Photos of Joe Johnston, Twin Oaks and Sendero Balcones Loop

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 505 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

running

forest

views

no dogs

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Government Canyon, while an excellent wildlife habitat, is generally unremarkable. I have been here quite a few times over the last 15 years, mostly to mountain bike. It is one of the least scenic parks in south Texas region. It has some interesting features like the primitive camp or "cooking midden" spot, the Zizelmann house, and the dinosaur tracks, but the trails are largely featureless. I will say the park is worth visiting at least once, if you live within two hours of the place. It certainly is that. The trails are very rocky, the elevation changes are not anything to write home about, and there are few challenging spots along the trails. ALL THAT SAID, it is an EXCELLENT place to birdwatch and to mountain bike. Hiking just not so much. Just as well, I have NOT experienced the back country trails. They have always been closed even during the season when they are supposed to be open. These might be the park's saving grace. The Savanah loop in the front country is quite nice, but short. As a TPWD pass holder, it was free to enter, but if I had no pass, I personally would rather save the entrance fee and hike the Friedrich loop. Much more scenic and challenging.