Cougar Canyon to Hermit's Trace Loop is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Tarpley, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Bandera, TX: Travel south on State Highway 173, go across the Medina River and continue for approximately 1/4 mile to State Highway 1077, turn right and go 10 miles on State Highway 1077 to end of the black top. Continue on the caliche road and follow the park signs to the park headquarters.
Beautiful spot! We hiked several connected trails, at the recommendation of really enthusiastic rangers at headquarters. You'll get plenty of sun on some of the trails, so take precautions for that. I don't know if there was something wrong with the map or with us, but it wasn't clear exactly where Trail 5 went on a couple occasions, so we found alternatives that hooked us back up with 5 later. I tend to prefer to hike in Teva sandals; I'd recommend that you cover your toes a little more or bring hiking poles to help deal with the gravelly downhill portions. We saw all kinds of flora, but not much fauna. Coming from Houston, I was glad to be outside without the imminent threat of mosquitos, or the throngs of people and sounds that come with them. We spent around three hours out on the trails and only saw one other group out there. Highly recommend!
I've run this area for 2 Ultra Marathons, the Cactus Rose 50 Mile'r and the Bandera 50k. These trails are NO JOKE! Really aggressive, but, absolutely AWESOME. Plenty of hills(I call them mt. everests) and great jeep trails and flatter ground. This place is just great.