Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hike Report: Looping Pulliam Ridge

The weather has really been good lately, with highs often reaching the 80s. We've tried to take advantage of this good weather and do a couple of hikes a week at San Angelo State Park.

By this time, we've hiked all the trails and I've reported these hikes and shown pictures. There really is nothing new to report. But, I still click pictures of things I think are interesting on our hikes and I'll continue to post those pictures. Sometimes I get a new angle of an old subject. Sometimes we stumble on something we haven't seen before. So, as long as we hike the trails, I'll continue to snap photos.

On one recent hike, we parked at Burkett Trailhead (see map) and took the Roller Coaster Trail to the south of Pulliam Ridge (indicated as Highland Range Scenic Lookout on park map), then followed the Potts Creek Trail along the creek of that same name. After crossing the creek, we walked along Armadillo Ridge before heading back to the trailhead on the Burkett Trail. Total distance was probably 4 to 5 miles. Below are some pictures from that hike.

Lots of folks were riding mountain bikes in the park that day. Just after leaving the trailhead, we encountered  a man walking his bike to his vehicle. He had a flat and was calling it a day.

This is a good hike. The ups and downs of Roller Coaster Trail are good for the legs, and the views from several points on the trail are good. 

The trail begins by heading down into an arroyo leading towards the Highland Range Subdivision. Note especially the house just right of center.
Same house as in picture above, but from much closer. What a view they must have from that upstairs balcony.
I'm not a photographer -- I just snap photos. But I rather like this pic of Donna standing on a bluff overlooking a park road. In the background -- note the picnic table -- is Pulliam Ridge. Our hike today takes us on a long loop around that ridge.

On the southside of Pulliam Ridge is quite a bit of exposed limestone that serves as the trail. A series of switchbacks snake down the slope along this rock.

Along Potts Creek, the level trail is dirt and easy to walk on. As in most creek bottoms or arroyos in the park, mesquites are numerous.
This photo of Pulliam Ridge was taken from the trail as we had just worked up Armadillo Ridge from Potts Creek. All of the area beyond Pulliam Ridge is the lake bed. Less than 100 yards behind me is FM 2288. There was lots of traffic on the highway today, and the noise took away from the hike some.
I've mentioned before that after OC Fisher dam was completed, the lake filled up almost immediately. I don't know if it has ever been full since. As a result, there are picnic areas scattered throughout the park that are far removed from any possible water in the foreseeable future. The cover for this picnic table is long gone.

Old boat ramp on the west side of Pulliam Ridge. I wonder when the last time was that water reached this area.

Donna on the trail skirting Pulliam Ridge heading northeast

On the north side of Pulliam Ridge, the land takes on a different look. No underbrush, no rocks -- just flat land, looking almost as if it has been swept.

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