Spring has arrived early in Texas, and the warm temperatures and bright, roadside bluebonnets have encouraged John and me to shed our lazy winter selves and get outside. Luckily our spring break is early this year, so we made a day trip to Colorado Bend State Park on Sunday as our official spring break kick-off event. It was a tad chilly and drizzling when we left home and cloudy and windy upon reaching the park, but the weather conditions were not enough to deter us from our plans.
John had visited Colorado Bend about ten years ago, but it was my first time at the park. Upon his recommendation, we selected the Spicewood Trails to make up our morning hike. While the park’s trail guide rates the paths as challenging, John knew the elevation gains and drops were not significant. Despite it being our first hike since trekking in the Rocky Mountains last August and my first hike as a pregnant Mrs. Pierce, we felt we could handle the trails.
The Spicewood trailhead. John joked that I was trying to show off my belly while he spent the day trying to hide his.
The hike begins on a flat trail that parallels the Colorado River. Kayaks and fishermen were about, although the persistent winds cleared the river as the day went on.
We then headed north on the Spicewood Springs Trail, which is the bigger draw of the two Spicewood paths due to the waterfalls and pools that crisscross the trail.
The water crossings are fairly well marked, and we learned that as long as you spot the yellow marker on the other side of the creek before attempting a crossing, you end up right where you are supposed to be. One time we missed the marked crossing, but it was not too difficult to get across slightly further upstream. John led our way across each time, and most of the crossings had stones and logs upon which to step. Only once did John’s foot sink deeply down into the water, but his hiking boots kept his toes dry.
I utterly loved the sights and sounds of the small pools and waterfalls along this trail. No sooner had we left one lovely spot, than we could hear another just ahead.
The colors at the park this time of year are muted grays, tans, and greens, which made for a quiet, calming environment.
We passed a few other hikers on the trail, but for the most part we were alone with nature.
Spicewood Springs Trail meets up with the Spicewood Canyon Trail, and it was the latter that we hiked back to the trailhead. Spicewood Canyon traverses the hills above the creek, and much of this leg of our hike was spent amidst dense, shrubby trees.
Towards the end of the Canyon Trail the view opened up to the springs below that we had crossed just an hour or so earlier.
We took in a few more sights from above before descending down to river level and back to the trailhead. It took us a little over two hours to complete the 3.8 mile loop.
We rested and ate our picnic lunch near the river, and with continuing gray skies above and tired legs beneath us, we abandoned our plan to hike to Gorman Falls in the afternoon. It may have been wimpish of us, but at least we now have even more of an excuse to return to Colorado Bend in the future!