Quirky Park, Tons of Shade; Trail Markers Please!

Trail through a Cedar Brake
If you head northwest-ish, you enter a dense cedar grove with some nice little hills for variety.
User: plectrudis - 4/24/2017

Location: Stephenson Preserve

Rating: 3stars
Difficulty: 1point5stars  Solitude: 3stars
Miles Hiked: 2.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A


There were parts of this trail that I really liked, and parts that were really annoying, so I guess that adds up to a 3 out of 5?

The best part: tons of shade--one of the shadiest trails in Austin--I love that!  There's a mixed deciduous woodland and a big cedar brake, and I was in shade more than 85% of the time, I think.

Also, the locals clearly have a quirky, artsy aesthetic, as the trail is decorated with metal yard art at various spots.  Not lots of it--just the occasional tucked-away piece to surprise you as you walk along.  This is fun.

The less good: botanically, it was a bit of a yawn for me--very little was blooming, and what there was is super-common--mostly horseherb and weedy non-native carrot relatives.  I did see a good bit of pearl milkvine in bloom, but overall, it was a bit ho-hum for a plant peeper.

And the worst part, as almost everyone else has mentioned, is the lack of any properly marked trails.  I was worried about getting lost, so although I took a number of random side trails, I ended the hike at 2 miles out of fear of losing my way.  I'm usually looking for a 3-5-mile hike after work, so this is not really satisfactory.

However, the shade will definitely bring me back, especially in the dog days of summer.

Log Photos
Trail through a Cedar Brake
Off the Paved Path
A Green Grove of Mesquite
Quirky Yard Art - Smiling Heart
Quirky Yard Art - Jester
Area around Stephenson Preserve