My family hiked the big loop last weekend and really enjoyed it. there is a lot of diversity in wildlife and plants. The wetland trail was practically impassable. At times we were not even sure we were on a trail at all and the reeds were thick and about 8 feet tall. My husband had to carry our 8 year old through the thickest portions and said if we go back he will bring a machete. It was quite the adventure! !
Other trails were much easier and enjoyable for us all...and we didn't see even one other person.
Kat: keep an eye on the park website at http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake
I've never called the 800 number, so I can't speak to that, but the website has had a notice up at the top of the page for ages ... I've been checking for the trail to reopen for at least a year and a half :^o it feels like longer
I tried to get to this trail today 6/19/16 from the south end and it was closed. So, I went to Lake Ray Roberts and told the Park Ranger that I had tried to access the southern portion, to which she replied "That part has been under water for a year and a half."
First of all, I called the 800 number to get trail conditions. I checked the website. NOWHERE did it say that the southern trail head was closed. If it has really been a year and a half, don't you think you might want to update a few things?
I wouldn't go there for at least another year. It's WAY under water.
Kayla B. on Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center...
Easy trail; good birding opportunities; waterproof hiking boots are a must during rainy weather.
In order to test some hiking gear I decided to find a good long trail locally that could give me a safe environment to test with. I originally wanted to start out from the southern end of the trail, north of lake Lewisville and could easily have passed it since it wasn't well marked. Unfortunately the flood damage closed this entrance so I ended up driving to the north entrance at the Ray Roberts State Park where they charge you 7 dollars a day.
I would break this trail into three parts based on my experience making it just short of the south entrance. The first section is what I'd call the photo op area where there were plenty of opportunities to take some nice pictures of the landscape around the park. Indian Paintbrushes are out in force right now so the fields have a nice red haze to them. The large oaks are just beginning to show their leaves so they are also looking pretty majestic.
The first four miles are well maintained paths and considering the rain fall, there were very few places where the paths were covered in mud, mostly in shaded sections. The first couple of miles of the North trail are completely shaded. This then opens up into an additional two miles of open field on one side and shaded river bank on the other.
You'll find the majority of the time the river will be just beyond the brush so I imagine the experience by kayak or canoe would be totally different. So this first section I found myself stopping constantly to take pictures and think it would be ideal for family hikes going all the way down to FM-248. It's here with the picturesque red walking bridge that announces the break to the next section of the trail.
There is a pathway under FM-248 in better weather conditions that allows you to travel without worrying about road traffic but it was still closed off due to mud damage. Once you cross the road though you'll find the trail starts in an open field to one side and the river tree line on the other with water and mud more visible on the trail but still usable. The next three miles on this trail start from the open fields where I saw eagles to a wooded covered area with quite a lot of wildlife.
The area almost feels like hedgerows as you enter the woods which line both sides with dense and thick bush growth. This is where I saw a pack of wild black boars milling about on the road then heading into the brush when they noticed me. Later on when the mud was more obvious you could see considerable tracks on the road from a mix of animals (boar, deer, rabbits, coyote) though I'm not sure if some of them could have been bobcats.
This hedgerow eventually opened into a more marshy environment with spiky trees deterring anyone from the path. There seemed to be quite a few animal trails leading off from the main road into the spiky wilderness. At this point the trails were more and more completely covered with mud but still very walkable. The bridges themselves were all fine except for the 3-4 inches of mud covering the surface of each. I always found it interesting to read the mud tracks and see what kind of animals used the bridges to move around with all of the fresh mud.
So then thinking about the last 3-4 miles getting closer to Lake Lewisville. This area seemed to have the more telltale signs of flood damage with many of the large trees blocking the paths and requiring you to either go around them or climb over them. In addition to this all of the concrete and stone paved sections were either washed into marsh or completely covered with an inch or two of mud everywhere.
It was a forest in recovery and felt like a recently dried out bog. I reached a train track which in better days would have been accessible, with the flooding though the pathway below it was cut by a small brook with mud lining both embankments. I jumped worried it would swallow my boots, the mud was rubbery but solid enough to let me continue. Several hundred feet further down the trail you could see railroad track wood beams strewn along the path, clearly driven by the flood waters. After another mile, determined to make it to the south entrance and capture pictures of where I intended to start I checked time. It was getting late and it would take some time to get back so I decided to eat quickly on a dead but dry log and make the long walk back. Not long after mile eleven my toes were betraying me, and every mile past it my mind was constantly overruling my feet.
The fact that you travel the same trail coming back makes for a difficult journey so I would say 21 miles of hiking in where half of it is the same scenery in wet weather conditions makes for a moderate to hard journey. It was a great experience nonetheless though I recommend for people to attempt the 10 mile version instead with strategic car placement with a friend.
I was not a huge fan of this hike. We drove up here for a nice family hike. We felt that the trails were poorly marked and that we were guessing on our location from our land navigation skills.
While there is a body of water here you do not get to see it for much of the hike. I was just glad my car was where we parked it and unharmed when we were done with the hike.
Nice long trail that is quite shaded and flat. Very little change in terrain which can get a bit monotonous. Great place to get in a long recovery run on a flat soft surface. Two sides to this trail...one is paved or graveled, the other side is soft surface dirt or grass for horses. I've run on both sides. Can be very isolated in areas so ladies best to have a canine or friend along.