Rouben C. on Good Water Loop
walked 2 miles in, then back on a sunny winter day. The part that I walked was easy and by the river. Will go back
Awesome place do knock out some mid size to long training runs. The 27ish mile loops has roughly around 2000 feet of climb which is really flat, (clockwise)however, the first 10 miles are extremely rocky and are slippery when wet. The course has 2-3 water points on miles 10, 20, and 23 before jumping on the road of the dam. *Not marked* make sure mile 9 you make a right or you'll go away from the park*not marked*
The scenes of the park are mostly on the south side of the park, first 10 miles. The northern part is more bland and jeep roads from 10-16, shifting in and out of single and jeep till 23 and the last 3 miles are paved.
For backpacking. There are a ton of places to set up a tent if you want to make it into a multi day trip. Still one of the few parks where you can pop up a tent anywhere.
Great loop, did this in 4 days/3 nights (took it slow). As other have noted, lots of residential properties near the trail, but this is a great local warm up if you're prepping for a bigger trek in Big Bend or Rocky country.
If you're only looking for a partial loop, the Southern side of the lake is much less residential and more scenic in my opinion.
I've hiked this trail quite a few times. I've completed it twice once in 2 days and this past time 2 1/2. The stones can be very unforgiving. So step carefully. Weekends and nice weather can bring in more traffic. Weekday hikes are fairly quiet. Lots of deer and birds.
3 days, 2 nights backpacking trip. This was a trial run for something more epic like Big Bend. The trail is pretty well maintained and lots of kudos to those who helped make a 27 mile trail. The one gripe I have is actually at most of the big parks. Look up ahead of time satellite views of trail heads' entrance/exit points at Cedar Breaks, Tejas, Russel Park, and especially Jim Hogg Park. As you get close you might come across forks and there is no signage telling which path to take to stay on the Goodwater loop. Also, there were more residential areas viewable from the trail than I expected which sometimes took away from the allure of being outdoors. But don't let that undermine how fun this was. I did it with my son, 14, and a friend who was a year or two younger. I had 50 lb backpack, son had 30 lb, and friend had 20 lb. Started at Cedar Breaks, 11 miles to Camp Tejas and camped overnight. 6 miles to Russel Park and camped out. Then 11 miles back to Cedar Breaks. I would recommend high ankle hiking shoes with good padding due to lots of rocks that roll ankles and/or press on the bottom of your feet. Russel Park was my favorite because you hike in and out up high on the cliffs in the cedars overlooking the lake and the campsite is similar scenery. I don't know if I would hike the whole loop again, but I would base camp at Russel Park and day hike in both directions from there if/when I go back. It's nice that you can pick up fresh water at the major parks along the way too so you don't have to ration too much if you have a good sized water bladder. I would not want to do this in the summer due to some of the more open areas in and out of Camp Tejas without shade. However, I could see where Camp Tejas in the summer would be nice and hiking out a mile or two and floating the river since it's nice and pretty around that area and more small river-like than lake-like around Camp Tejas.
Trails are easy if you're paying attention. Went during the middle of the day on a Saturday and not much traffic. Saw one deer. Nice waterfalls and beautiful longhorns 3 miles in from the Cedar Breaks Park Trailhead. Would be nicer if they picked up the trash at the trashcan.