Hiking at Milton Reimer’s Ranch 8-16-2015

Pedernales River

Pedernales River

I looked at the temperature and it said that it was 92 degrees and the high would only be 97 for the day. So, I thought to myself that it would be a good day to explore a couple of new (to me) sites that were comparatively close.

I promised myself that I would only go and scope out the first one, the Milton Reimer’s Ranch off Hamilton Pool Road. I packed my cameras just in case there would be some decent pictures even though I promised myself that I would spend most of my time in the car.

I had passed this site several times on my drives around the countryside and knew exactly where it was located. Turns out that it was only 15 miles form my house just the other side of Bee Caves. I spent an interesting ten minutes talking to the Travis County Parks guard lady that was manning the booth as she explained to me the layout of the park and the different trails. This park caters for hikers, horses and mountain bikers. I told her that I was just going to explore with a view to coming back at a later date to actually do some hiking and she thought that a great idea as it was so hot. The park has a total of 500 acres and is set along the Pedernales River which has cut quite a deep gorge through this part of it’s long and winding course. Incidentally, the entry fee is waived for people over 62.

Interesting rock formation

Interesting rock formation

I took off along a windy two lane road for about 4 miles until I came to the first of four trail-heads. This one is the biggest of the trail-heads and has access to trails, swimming in the river and rock climbing along with restrooms and pavilions for picnics and gatherings. It also has three separate scenic overlooks which I plan to visit at another time. This was the busiest of the trail-heads probably because it has swimming facilities.

I pulled out of this stop and on to the next one which was a smaller than the first but had more or less the same conveniences. All four of the trail-heads have access to the River although the trails are designated as Primitive meaning that they can be a little difficult with the rocky terrain and the steepness of the slope.

At the third trail-head, I got out of my car for a look around and sort of half got ready to walk just a little bit. I put on my hat with the neck protector and grabbed my camera bag and walking staff and decided to climb down to the river to get a few shots. The trail was decidedly primitive and I had to take a considerable amount of care as I clambered down the rocky terrain. I wished that I had changed into my hiking boots but I was not about to go back as I was nearly at the bottom. The river bed is fully fifty or more yards wide but there was not much water flowing and I had to walk a bit to get to it. I took pictures of everything and there were some impressive rock faces all around me. Another couple passed by and like most hikers, acknowledged me with a wave which I returned.

Showing the river's width.

Showing the river’s width.

I looked at the lower trail and decided, what the heck and started walking along it following the flow of the river. The trail was pretty easy most of the way although by now, the temperature was probably close to 100 degrees but I felt good and was really glad to be out, walking. There are some very interesting rock formations and caves along the way. I followed the trail until I came to a spot where another stream flowed into the river. This stream was dry and it looked liked the trail went in two different directions. One was to continue along the river bank and the other went up the hill on a pretty steep incline to bring me back to the upper trail. I opted to go upwards and again, it required taking a lot of care as I literally scaled the rocks to go upwards. When I reached the top, it brought me to a gravel path which was the upper trail and I headed back in the direction of my car taking pictures along the way as I went. This trail as with the lower trail, has information boards about the local scenery, animals trees and other interesting information. It was much easier walking as I eventually reached the parking lot and my car. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and sat a while resting from my exertions. At one time, the Park Ranger drove by checking the lots but as my car was the only one in this lot, moved on quickly.

Easy trail

Easy trail

I drove to the next trail-head which was the last one and similar to the one I had just left. This one also has a climbing area for those willing to risk their necks. I probably covered about three miles in the hike that I took. So much for not hiking because it’s too hot…

Altogether, there are about 18 miles of trails of various kinds including Primitives, Hike and Bike and Multi-use which includes horse riders. The scenery is a mix of typical Texas hill country grassland dotted with trees and shrubs. After all. it is designated as ranch land. Some evergreen oaks close to the river are of a good size.There were signs of fire although none of them recent.

I plan on going back to hike one of the longer trails and this time, I will remember to change into my walking boots.

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