a few other hikers with dogs and also two horseback riders.  We are planning on coming back to do the full 12 mile trail plus the Pilot Knoll Trail, which runs south from the trail head for another 14 mile out and back.

Elm Fork route Elm Fork elevation profile

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