Wednesday, August 8, 2012

State Livingston SP: Hiking the Pineywoods Nature Trail

While staying at Lake Livingston State Park, I spent a little time hiking the available trails there. As I mentioned in my entry Lake Livingston State Park, some of the trails were closed, so my options were limited. However, I was able to hike the Main Trail, the Oak Flat Trail, and the Pineywoods Nature Trail, and I will post my reviews of these hikes on my blog.

This entry regards the Pineywoods Nature Trail. Please refer to the available online map of the park to see the trail.

Of the 3 trails I hiked at this park, this was certainly the most interesting. The entire trail is a boardwalk which both begins and ends at a trailhead in the northern part of the park. Some sections of the boardwalk are showing their age, repairs will need to be made soon.

Since I entered this trail from the Main Trail, I had to decide which way to go. I decided to loop counter-clockwise. Once I hit the trailhead, I then returned to the trail in the same direction to see the duck pond.

Wild Plum Creek

The first real landmark I came to was the water treatment plant, which suddenly appears in a clearing. It is quite a contrast after having been in the thick woods for the entire hike. According to park literature, the water treatment plant is a green facility that uses the natural environment to clean water.

Water treatment plant. You may not be able to tell, but those dark spots towards the left on the water surface are actually ducks.
Next came the Frog Pond, which is located on a short spur of the boardwalk.

Frog Pond spur
The murky Frog Pond
Just beyond the Frog Pond, the boardwalk crosses the Equestrian Trail. From this point, it is a short walk to the trailhead. The trailhead sits on the east side of a large parking lot, and it has 3 informational plaques. The two walkways you see in the picture below converge just beyond the structure. The trail on the left is handicapped accessible, while the trail on the right contains steps.

Pineywoods Nature Trail Trailhead
After reaching the trailhead, I then continued on the trail so that I could see the Duck Pond. On my way, I once again crossed the Equestrian Trail. As I approached the Duck Pond, I first came upon a Butterfly Garden. 

Butterfly Garden
The Butterfly Garden is located where the Boardwalk turns sharply south to connect to the Main Trail. Continue straight, and you will approach the Duck Pond. To the left is a bird blind.

Bird Blind

Just beyond the bird blind is the Duck Pond.

Duck Pond

After viewing the duck pond, I retraced my steps to the trailhead and continued my walk around the park.

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