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    Marie Parks saved Caprock Canyon Rim Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Marie Parks saved Rock Garden Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Big Thicket - Turkey Creek Trail

    over 5 years ago

    When we went on a one-night backpacking hike, we saw literally no one at all until the last 100 feet. You couldn't have asked for a more pleasant hike--the caveat being that this occurred in February. I hear it's scorching in the summer. Even though you're hiking alongside a creek, you can't filter water from it since it is chemically contaminated, which means you have to bring a lot of water with you. That, however, was the only inconvenience of the trail. We loved being able to pick our own campsite anywhere off the path, and we enjoyed all of the cute benches and bridges over the swampy land and under the trees.

    Overall, great, fun hike. Not buggy at all in February, lots of wildlife to see, and not many people in your way!

    Marie Parks reviewed Guadalupe River State Park Loop 2&3

    over 5 years ago

    The trails are nice and well-maintained, great for families, and foot traffic is light to moderate. A burn-affected section of the trail is now eerily beautiful, but most of it is still as lush as it gets in that part of the state. When you get tired, head to the river to wade in the cool, cliff-backed water.

    Marie Parks reviewed Village Creek State Park Trail System

    over 5 years ago

    I agree with Aaron--what a fun place to hike and camp! This state park is very well maintained and the walk-in sites that back up to the creek are secluded and pretty. The only advice I'd offer is to wear long pants and sleeves when hiking; the chiggers are nasty!

    Marie Parks completed Village Creek Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks completed Grandfather Mountain Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Bear Creek Trail

    over 5 years ago

    No doubt that Bryan Lake near the Idaho border is stunning, and the scenery on the 8+ mile hike up is beautiful, but my experience on this trail was tempered by some other factors--nearly all of them our fault. Hopefully my experience will instruct you on how to have a better one!

    First, it was the last two days of a week-long backpacking extravaganza, so I started off tired. Second, it was cold and rainy. Third, this trail has quite a number of creek/shallow river crossings but as it's also for horses, there are no bridges, so all of us ran out of dry shoes and socks and had no way to warm our feet. Fourth, for all its beauty, Bryan Lake is basically a wind tunnel, keeping us cold and making a fire difficult to light even with a wind screen over our camp stove. Fifth, there was evidence that a grizzly bear was on our trail not too far ahead of us, so we had our bear bells jingling and bear spray close at hand; fortunately, we never encountered it, but we were always especially on guard.

    Due to all of the extra energy we spent (shivering, maybe?), we ran through our food much faster than expected and decided to head back down the trail after one night at the lake rather than the two that we had planned. It's beautiful, but I'm afraid I didn't stop to appreciate much of the scenery. Still, I'd go back--just with better planning this time!

    Marie Parks completed Bear Creek Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks saved Saint Mary Peak Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Saint Mary Peak Trail

    over 5 years ago

    This is a fantastic day hike that will leave intermediate hikers puffing for breath--but it's well worth it for the incredible vistas from what feels like the top of the world. Just watch out for the wind, it's killer up there! Definitely bring a jacket, even on warm days. The trail is moderately busy on nice days.

    Marie Parks completed Saint Mary Peak Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Little Rock Creek Lake

    over 5 years ago

    This was one of the most pleasant, scenic and enjoyable hikes I've taken. Start off at the beautiful Lake Como, where there are plenty of folks in boats enjoying the water. If the level is low enough, you can explore an island near the boat ramp. From there, you'll gain quite a bit of elevation, but the wild huckleberries along the way make it well worth it. Little Rock Creek Lake is a gorgeous spot to spend the night and set up a very comfortable camp for fishing, stargazing, cooking, and enjoying the clean mountain air. We met only one or two other groups on the trail the whole time.

    Marie Parks completed Little Rock Creek Lake Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks completed Wolf Mountain Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Garner State Park Trail

    over 5 years ago

    This may have been the most enjoyable camping and hiking I've experienced in Texas yet. The hike up the trail from any trailhead is demanding at first--a steep slope upward--but we found mountain goats and plenty of birds and rodents to amuse us along the way (and serve as a good excuse to stop for a water break). Once on top, the views of the Rio Frio and the surrounding countryside are well worth the effort, and you can happily spend an afternoon wandering around the interconnected trails, which range from sunny and open to shaded and tree-lined. Then, when the heat gets to be too much, head downhill to the river and take a dip; it's appropriately named!

    Marie Parks saved Garner State Park Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks completed Garner State Park Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Goose Island State Park

    over 5 years ago

    My friend and I spent an enjoyable weekend at this park birding, camping and hiking. Definitely bring the mosquito repellent for the more wooded areas, but the wind is strong enough at the beach to keep them away. The dog loved playing in the surf, and there was lots of wildlife to see. The hiking is minimal, and it's predictably hot in the summer, so this was not a primary activity for us.

    Marie Parks completed Lantana Loop

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Palo Duro Canyon State Park Trail

    over 5 years ago

    I hiked Rojo Grande Trail past Painted Rock with my niece and husband in July, and--save the scorching heat--we had a great time. The trail is mostly flat but there is a little bit of shade and enough up-and-down to keep it interesting. We passed several bicyclists and hikers on our short walk. Bring plenty of water, as always.

    Marie Parks reviewed Fall River Road

    over 5 years ago

    This is a fun--if nausea-inducing--scenic drive up to the visitor center atop the mountain. Appreciate the amenities of modern roads as you crawl uphill through endless switchbacks, admiring the views and stopping plenty of times for photos and elk watching along the way. There's even a little hike at the top if you need a chance to stretch your legs.

    Marie Parks completed Old Fall River Road

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Estes Park Area Campgrounds

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks completed Estes Park Area Campgrounds

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Loch Vale Trail

    over 5 years ago

    This is the trail where my husband popped the question. Seriously, the lake is that beautiful.

    Start off at Bear Lake or the trailhead above it and make your way to Alberta Falls, a not-too-demanding climb to a gorgeous waterfall. Past this is a stretch through some classic Colorado tundra, followed by a narrower trail through a rock and boulder-filled area. After that is a series of switchbacks that are challenging--at least for this Houstonian who lives at 40 feet above sea level. They are well worth the effort for the sight at the end, through a grass-filled meadow and stately pines to a pristine, mirror-like mountain lake framed by mountains and glaciers.

    This has been a sentimental place in my family for generations. It's well worth making it one for yours too!

    Marie Parks saved The Loch Lake Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks completed The Loch Lake Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Bear Lake

    over 5 years ago

    This is a sweet, accessible and short hike around a beautiful mountain lake suitable for all ages. It has even become a bit of a family meme, from the time when my cousin and I--both toddlers--marched around it chanting "Bear Lake! Bear Lake!" This is a great family hike, although it can get crowded.

    Marie Parks completed Bear Lake Nature Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Fern Lake Trail

    over 5 years ago

    This is a fun hike with plenty of places to stop and take in the sights on the way. It's not as breathtaking as some of the views in RMNP, but it's definitely pretty. I started with my parents, and we made it past Arch Rocks, by my mom decided to stop at The Pool and let Dad and me go ahead. It gets steeper from there, so that may be a good goal for those who don't want as challenging of a climb. You can hear Fern Falls before you can see it--a welcome sound after all of those switchbacks! The lake above is beautiful, so definitely push ahead if you have time. We didn't see much traffic on the trail the whole time.

    Marie Parks completed Fern Lake Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Alberta Falls Trail

    over 5 years ago

    I love this sweet, tree-lined hike to an even more gorgeous goal. It's a short enough walk that you'll often find painters who have carried their supplies up the trail standing by the falls capturing the beauty of the falls on canvas.

    Keep going if you can--there are even greater rewards farther up this trail!

    Marie Parks completed Alberta Falls Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Memorial Park Trails

    over 5 years ago

    Marie Parks reviewed Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Trail

    over 5 years ago

    The Houston Arboretum is a fantastic place to retreat from the city without leaving it. Plenty of people bring their dogs and kids and enjoy exploring the native plants the Arboretum cultivates, but it usually doesn't feel too congested. Within the inner loop trail is an agility/low ropes course targeted for youth and several board walks where you're almost guaranteed to find fish and turtles. I've also seen armadillos and opossums while walking.

    Unfortunately during the drought of 2011, the Arboretum has suffered, but supporting this nonprofit and community resource is important in times like this especially, so don't let it stop you from visiting and taking a few minutes to check out the visitor center and all of the courses and activities they offer.

    Marie Parks completed Memorial Park Trails

    almost 6 years ago

    Marie Parks completed Pine Gully Trail

    almost 6 years ago