Monday, April 25, 2022

Hiking Many Trails–Palmetto SP, Texas

CCC Pavilion
Civilian Conservation Core Pavilion

Trail MapSeveral trails at this State Park are connected to each other along the way, so this hike covered a bunch of them in the same trip.  I think my favorite area of the park was along the Mesquite Flats Trail.  There are a lot of bridges, I think I counted fifteen of them, that span areas that would be marshy in the wet season.

Trailview-10Along the way, there is sign that identifies the Mud Boils which went extinct about fifty years ago.  It struck me as odd that an active geological feature could have stopped relatively suddenly so soon ago.  I could only speculate that the amount of rainfall that fed the aquifer must have dropped off, which had the effect of drying up the spring that fed the boil.  My favorite spot along this trail though was a bridge at the southernmost part of the park.  The bridge spanned a dry creek, and was right on the border of the forest and an open field (farmland, I believe).  This was one of the quietest spots around with a gentle breeze blowing and the only sound being that a few birds in the trees.  I stayed here for a at least ten or fifteen minutes just enjoying the solitude.

Another point of interest along these trails is the Artesian Well pump that was built by the Civilian Conservation Core and is still operating today.  Originally this well delivered drinking water up to the pavilion, while today it is used to maintain water levels throughout the wetlands/marsh.

Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was the mood, but this was one of my favorite hikes.  I seemed to have all of the trails to myself, and it is just a beautiful area.

Campsite at Plametto SP Ranger Station CCC Placard
Trail to the San Marcos River San Marcos River-Downstream Trailview-1
Mud boils - recently extinct Bench along the way Field Flowers
Blue Flowers CCC Artesian Well Artesian well description
San Marcos RIver by Trail-1 San Marcos RIver by Trail-2 Trailview-16

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