Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 19, 2013

15 Miles Closer

With a couple of vacation days at my disposal this week, I decided to get closer to my goal of hiking all 35-miles of trails at Brazos Bend State Park. This beautiful park is located within easy driving distance of Houston, perfect for a quick and relaxing escape. The first thing you notice when you enter the park are the huge live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, also a common sight along many of the hiking trails. One visit and you’ll understand why Brazos Bend was named one of America’s top state parks by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

Big Tree Trunk
My goal for today was to hike the farthest and more primitive trails at the park plus one trail that has been closed on each of my previous visits. This meant covering some ground I have already hiked in order to reach these farther away trails. No problem. It was worth it all when I arrived at the Creekwood Lake Trail — comprised of a short loop and long loop trails that are absolutely magnificent. I had them all to myself, with the exception of a couple of feral hogs that I surprised along the way.

Fungus Tree
Although I had some idea of the distance I would cover today, I was pleasantly surprised when my new Map My Hike app recorded my hike at 15.01 miles. I completed my hike in 4 hours 16 minutes with one ten-minute stop to snack. I averaged 17-minute miles which is slow enough to enjoy the journey. In addition to feral hogs, I saw whitetail deer and lots of birds. The park boasts more than 300 species of birds, 298 of which I can’t identify although I do enjoy seeing them.

Map My Hike
Today’s hike was good for me as I continue my preparations to do some longer thru-hikes later in the year. I am trying to gauge how far I can reasonably hike per day with a 30-pound backpack on an extended trek. I know this much — I need to do lots more hiking to get ready for the bigger challenges, much like the numerous training runs I did in order to prepare for the Texas Water Safari earlier this year. So, I will be on the trails at Texas State Parks as much as possible in the coming months. I am tired this evening but happy to be 15 miles closer to my goal of hiking all of the trails at Brazos Bend, one step at a time.

Long Loop


  1. I’m glad you got your hike in before the rains came. And how fun to see some wild animals along the way!

    • Thanks. It really was a perfect day for hiking. I thoroughly enjoyed the day on the trails.

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