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CITY HIKES: CEDAR HILL STATE PARK (With the Dreaded Rattlesnake Alley & Caveman Crossing)

My tour of DFW Hiking Trails took me south of Dallas today to Cedar Hill. The GPS said I had an hour-long drive ahead of me but it was much shorter than that. Cedar Hill State Park is actually only 20 miles from downtown Dallas and 30 miles from downtown Fort Worth (according to their website¬†http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/cedar-hill). We made it in about 40 minutes and I say WE because I got to bring a buddy today! Several friends have asked to join me on these hikes (Come on! The more the merrier! Plus I’ll need someone to carry me when I inevitably step on a rattlesnake). Today Shannon made the trip with me. Shannon is tons of fun and a fast-walker (Dang woman, SLOW DOWN!) but she also brought along a weapon, “Just in case.” It was a heavy black stick on a key-chain so I renamed it her “Bitch Stick.”

I’ll just say right now that I LOVED Cedar Hill State Park. It is thick with cedars and far enough away from the city to feel a little remote. There are 8-mile and 12-mile trails but Shannon and I tried the quickest 3-mile loop. It’s well-defined and there’s enough uphill travel to constitute a solid workout (especially if you’re running to keep up with your friend). We were able to complete it in just over one hour. I can’t wait to go back and check out some of the other trails at Cedar Hill State Park, which have THE BEST names. There’s Poison Ivy Alley, Copperhead Corner and my personal favortie Caveman Crossing.

Cedar Hill State Park is next to Joe Pool Lake so you can rent a campsite nearby and swim in a little roped off beach. This actually has me excited about bringing my kids for a campout and if you know me, you know that’s a big deal. My kids have never slept in a tent before so I’m anxious about camping multiple days. CHSP is perfect because it’s close but the woods are thick enough to offer a true camping experience. Plus there are bathrooms EVERYWHERE! Look at this!

FullSizeRender-46See? That’s a tiny potty in there! And it’s clean!

We once again had NO animal encounters, which might be a good thing since there are rumors of a black panther in the park (It might also be attributed to the nonstop girl-chatter during our hike). The elusive panther doesn’t stop me from giving Cedar Hill State Park a full 5 out of 5 stars because it is simply beautiful. OH, CHSP also gets a 0 out of 10 on my Creep-O-Meter because it never once felt creepy. It has nothing to do with Shannon’s fearsome “Bitch Stick” either because SOMEBODY forgot and left it in the car!

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