Saturday, April 03, 2010

Stephen F. Austin State Park: A Review

Hmmm, the park looks nothing like Steve Austin...

Saturday Clark and I finally had a chance to get some much needed wild time. After discussing different options we settled on trying out the Stephen F. Austin State Park. It seemed a bit on the small side but being just a little past Katy, TX it was close by and neither of use had been there, so off we went.

The park seemed to be very popular with many families happily camping away their Easter weekend in brightly colored tents. This particular park also seemed to be extremely popular with bike rides as the hard-packed dirt trails swarmed with these silent, two-wheels speed-demons. I was not so wild about that.

Assorted campers.

The trails themselves were nice when not forced off them by cyclers. One needs to be careful when stepping of the trail as poison ivy is everywhere. However, wild onions, cleaver, chickweeds, and assorted other wild yummy plants are also everywhere. It's a bummer they can't legally be picked.

An average section of trail.

The "River Access Trail" is very step and about as far away from any parking lot as you can get. I don't think it is meant to be used as a canoe/kayak/boat launch. Bummer as the Brazos river looked like a great place to paddle.

The Brazos River. I like it.

Me liking the Brazos River.

Clark liking the Brazos River.

Wild onions.

Wild grape vines.

We didn't see much large wildlife other than one deer. However, the grounds were crawling with hundreds of pillbugs (they popped like Rice Crispies when accidently stepped upon), giant millipedes, huge land snails, and industrious leaf-cutter ants. The bugs were pretty cool and Miniwether would have loved them.

Giant millipede.

Leaf-cutter ants. How cool.

Tracks of something.

Clark and I covered pretty much all the trails at the park in a little over three hours. It's really not a hiking place. They do have assorted amenities for camping families, though.

An amphitheater.

A wildlife viewing area. On the other side of the fence were assorted feeders.

There was a golf course, playgrounds, bathrooms, showers, Coke machines, etc.. if that is the sort of thing you like. We also saw several families playing badminton at their campsites.

So my thoughts on the park? It seemed like a nice place for people starting to do the family camping thing or for people who really like to camp in comfort. If you want to ride your bike easily through the woods this is the place for you! Clark and I prefer much more primitive locations but there really aren't any close to Houston so proximity outweighs quality.

Adventure! Excitement! Woods!

1 comment:

Brad said...

When Misseswether told me you were out adventuring, I was very upset. I was stuck at work. Me <---- Jealous.

Without being able to see closer, I think those are beaver tracks coming out of the water.