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Whole upper trail from the junction to the north end is now closed. The environmentalists won. Don't bother going anymore. Can still do the bottom stub until they close that too.
We were going to do the loop starting on the south end but saw the closure so decided to start from the north. You can actually go about 1.25 miles from the north, ending just after the longest staircase. Not an ideal situation but at least we got a 75 minute EXHAUSTING hike in. The species didnt die off since the trail opened, maybe they can just ban dogs from that portion, or maybe route the path along the edge of the golf course. Birds aren't dumb, they'd move, there is plenty of room there that has no trail on it. Be forewarned, other parks could be next (like at Forest Ridge)
"Madrones" trail is now "Yaupon". There is a "Ledge" trail not on the map (connects two main trails below Laurel) and "Woodland" which may be a new trail that goes up the middle. Part of "Creek" Trail has now been moved. You have to follow up Woodland, and then a ways up, take a right, go by a new "overlook" and then back down to where the original trail crosses the creek. They are apparently trying to restore that part of the (now waterless) creek. I'm still upset with them for not putting "exit" signs down there as my GF was lost down there for hours. Yeah they have maps near the bldg but if you dont take one, youre pretty much screwed as youre lucky to ever see anyone out there (though that does make it a bit more appealling). This is very much a down, down, down hike til you get to the creek then its a way up and a way down on Yaupon. coming back of course is UP UP UP so be ready! Nice park though.
We took the eastern part before, so this time we hiked form the Hwy 496 entrance to the west. The western part is not well labeled as we hit a fork, to the right ended in the lake, to the left hit a jeep trail which we followed. According to this map somehow we would go down the middle. Eventually we saw some pink ribbons and turned off the jeep trails but that seemed to end too. According to the map here that was the right way. Eastern half is definitely the nicer half of the trail, but you can hike west til the 2nd crossing, about 15 minutes west of the hwy 496 entrance. Good luck finding the scout camp.
Decided to hit the north end before Barton Pool got popular. Really enjoyed the north end. So much to enjoy on every part of this hike, though it is more fun with water. Bunch of kids climbed up to a cave up in the hill.