South Llano River State Park – 3/24/18-3/25/18

Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, 2018

South Llano River State Park – Fawn Trail and Golden Cheeked Warbler Trail Combo + River Trail

Upper 60s, partly cloudy, perfect

Ian, Court, Biff, Finn

Around 7 miles total

 

 

Oh, look at that.  I still have a blog!  That’s right.  Gotta remember to update this thing more often.

Honestly, we just didn’t do much hiking the past couple of months.  Family stuff and life stuff got in the way.  There was maybe one short hike in there that I didn’t bother blogging, but finally here’s one I wanted to document.

We are trying to hit the state parks in Texas that we haven’t done already.  South Llano River fits the bill.  It is about a 3 hour drive from Austin, right near Junction, Texas on I-10.  So kinda the middle of nowhere.  I’m going to throw it in the Other Texas category.  It’s more or less on the border of the hill country and the desert, so the plants and wildlife are interesting.  Very spiky.

Claret Cup cactus

 

We headed out with the pups on Saturday morning and stopped in Fredericksburg on the way for lunch at a place called Woerner Warehouse.  We got sandwiches to go and they were HUGE.  Great call on that and we will be going back there next time we go to F’burg.

Headed on to Junction and drove by Texas Tech University at Junction (who knew?) before making our way to the park.  There were only a few spots left, as the Cub Scouts had moved in the night before, like they always do.  I guess it’s good that they are getting out in nature, but it does make it difficult for us adults who have to work on Fridays to get decent camping spots.

We did end up getting a semi-secluded site and each site has a covered table, which is unique to this park, in my experience anyway.

Covered table pavilion

 

We set up camp quickly.  We realized this is the first time since our trip to Sequoia back in September of 2016 that we have actually used our backpacking tent.  We did bring the larger car camping tent in case Finn didn’t fit our sleeping arrangements, but it worked out fine.

 

After setting up camp we decided to head down to the river trail, but soon found out that the area by the river is closed after 3pm in March because it is a wild turkey roost area, so we headed back and spent the rest of the evening playing trivial pursuit and reading.  The sunset was nice and the stars were out soon after.  South Llano River State Park is a dark sky park so the stars were brilliant.

Jet trails
My reading material

We woke up with the sun and Court made wonderful breakfast tacos with egg whites and veggie sausage.  This was also the first time we used the skillet we bought way back when we first started purchasing gear.  Lots of firsts this trip.  After breakfast we packed everything up before hitting the trails.

The trails out here are pretty much all old jeep tracks, as this was a ranch back in the day.  They are more for function and less for aesthetics, but they do the job.  They are your typical Texas rocky trails that are ubiquitous throughout the hill country.  We took the Fawn trail and then connected with the Golden-Cheeked Warbler trail to make a nice loop a little over 5 miles long.

Windmill from the old ranch days

When we finished the loop we went down to the River Trail that we had attempted to hike the day before.  We did actually catch a glimpse of a wild turkey and the river and lake views were pretty as well.

South Llano River

 

After a total of around 7 miles the pups were pooped and we drove back home.  On the way back they got some good naps.

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