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Great trail!!! Lots of scenic adventure! The only challenge was the steep hillside but totally worth it!

hiking
14 hours ago

Great trail. Nice lake overlooks on the way to the falls, terrain is a little rocky but not bad. Muddy in some spots but easy to navigate. The falls are beautiful but took some off trail skills to see them from a good vantage point. The gardens above the falls were my favorite spot of the day.

hiking
17 hours ago

Completed the loop this weekend with my grandson, still a few spots requiring a detour, but the trail is generally in pretty good shape.

Some areas pretty muddy after rain but there are alternate trails right around it. I love this hike and so does my dog. Good elevation changes for the area.

Love this trail! Great for kids and pets.

backpacking
14 days ago

I backpacked the East and West loops with two of my college-age kids last weekend (Thursday through Saturday.) We arrived at Lost Maples around 3pm, paid our fees, and headed to the West Loop trail head -- took the clockwise direction. It took less than an hour to get to primitive area F, where we stayed the night. We had a lazy morning on Friday and continued the West Loop over to "The Ponds", where the loops join. From there we picked up the West Loop trail and got into primitive area A in time to cook dinner and pitch camp.

The trails were very well maintained and surprisingly litter-free. The climbs were very steep, but doable -- I really appreciated having my hiking poles. Note that the lower elevation sections are along creek beds -- lots of stream crossings plus seeps and springs mean your shoes will get at least a little wet.

Primitive area A is a lovely camping spot, but "popular." We were there with 2 scout troops plus 2 smaller groups on a Friday night -- not quite the solitude you expect when backpacking, but still much better than "car camping." The composting toilet is a huge plus.

Don't miss Monkey Rock -- it lives up to its name!

Great trail but can be muddy after rains.

This is a beautiful west Austin park. It’s not too big, however it’s very scenic. Great trail for dogs!

Distance plus good elevations up and down.

Very enjoyable with a surprising amount of elevation change for the location. Came across a deer in the middle of the afternoon in the summer if that says anything about the wildlife viewing opportunities.

Great trail to escape and hike with the pups! Very good trail with plenty of room to walk 3-dogs wide. Trail is great because you get a good deal of variety. You get a mix of rocky (large and small), wooded terrain, and then some nice views of the lake on top of the bluffs.
Its not going to challenge you and get your heart rate up very high, but its a decent workout if you keep a good pace.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail for a 1 or 2 night backpacking trip. I parked at Cedar Breaks Trailhead on the inside of the gate. There is parking outside the gate, but the attendant said it would be safer inside. The sign denotes fees, but if you tell them you’re hiking the loop, they’ll let you in for free. I hiked the trail clockwise and stayed at Sawyer Hollow camp night 1 (6.5 miles) and Walnut Springs camp night 2 (a little over 9 miles). I hiked out Day 3 (about 11 miles). Next time, I might do the loop counterclockwise. I had no trouble finding water on the trail, but would suggest to camel up before camp unless you want to get water from the lake itself. I had one wet crossing between mile 11-12, but was able to keep dry feet the rest of the time while the lake was at 794. Trail was decently marked, but I pulled up this app a few times to make sure I was on track. If you try to take some of the shortcuts, you’re likely to hit high water crossings and have to turn around, so I found it best to follow the map. I went on a Sun-Tues and didn’t see anyone else at the camps, just day hikers. Overall, would recommend, especially for new backpackers, and would hike again.

Perfect fall hike. Don’t miss seeing Monkey Rock

Great hike. Lots of loose rocks though.

hiking
1 month ago

great trail. challenging for a little bit, but overall not too difficult. weather in November was beautiful. we did the east trail for 4.5 miles. very very rocky so good shoes/boots are needed. feet get wet at times. good overlook views in two spots. ranger people were all very friendly. get their early for parking space.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful. Varied terrain. Hills, rocks, flat, sand. Many picturesque views of woods and the lake along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Went there today... hiked passed the springs to 4 mile marker and back... the springs are wonderful..parts of old rocks houses...

Nice lake views and good mix of rocky, wooded terrain. Trail gets extremely muddy in some spots so bring your water-proofs!

4 mile hike. was steep in some areas. has to stop and rest. had to cross a few creeks. one climb was tough and the decent was steep. definitely worth it. the view was beautiful

great trail! some steep areas and long upward climb but a beautiful view. definitely worth it .

Great trail with stunning views and plenty of contour. Three caveats: 1. You will get your feet wet crossing the stream in several places. 2. There are long stretches with no shade, so it can get brutally hot. We baked here in early November. And 3: it is crowded here in the fall, even during the week. That said, we really enjoyed this hike. Took us 3 hours.

We did this hike at a very leisurely pace and stopped to play in the streams and fall foliage so it took us about 3 hours to complete. The leaves had started turning (first weekend of November) and it was pretty but probably in two weeks time more reds will start coming out. It was a good distance and fun walking through streams with some uphill parts which made it slightly more challenging. Try to go early in the morning (I think park opens at 8?) to ensure you’ll get in. We went around noon and the park was completely full so we spent some time at the winery down the road which was also beautiful. On the way back we tried our luck to get in and were lucky enough to get in but if you’re only there for a day I wouldn’t risk it. I would also suggest hiking it in water shoes or teva/Chaco type sandals. A friend of ours went in tennies but another friend and I got to walk through all the streams with our tevas which made for a very refreshing trip. A nice little gem in the Texas hill country!

Eisenhower is a great place to hike. Scenery is very pretty along the way with several lake views along the trail. There are restrooms at multiple points near the trail. Also picnic tables. On 11/4/18, much of the trail was very muddy due to recent rains.

Amazing scenery and wonderful hiking trails. The trees (early November) were already starting to be yellow, orange, and even some red. Well worth the trip from Austin for our 9.41 miles! (This trail + part of West trail to the spring, then down the East-West trail)

Great hike to take the dog and family on. Would be nice to hike the entire loop one day.

backpacking
2 months ago

We just returned from hiking the entire loop around the lake. My first piece of advice would be to check the lake level before you go. 791’ is “normal” and according to a frequent hiker will be mostly dry on trail with a few stream crossings to get your feet wet. We went when the lake was at 799.85’, and it was certainly NOT dry! Ha ha! Still mostly do-able, but certainly more adventurous! (see full description below) Secondly, be SURE to take All Trails with you! There are many intersections without signage. All Trails saved us a lot of heart ache!! I would give the trail 5 stars, (the actual hiking was great!!) but I took off a star for the lack of accurate information, and flat out misinformation provided by some of the park attendants around the lake. They obviously do not hike the trail! For example: do NOT park at Overlook park – even if someone tells you it’s o.k. It isn’t, and you may be towed. Instead, park at Cedar Breaks (It’s free for hikers). But DO stop at the Overlook office and pick up a Topo map. – It’s much better than the Corps of Engineers’ map that you can find online. Also, the mileage is a little off on maps as well as on trail. The map says it’s a 28 mile loop, but there are only 25 mile markers (mm). Our devices clocked us as 28.5 miles, but we had to do some work-arounds to stay dry in a few places. Overall great trail! We saw plenty of deer as well as tracks of other wildlife. The views of the lake were just gorgeous, and well worth the hassle. Trail description:
From Cedar Breaks, the trail is rocky with some fairly steep ups and downs. It’s slick in the rain, but do-able. I would not take a dog on this section without some sort of protection for their paws.
We missed the turn off for Cedar Hollow camp (no sign - just a bare stone column). So we went on to Sawyer Hollow camp. It was fine for hammocks, but ‘meh’ for tents. The designated tent site was rocky and sloped. There are NO toilets there (not that you’d use anyway – see photos). Shortly after Cedar Hollow – between mm 7 and mm 8, we came to water we couldn’t hike around. It was obviously from flooding because there were fire ant colonies floating in it. It was 4 ft. deep (chest-high). Again, the lake level was 799’.
From mm 7 to mm 16, the hiking is easy – through grasslands and much of it on an old dirt / grass road. We ate lunch at Tejas Park. They have chemical toilets and a water fountain as well as picnic tables and trash cans. The bridge was covered in 4ft of fast-flowing water. We were uneasy with the speed of the water, so we chose to not wade through it. The next bridge across would’ve added 10 miles to our hike according to the park host (I have not verified that distance.). We didn’t have that much time, because we wanted to make it to Walnut Springs before dark. So we called Uber(!) to take us just to the other side of the bridge. The cost was $15 plus tip. Approaching Walnut Springs, the grass road we’d been walking was underwater for 150 yards or so. We couldn’t tell the depth or the current in the middle, so we looked for an alternate. There is one on the map, but it is inaccurately marked on the trail. There is a stone column there with some old trailhead names. Coming from the west, turn left and follow the path north and then east to a stream crossing. The path will take you back to the road on the other side of the water. Because of the high lake level / flooding, the stream was 4ft. deep for us. We chose not to try it right before dark (we’d wasted a lot of time on a long lunch, waiting for Uber, and locating the work-around). We were afraid of hypothermia – since the water was super cold and temperatures in the low 50’s, and no chance of a fire that night due to everything being wet. So we stealth camped on the west side (not allowed!). In the morning, we waded through and passed Walnut Springs Camp. There are no toilets. (Well, there are some before the water that look exactly like the ones at Sawyer Hollow – i.e. they’ve been through a hurricane or two.) Walnut Springs Camp looked like a nice spot. There were trees for hammocks. We didn’t sleep there, so I can’t tell you about the tent sites. From mm 16 to Jim Hogg, you get back into some rocky terrain with ups and downs. The ups and downs don’t seem as steep as those near Cedar Breaks, and the rocks are easier too. Jim Hogg is just after mm 21, NOT mm 20 like it says on the online map!!! That last mile is tough when you’re expecting a lunch break! I can’t recommend Hogg as a lunch stop – there are no toilets and no picnic tables. We did get water from a hose behind the check-in building. From Hogg to Overlook is a pretty easy 3 miles. We crossed a few easy streams, and found a work-around for a longer water crossing.
Overlook has State Park style restrooms. From Overlook to Cedar Breaks the "trail" is mostly concrete. Turn right to go over the Dam. Do not cross the road.

trail running
2 months ago

I'm writing this mainly to warn anyone wanting to run it soon (October 23, 2018 today) that the trail from Trail Marker 1 to TM 2 goes into the Lake right now. You can go from TM 3 to the north. These markers are on the map the person in the fee both will give you. Most of the trail is muddy, now, but would be pretty runnable if we had not had so much rain lately. Roots and rocks, but runnable. The northernmost part of the trail, the loop, is in and out of campgrounds and I didn't care for it too much but I still enjoyed myself and got a decent run in by hitting the mostly deserted park road for the last 1.5 miles I did back to my car.

East trail loop was exponentially better than the west, in my opinion. Great place to stay if Garner is booked up. It usually is.

Beautiful hike and creek. Easy for all ages. Also, dog friendly.

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