Saint Edwards park is kind of a hidden gem. It is nestled on Spicewood Springs Road between Anderson Mill Road and Highway 360. The park covers roughly 80 square acres and has roughly 2.7 miles of trails. As far as trail difficulty, most of them are easy with little to no climbing. A few spots do require some coordination, such as this one.
There are 3 different parking areas as you can see on the map at the top. I will warn you that although it has never happened to me, The Lady has told me of a few break-ins. However I would think you’d be OK by simply not leaving valuables in sight. There is also not that many parking spots. It’s not uncommon to see cars parked along the road.
There isn’t any public water so if you come on a hot day, be sure and bring plenty of water. Nor are there any restrooms, though you’d have little trouble finding yourself a tree or shrub should nature call. 🙂
Finally, one particular charm this park has is that the stream that wiggles its way through has a tendency to flood. Even a lite rain can make some of the trail and road crossings an interesting affair, which I’ll talk more about later. When not in a flooded state the small stream provides a beautiful backdrop to the parks trail system. A 30 foot high cliff runs along the southern bank of the stream and seems to continuously have water drops falling from the top. It makes for a very peaceful area.
A little further south, the stream goes from a two or so feet to well over 8. Many people tank advantage of the cool clear water to relieve themselves of the all too common 100+ degrees that is the Texas summer.
If you wanted to extend your hike the you could continue following the trail south as it connects to the North Bull Creek trail system, which itself connects to South Bull Creek trail. You could have quite the adventure if you choose!
The trails that spider the park are well kept and easy to follow. The upper bluffs and lower bank trails tend to be wide enough for two people to walk side by side, while the trails that connects the two is more of a single file affair. The upper bluff trails are mostly grassy open fields. Various flower will dot the sides in the spring, though during the summer months it can get quite hot. The trail that runs along the river is canopied by large Oak,Elm and Cottonwood tree of various species.
A few those trees are home to hanging ropes that allow a daring person to swing into the deeper parts of the stream. The large trees provide plenty of shade and a welcome relief from the beating sun.
All in all it is a wonderful park and well worth the trip!
The Reason in the Hike
If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know of a couple that we like to hang out with, Curls and The Nerd. A short while ago they both had their birthday. For a while The Lady and have wanted to do something nice for them. After our first two attempts of doing two different events blew up like an “exploding raft” we thought a hike and picnic would be nice. Well The Lady got real busy and the picnic turned into a restaurant, but time with friends was all that mattered. So The Lady and I met Curls and The Nerd at one of the parking lots and set off!
The Trails Along the River
We decided to head along the North trail first. This would lead to a road that seems to have a permanent overflow of water that is 6 to 12 inches deep. So we walked through the fields of grass and shrubbery , Curls and The Lady chatting about… whatever they were chatting about. The Nerd and I were discussing a new game I purchased the day before, Pillars of Eternity. The weather was nice and then it also wasn’t. When the sun was shyly hiding behind the clouds, it would be a little chilly, and when it peaked out, it would be a little warm. On and off, on and off, on and off the coats would go. In any case onward we walked until we came upon the first obstacle.
It doesn’t look like much, and to anyone who ever hikes, it really isn’t. And really the only reason it gave us trouble is because The Lady’s knees don’t take kindly to big rocks and large steps. Add to that, Curls has been dealing with some bad hip issues. So The Nerd and I provided balance in the form of a hand for our respective ladies.
With that we were off. Every now and then the trail would have a cut off that would go to the stream. You can see here the upstream portion. I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s peaceful and pretty in it’s own way.
After helping The Lady and Curls once again cross a small water crossing via a couple of logs, one of those interesting crossings I mentioned above, we came up to the road that the stream seems to constantly flowing over.
It’s hard to tell, but if you look to the left you can see a bit of pavement leading into the water. That would be the road. Today it was only around 6 inches, but that’s with no rainfall in the past few days. As you can see, it would be quite easy for the road to be flooded out with any sort of decent rain. If you were follow the road to the left, you’d find a number of houses. Seeing as this is the only road in or out, getting stuck would be rather easy. But don’t feel to bad, I swear one of those houses has it’s own heliport. 🙂
Before turning back, the crew posed for me. You think this is some sort of hidden message? I hope not. Best not anger them I think.
We made our way back, taking the same trail we walked in on. When we got to where we started, we continued on taking another trail that headed south along the stream. You can’t tell here, but the stream is maybe 20 feet to the right of us.
You can also kind of tell from the above photo the amount of flooding that can take place. All of the trees on their sides were knocked down from the rain Austin experienced in the past two months. Here is a much better example, though I believe this one happened a while ago.
When kept walking until we got to the area where we came found 8 or 9 nine teenage girls and an older woman whom I presume was the mother of one of them. Apparently they had just climbed out of the stream after taking a short dip. Upon asking if the water was cold I got an enthusiastic…
What, you people are wimps!
The mother smiled at me and said, ‘all of the above’. I decided to find out for myself and dipped my finger in. I guess I would have fallen in the ‘wimp’ category, and this coming from a guy who dives in 40ish degree water every winter!
Waving goodbye to our new cold friends, we set off once more. I would stop every once in a while to snap a photo of the flowers.
Curls and The Lady would stop to hug a tree.
Teach each their own I suppose. After another 20 minutes we came to our turnaround point. It was a small Dam that spread across the stream. I have no idea what purpose it had, but there it was doing it Dam thing. I took this while standing in the middle of the Dam looking upstream. The cover photo is in the same spot, but looking downstream.
With that, we headed back to the cars. The entire walk lasted about 1 1/2 hours. Not to long, not to short. Perfect.
For lunch we tried a new place called The Soup Peddler. Because of Curls hip problems, she has been on a veggie diet, I don’t know how she lives, so The Lady and I choose this place for their vegan options. To keep it short I’ll just say that everyone really enjoyed their respective dishes. Heck I might even go back for their Tomato Soup! If you happen to come across one, I’d say give it a try!
As always, the full album of pictures can be found here.
Thanks for reading!by