Trail Building At Colorado Bend State Park From The Start

Alvis and Dawn had been volunteers at Colorado Bend State Park with the cave project before the park was ever open.  After they discovered mountain biking, they got to thinking that Colorado Bend would be a great place for mountain bike trails!  They knew that if they could get their mountain biking/trail building friend, Rusty, hooked on Colorado Bend, then they could build some really great multi-use trails there for hiking, biking and running.  They first  checked with Cory Evans, then superintendent of the park, and got his blessing to pursue the project.  The day they planned to ‘hook’ Rusty was Memorial Day 2007.    It had rained to the point of flooding during that time and the low water crossing was flooded when they arrived, so they went back into Lampasas, ate lunch, and returned to see the water level lower and trucks making it across.  (Click on the pictures to make them bigger.)

Alvis'-Truck-Crossing

Gorman Falls was absolutely amazing!  In all the years Alvis and Dawn had been volunteering at the park, they’d never seen the falls like this before!

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The three looked at the lay of the land, checked out different areas of the park to put trail, took a lot of notes, and having hooked Rusty, made plans.  The flowers were gorgeous!  The whole park was gorgeous!  There were interesting ‘creatures’ to behold.  Rusty still likes to tell the story of how he saw Alvis levitate when he almost stepped on the snake pictured below!

Alvis in Flower Field Wine Cup Flower

Cliff Wall View of River and Falls

Strange & Pretty Creature Snake

One of the places they noted to build trail was this tree.  Eventually riders would have a choice to ride through or around what became known as the V-Tree.

Ride-Thru Tree

From Memorial Day 2007 to March 2008 a lot of work was put into laying out and flagging trail by Rusty, Alvis and Dawn.  Finally the trail was ready to build.  There were 7 people on the first trail building crew (L to R) for Tie Slide Trail on March 29, 2008:  Alvis, Bob (front), Rusty (back), Jorge, Dora and Sam.  Dawn took the picture.

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Group working.  Picture taken by Rusty.

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Ranger Kevin Ferguson came out for a visit with the volunteers as they worked.  Kevin was over the trail building project the first several years.

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Before and After Pictures

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The project works on Saturday and plays on Sunday.  The work crew all mounted mountain bikes on Sunday.

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They did some riding…

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some exploring…

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and even put wheels on the new trail!

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April 2008 was a trail building weekend as well as an Earth Day event so the volunteer crew was split.  Those who worked on trails also got in on some of the caving trips as well as Gorman Falls.

Getting Ready To Work Group Photo

Group-shot Mama,-Paul,-Aunt-Millie

On May 2-3, 2008 four of the original crew from March 2008 went out and did some trail work, some maintenance work, and some mountain biking.  Below are pictures of Sam taking out a dead tree, Rusty fixing a table at the conference center, and Rusty, Alvis and Dawn mountain biking.

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Rusty, Dawn, Alvis on bikes View 1

The project always takes a break in the summer, partially due to the heat and mostly due to the snakes!  The weekend of September 19-21, 2008 saw the start-up of the project again and there was a snake sighting.  It was found out later that this snake with the black tail was rather rare and special.  We didn’t mess with him except to get his picture, and he was happy to leave us alone as well.

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The hike to Gorman Falls was needing a trail to get hikers off of the road.  The volunteers chainsawed, raked, snipped, chopped, moved brush, weedeated and did whatever was necessary to make this trail.

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A river cleanup was planned for this particular weekend as well and several of the volunteers loaded their kayaks with trash from the river.

Eddie

There is almost always a mountain bike ride on Sundays on these weekends and this month was no exception.

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A small group of volunteers went to the park the weekend of October 10-12, 2008 to manicure trails and get ready for the Friends Fall Festival weekend in two weeks.  They also got a bit of trail building in. In preparation for the festival, the volunteers mowed the grassier trails…

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…cleared fallen trees off the trails

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and did some much needed manicuring.

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While they were there, having finished the manicuring necessary for the event, they move on to trail building.  Here are a couple of nice before and after shots.

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The weekend of October 24-25, 2008 was a double-purpose weekend:  Trail Building and the Friends Fall Festival put on by the Friends of Colorado Bend State Park.  The trail crew continued working on the trail to Gorman Falls, cutting into the woods, snipping, raking, hoeing, and removing roots.  A family of 6 joined the crew and those kids worked as hard as the adults!

Working-Paul-Alvis-Rusty Keith-Working-On-Stump

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Of course everyone who wanted to got to go caving.  This was when Gorman Cave was gated much farther in than it is now and the gate made a great place for a family portrait!

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The group mountain biking trip was a lot of fun as well.  We even picked up an extra rider!  This is a must-see view on Dogleg Canyon Trail.

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The trail building crew continued work on Tie Slide Trail the weekend of November 21-23, 2008 with 7 volunteers who cut limbs, shagged brush, removed rocks, and manicured the trail(photographer not shown.)

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One of the cool things about building trail is that interesting things seem to pop up.  This snake and scorpion were found when a rock was removed.

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One before and after shot.

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Another group of 7 came to work on Tie Slide Trail on December  12-14, 2008.

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Remember the V-Tree that Alvis, Dawn, and Rusty found the first weekend out when Alvis and Dawn were hooking Rusty on the park?  Here it is groomed and ready for hikers and mountain bikers.  The ‘before’ picture is above, under Memorial Day 2007.

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The sky put on quite a show this weekend with a big moon at sunrise and a beautiful sunset!

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Rather than riding the trails, this group decided to hike Spicewood Springs Trail.  This is one of the must-see hikes and it now can be made into a 3 mile loop by adding Spicewood Canyon Trail which wasn’t yet built at this time.

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A huge crew came on January 23-25, 2009, everyone from young children old enough to help to grandparents!  There were 20 volunteers in all!  Everyone grabbed the tool of their choice and got to work on Dogleg Canyon Trail.  This was by far one of the rockiest and labor intensive areas of trail we’d worked on.

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Group Working 2

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It took a lot of rock moving and strong backs to get this part of the trail built!

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Here’s a 4 picture sequence to show an area of trail from start to finish.

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On February 20-22, 2009 the trail crew re-worked The River Trail.  Up until this point, bikes weren’t permitted past a drainage area that had been washed out.  The trail crew went about fixing the washout and then continued on down the trail, clearing brush and making the trail usable for bikes as well as feet.  By the end of the weekend, the “No” (bikes) part of the sign had been temporarily covered with an arrow until a new sign could be made and bikes were allowed to ride the River Trail.

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The DR (super mower) and chainsaw made a good path for the groomers to follow.

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March 20-22, 2009 was a day trip and the crew was small, only 5.  The part of Lemon’s Ridge Pass that existed at the time had become grown up and eroded.  They rerouted several areas of the trail and groomed the rest.  Pictured are the volunteers who came and two sets of before-and-after shots of the trail that was worked.

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April  17-19,2009 the numbers were back up.  The crew started to “rough cut” the extension of Lemon’s Ridge Pass.  Part of the goal was to get ready for the next weekend’s Earth Day activities that the park was holding.

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A great deal of work went into opening up this rock slot.  The 4 before-during-after shots are looking down the rock slot.  The ‘group’ shot is looking up the rock slot.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009 was Earth Day at Colorado Bend State Park.  Various activities were offered for park guests for this annual fundraiser/event.  New this year was a bluegrass jam at the conference center.  ‘Pickers’ from all around brought their acoustic instrument(s) and joined in.  Those who didn’t play enjoyed listening.

Group 2

Dustin, Dawn, Paul

Mama, Peggy, Barbara, Joe

Gorman Falls is always a draw.

Alvis,-McKenzie,-Joe,-Falls McKenzie,-Joe,-First-Look

One of the caver volunteers hung a rope from a tree at the conference center and gave people a chance to try out climbing a rope like cavers do.

Rope-2

Rope-4 Rope-5

Mountain Biking is great exercise and a lot of fun.  A group of mountain bikers enjoyed the trails and the views that came with them!

Genia,-Janice,-Dawn,-Alvis, Rickey

Rickey Janice,-Overlook

Rickey,-Dawn,-Genia,-Janice on Overlook

Nice-View---Genia

It was a fun and tiring day.  Thanks to all of our volunteers, some of whom are pictured below.

Wayne,Kevin,Alvis,Rickey,Genia

Jennifer-Brian-Dustin

Nathan-&-Brittany

September 18-20, 2009 was the beginning of another trail building season.  After taking the summer off, work was continued on Lemons Ridge Pass.

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One group cut and removed brush while the next group groomed the trail.

1-Scott-+ 3-Girl-Group

Gorman Falls was flowing and beautiful.

Gorman Falls

There were two groups of mountain bikers this time, a group that took the easier trails and a group that took the harder trails.  There was beauty on both rides such as the rocks along the River Trail and the Dogleg Canyon Overlook.

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Launch-Shot-WebToSend Alvis at Overlook

October 9-11, 2009 brought out another group of trail builders.  Ranger Kevin (2nd from right) came out to greet everyone before the work started.

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Kathy,-Justice Different-Ways-To-Cut-Trees Sam,-Rickey

1---1st 2---Last

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The Friends Fall Festival at the park was on October 17, 2009.  This was a small group of our volunteers that day.  There were many more.

Group-Photo

Gorman Cave was still open at that time and tours were given all day long.  These were some of the groups that went caving with our guides.

1 - Rickey's Group At the CC 2 - No the dog didn't cave

4 - Hiking to the Cave 10 - At the Entrance

11 - At the Entrance 12 - At the Entrance

Opportunities for bike rides were also available.  Some folks took the bike riding seriously and brought a trailer full of bikes!

All-Those-Bikes

Donna-&-Bruce Donna

November 21-22, 2009 brought another trail building weekend, this time with a lot of rain and the low water crossing flooded like on that Memorial Day weekend in 2007.

Crossing Over

After the water receded and our group made it across, we were ready to continue building Lemons Ridge Pass Trail!

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Of course with all the rain, Gorman Falls was amazing!

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December 11-13, 2009 finished our the calendar year, though the trail building season runs from September/October through April/May.  More time was spent building Lemon’s Ridge Pass.

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Looking toward the future, several of the volunteers went to scope out the area that would some day hold Spicewood Canyon Trail.  This was probably the first time the group saw this view of the Colorado River that now can be seen any time from the trail.

Nice View by Rusty

Of course mountain biking is a great choice during free time!

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January 22-24, 2010 brought out a bigger-than-normal group of volunteers.  Some very nice before/after pictures were captured.

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February 19-21, 2010 brought out a large group who arrived in two shifts, so we got a large group shot and two extra trail pics that included the four who arrived a little later.

Trail-Crew

Group-Posing KayleighHannahMargot

This time out had some great before/after pics.  This group of 4 pictures (before/during/after) shows the process of trail building pretty well.

1-Scott 4-Everyone-pitches-in

7-Closer 9-Finished

Another group of 4 pictures before/during/after shots.  Many times the trail sections are built one day and ridden the next!

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5-Finishing-Touches-2 BefMidAft2-Jeff

Two more sets of before/after pictures.

1-Before 2-After

1-Start 3-Finished

While building trails, there are always interesting diversions.  This perfectly round hole in a rock grabbed everyone’s attention, as did the buzzard eggs in a cave!

PerfectlyRoundHoleInRock 3-Eggs-in-surroundings

Gorman Falls was flowing beautifully!

Side View 2 Full Falls 3 Full Falls 2

Of course there were bike rides to try out the new trail!

All-Riders

1-AllisonEmily CoolRockySection-Scott

3-MargotJeff Experienced-Group-2

March 19-21, 2010 was cold and wet, but that didn’t stop people from coming out and continuing to build Lemons Ridge Pass Trail.  Some got there early enough on Friday to do a little work.  Rusty had transformed a leaf blower into a stump grinder and after Alvis moved dirt and rocks away from the stumps, Rusty’s new machine made them go away.

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Stump StumpMetStumpgrinder2

Saturday more people joined in on building the trail.  One of the girls found a very pretty green snake and many pictures were taken.

Allison Alvis-2

Buddy-3 Dawn-3

George-3 Robin

Scott Emily-&-Green-Snake-3

Before and After Shots

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Gorman Falls was beautiful!

Full First View from George Falls from the Side & Pool

Side Falls-Pool From Bottom Falls - Vertical

April 16-18, 2010 brought out more volunteers to work on Lemons Ridge Pass.  This month we welcomed some of the Austin Ridge Riders as well as others.  The trail builders first got with Ranger Kevin, the park ranger over our project, and then got to work.

Talking-with-Kevin

Alvis,-Peter-2 Charlie,-Michael

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Judi,-Emily-2 Rachel

Jack-Carroll

Rickey-2 Scott

Below are 2 sets of Before/After shots.

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1 2 3

Of course, along with the work comes the play!  This bike ride included Dogleg Canyon and the nice views that come with it.

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This trip into Gorman Cave (now closed) was a lot of fun!

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Climb Down - Peter Crawl - Michael

Emily & Mite-Tite Group-in-the-Passage

Tight-Crawl---Charlie Tight-Crawl---Rachel

Usually the trail building season is September through April, but occasionally that changes.  This season the crew was so close to finishing one section of Lemons Ridge Pass that they decided make one more trip in order to complete it.  This was done the weekend of May 21-23, 2010.  Three of the crew got there early on Friday to get some maintenance done on the River Trail.

Alvis-&-DR Rusty-&-Weedwacker-2

Dawn-&-Snippers Dawn-&-Vines-2

The rest of the crew was there early Saturday morning.  Their goal to finish the current portion of trail was reached.

Trail-Crew

Emily,-Rickey,-Chris-H Chris-L.,-Melody

Group

The crew found a tree growing in a tree!

Tree-in-a-tree-&-Rusty Tree-in-a-tree

Of course, there was time to enjoy the park after the work day.  Part of the group went caving.

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Some went mountain biking.

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This is where the FINISHED Lemons Ridge Pass met the Lively area after the work day.

Lively-meets-Lemons

Some of the group finished the weekend with a swim in the river.

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September 10-12, 2010 was our first time back after the hot and snakey summer break.  It was still remarkably hot and the decision was made not to go until the END of September from now on!  Work was started on the connector trail between the Lively area of the park and Gorman Falls parking lot after visiting with Ranger Kevin.

0-Group 2 Talking with Kevin 3

3 Group Working 3 Finishing Up

During this trip, a really cool moth was spotted!

Moth - perspective Moth

The hike along Gorman Creek to Gorman Spring was beautiful.  The group could see where a beaver had been.

1st Crossing 2 BeverWasHere

View View & ShariChrisHJuan

Parting Shot:  There is no telling what these folks are looking at, but it’s obviously interesting!

Look

On September 28, 2010, Rusty, Alvis and Dawn made a special trip to CBSP to film the official video, Mountain Biking at Colorado Bend State Park.  It took from just after noon until dark to film the minute and a half segment, but Abe, the videographer, was very thorough and the video came out great!  One of the park hosts aided in the filming as well.  Here you see the setup for the interviews with Dawn getting the mic clipped to her jersey and Alvis and the park host making the lighting right for Rusty’s interview.

Dawn Getting Mic Filming Rusty's Interview

After the interviews, Abe set the camcorder on Rusty’s bike.  Each rider had the camcorder set on their bike at one time or another.

Setting CamCorder

The same shot was taken over and over, sometimes catching the riders, sometimes just catching the wheels or other specific shots.

Filming the riders 2 Filming Wheels

You can view the final version of the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLcItBMvqT8

October 23, 2010 was a double duty day.  The Friends of Colorado Bend State Park put on the Friends Fall Festival and Bluegrass Jam to introduce people to the park and raise a bit of money to buy some necessities for the park that weren’t covered in the budget.  It was also a trail building weekend.  The group of volunteers divided into a group to help with the FFF and a group to continue building trail.

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The Friends group had just bought a brush hog for the park that was displayed for all to see.  The signs tell the story.

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Visitors paid their entrance fees, signed in, and enjoyed the park and the bluegrass music.  The bluegrass band, Dueling Hearts, performed in the afternoon.

TaylorContingent-&-Peggy

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Inside-Jammin-7

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Park Superintendent Cory Even’s family enjoyed the day along with everyone else.

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This family oriented day was fun for all ages.

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Moms&Kids

Playing-on-the-Lawn Playing-on-the-Lawn-2

This group of seniors, ranging in age from 60 to 90 years old, enjoyed hiking the Gorman Springs Trail with the help of one of the volunteers.

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3---Hiking-2 13-Gorman-Springs-2

A group of cyclists, posing around the new brush hog, decided to ride the new trails that had been built.

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While the Friends Fall Festival and Bluegrass Jam was going on, the rest of the volunteers were busy building trail.

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Here’s a nice before/after shot of some of their work that day.

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November 19-21, 2010 brought out a small, but hearty group of trail builders.

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Impressive Before/After Pics

Before After

The group also did a mountain bike ride, hiked Spicewood Springs Trail and flagged Spicewood Canyon Trail to be built at a later date.  Gorman Falls was low, but nice, and one armadillo didn’t mind being photographed!

8-Green-Travertine 9-Waterfall-2

Armadillo-2

December 3-5, 2010 continued the work on the connector trail from the Gorman Falls parking lot to the Lively area.  The sunrise on Saturday morning was striking!

Sunrise

The trail builders were ready and got a lot done!

Group

For some reason, January tends to bring out large groups of volunteers, and January 22-24, 2011 was no exception.

Group

People are always finding a cactus that looks like a heart here and there, but this guy found two growing from the same place!

Two-Cactus-Hearts

This before/after shot is actually a during/after shot since the chainsaw has obviously taken care of a few branches already!

Before After

February 18-20, 2011 brought out another good group of volunteers.

Group-Shot-Cropped

This man and his best friend found the trail we were building from the road to the top of Spicewood Springs where the Spicewood Canyon Trail would eventually intersect.  He got in on the ‘after’ part of the before/after pictures.

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This sequence of pictures shows the trail building process.

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Along with the trail building, this group also did some more trail recon for Spicewood Canyon Trail and also enjoyed the park on foot and on two wheels.

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March 18-20, 2011 brought out a small and hearty group of volunteers.  They continued building trail from the road to Spicewood Springs Trail.

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Usually it’s easy to choose which before/after pictures to post, but there were so many good ones this time that three is the least that could be posted!

Before After

Before After

Before After

This group of trail builders had a lot of bike riders, so they divided into two groups.  The Easy Ride Group rode the River Trail and were the first to ride the new trail while the experienced group put up signage.

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The more experienced group took a longer ride and saw an area of the park that was once mined for gold, the Dogleg Canyon Overlook, and took turns attempting the difficult climb after the overlook.

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2-Goldmine 2-GoldmineWithPeople

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April 23, 2011 was a special Earth Day event.  Volunteers and park staff all came out to make sure park visitors had a great time.  With this being Easter weekend, an Easter Egg Hunt was even planned!

Cory,-Allison,-Peggy PopRickeyPeggy

Missy,-Scott,-Chris DawnMandyMary

Bob Scott Kevin-busy2

This dog wore shoes!

Dog-with-shoes

Hunting Easter Eggs

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Sitting on the bridge enjoying the day

Visitors

Special Beginner and Advanced Mountain Bike Rides with experienced leaders were offered, complete with pictures taken at scenic spots.

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2-starting-out 5-FamilyPortrait-vertical

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There was a morning and an afternoon cave tour led by volunteers.

Boys

Mandy&Group

HappyGroup

4

7-end

Gorman Falls was very…. green!

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Gorman Spring was nice and clear.

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And a great time was had by all!

Ranger Kevin Ferguson held a Cave Guide Training on September 10, 2011 (9-10-11!).  Michael, one of the trainees, provided us with these great pictures!  (Remember you can click on the pictures to make them larger!)

From Michael 12

From Michael 2

From Michael 4

From Michael 5 From Michael 7

Ranger Kevin watching one of the trainees ascend a ladder in one of the caves.

From Michael 6 - Kevin

From Michael 9 From Michael 11

From Michael 8-Cropped

From Michael 13

Like October 23, 2010, October 15, 2011 was a double duty day by the Friends of Colorado Bend SP when they again sponsored the Friends Fall Festival and Bluegrass Jam.  The volunteers divided into two groups, one to help with the festival/jam and one to build trails.  These sisters, shown here with park office manager, Peggy, are regular volunteers and helped out with the festival.

AllisonEmilyPeggy

A variety of singers and instrumentalists came including this group from Taylor, Texas.

SmallJam

And there were a variety of ways for the Friends of the park to make money through donations including candy, t-shirts, and tours.

CandyForADonation

For-Sale---T-shirts-Cropped

Cave Guides

Cave-Guides

Experienced and Beginner Mountain Bike Tours with nice views

1 Dawn-Alvis-Charles-Christin

Rusty-&-Sylvia-Launch 4---NiceView

Gorman Falls

2-Front-Falls 1-Side-Falls-again

Dueling Hearts Bluegrass Band gave a concert that afternoon for the visitors.

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The group who built trail that day saw some nice views and interesting critters.

NiceView-Group

Deer

Twisted-Tree snake-closeup

BlueTailedLizard

The weekend of November 18-20, 2011 began the rough cut on the Gorman Falls Bypass for bikes that would create a trail that was ridable as an alternative to the hiking trail.  Here are a few Before-and-After shots of the work on Gorman Falls Bypass.  This work was done by the early arrivers on Friday afternoon.

Before After

Before After

Vertical-Before Vertical-After

Saturday brought 11 volunteers out to start building Spicewood Canyon Trail.  (Two are missing in this picture.)

TrailCrewMinusTwo

Before Alvis2

DoraSam James&Cactus2

Dawn,-Svenja

Rickey2 TheFamilyThatBuildsTrailTog

Sam Cactus

Cactus&Rocks

Armadillo

Here are Before-and-After shots.

Before After

After the trail work it was time to enjoy the park.  Three volunteers chose to Hike Tie Slide Trail.

Allison,Svenja,James

CoolTrailSpot

V-Tree-Svenja,-Allison2

Cliff&River-Al&Sv2

Cliff-Allison Cliff-James,Allison

While one group hiked, the other group biked.

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1-Dora

6-AlvisRustySam

11-Dora 14-RiverTrail

Sights to see:  perfectly formed hole in rock; two types of cacti growing out of tree.

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December 16-18, 2011 the work on Spicewood Canyon Trail continued, stopping at one point to view a nice overlook of Spicewood Spring.

AlvisRustyOverlook Dawn

Rickey3 Sam

SvenjaChrisBob

Scott James2

The next day a small group went ridgewalking to do recon for a future trail – the Tinaja Trail.  Here is the tinaja that the trail is named for.

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January 27-29, 2012 brought out one of the biggest trail building crews ever, 20 people of all ages!

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Work was continued on the Gorman Bypass Trail as well as the Spicewood Canyon Trail which runs above the Spicewood Springs Trail and makes about a 3 mile loop when the two trails are combined.  With this many people working, a lot was accomplished!

Alvis Bob

ChrisH ChrisMc2

Connor2 Hailey

JamesR2 JimO

JohnO Logan&

Megan Patrick2

Rusty Sabrina2

Sam3 Svenja&James

Vint&Scott Group2

Bottom-Group1

As always, the group brought lunches and ate on the trail before getting back to work.

Lunch

Before-and-After pics on Spicewood Canyon Trail

Before After

Before, During, and After on the Gorman Bike Bypass Trail from the November and December trips.

1 Before from November 2 During from November 3-Finished-in-January-2012

Of course there were the usual “see the park” hiking and biking adventures that weekend as well.

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2-PoolArea2

18-Hiking,Climbing,etc2 18-Hiking,Climbing,etc6

3-Megan&Waterfall 21-WaterCrossing6

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0-UnicycleChris,Megan,Haley2

17-SCT-VintAlvisRusty2 UnicycleChris3

The River Trail was needing some reroutes, grooming, and other work so the 12 volunteers who came out the weekend of February 24-26, 2012 focused on upgrading the River Trail.  They cut fallen trees and brush, weedeated high grass, and made a slope to cross a ravine that ran into the river.

ScottBobDawn

GroupWorking3

ChrisJames2

Dora2 Rickey

Before, During, and After – Crossing the ravine

AlvisSamJames SamRickeyWalker WalkerSamFinished2

Before and After – An amazing improvement!

Before After

The stars at night were big and bright (deep in the heart of Texas)!

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The mornings were cold enough to have frost, but that didn’t stop the group from enjoying the park!  Some hiked, some biked, and some went caving!

FrostedPlants

Frosted-Flower=send

1-Launch---WalkerAlvisDawn

4-Walker'sChosenPath 11-UpTheHardRock

7-FirstSpicewoodOverlook-AlvisWalker

7-SecondSpicewoodOverlook

3-GettingReady2

Getting on rope and then looking up out the entrance.

4-AlvisGettingOnRope 5-InsideLookingOut

On March 11, 2012 a small group of volunteers made a day trip to the park to prepare the River Trail for the work to be done the next weekend.  A lot of big trees had fallen across the trail and they needed to be removed before anything else could be done.

TreesCoverOldTrail2

A good distance was going to have to be hiked on the River Trail to get to the work areas, so backpacks and a cart were used to carry supplies.

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It was quite muddy from the rains and a rope was used to get the cart down and up the ravine path that had been created the month before.

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Cutting and removing the trees was a challenge and the chainsaw had to be worked on from time to time.

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InsidesOfABigTree

AlvisScottBigLog Rusty$ScottWorkOnChainsaw

4-Cutting,MovingLogs

2-Dawn 2-Emily

Before-and-After Shots

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4-ScottStartsWithSmallSaw After

3-OtherSideBefore 4-OtherSideAfter

March 16-18, 2012 was a weekend of flagging future trail (Friday and Sunday) and continuing the reroute and improvement on the River Trail (Saturday).  Four volunteers began flagging what would eventually become the Tinaja Trail.

Group

Tinaja1-RustyScott

The views in this area are amazing!

View5FromFutureGormanCanyon

Saturday morning the trail crew met to take on the River Trail improvements.

LaunchCropped

The first order of business was to put a bridge where the ravine had been dug out in February.  Rusty had planned the bridge and already had it partially assembled by the time he got to the park.  All the crew had to do was put it together.  They hauled the generator and parts of the bridge to the ravine, passing a tree that a beaver had obviously gotten hold of!

JamesSvenjaChris BeaverTreeFellOrKnockedOver

1-FirstView 3-PuttingBridgeTogether

4-PuttingBridgeTogether 5-RickeyRustyScott

We had to get a picture of Rusty standing on his finished bridge at the bottom of the ravine!

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A family of mountain bikers were the first to cross the bridge.  The mom chose to walk her bike across, but the father and child had a great time as they crossed the new addition to the River Trail!

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Moving really big rocks out of the trail was part of the work for the day.

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2-2ndBigRock

4-WorkingBigRockOut 6-WorkingBigRockOut

Here’s a Before-and-After shot of an area of trail.

1-Before 9-After

Here is the crew rerouting a part of the trail near Gorman Cave.

Dawn3

TrailAboveCaveReroute

Gorman Falls was beautiful as usual, and for whatever reason, there were a lot of plants, flowers, and mushrooms out this March weekend, as well as the usual interesting tree on the River Trail!

GormanFallsHorizontal

BigWhiteFlower CoolTree-WebToSend

BlueFlower

CactusFlower

CactusWithBuds

BluebonnetsBySvenja

CactusWithBabies

MtnLaurel WholeBunchaYellow

LotsaYellow

Mushroom

April 20-22, 2012 a small, but hearty group came out for work and play.  First the work on Friday and Saturday.  The River Trail needed significant mowing and cleaning up.  One tough mower (the DR) and one tough weedeater and a trailer that included a variety of work tools used by competent workers took care of the job!

Dawn-&-DR

Alvis-&-DR Allison-&-SuperWeedWacker

ScottWeedWackingTop Scott2WeedWackingTop

MotorWagonCrossingBridge MotorWagon4AcrossBridge

Another project for the weekend was to plan a handline to go above Gorman Cave.  They measured, wrote the measurements down, drilled holes for a load test and for the supports, and visited with hikers who were hiking the River Trail.  In the first picture you can see the upper part of the cave below the path for the handline where Rusty and Kelby are measuring.

Rusty&KelbyMeasureOverCave

Here Rusty writes down the measurements and drills a hole.

RustyWritesMeasurerments RustyDrillingAHole

Here Scott cleans out the drill hole and studies the site of the load test.

ScottCleansBigDrillHole2 Scott&LoadTest

The workers take a break to visit with some hikers.

TalkingToHikers

Those who flagged trail that weekend walked among some very nice flowers

YellowFlowers&Dawn

This weekend was also the bi-yearly meeting of the board.  Then it was time to play!  On Sunday a large group of mountain bikers came out to ride the trails with some of the volunteers.  The variety of double track, single track, technical, and easy trails had something for everyone.

1-Launch-cropped

5-EntranceToLemonsRidgePass

6-Lemons-Tommy2 6-GirlFromBryan

4-Intersection3-ConnectorTo 11-LemonsRidgePass

13-NiceTree4

Spicewood Canyon Trail overlooking Spicewood Springs

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The group made a stop outside of the office.

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Dogleg Canyon Overlook with and without riders.

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20-DoglegCanyonOverlook

There normally isn’t a trail building weekend in the hotter months (May through August) partially due to the heat and especially due to the snakes(!), but there were several boy scout troups that wanted to do some volunteer work at the park so they won the honor of starting to build what became the Tinaja Trail! A few of the ‘regulars’ of the trail building project were on site to help out, led by Rusty, otherwise known as Chainsaw.  Here are 6 of the 7 regulars.  The 7th one started weedeating early and wasn’t there.

0-AlvisJamesSvenjaDawnDoraRus

There were quite a few scouts and their leaders that came!

1-Orientation-AllParticipants2

Rusty gave a quick orientation and then they were off to work.  Note the tools leaned against the car on the left.

1-Orientation-Rusty&Boys

Rusty started out with his chainsaw, followed first by the Brush Shaggers…

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5-ShaggingBrush9

5-ShaggingBrush6 5-ShaggingBrush4

Then came the groomers which included 1) Those who removed cacti…

Cactus-Killers7

Cactus-Killers4

3-TakingOutCactus1 3-TakingOutCactus4

2) Those who raked…

Group--Working-3

Group--Working-10

4-RakingRock1 4-RakingRock4

3) Those who used loppers…

Loppers-2

7-Lopping5 7-Lopping6

and 4) Those who used hand saws.

11-Sawing1 11-Sawing2

16-Teamwork5 9-Working7

The scouts at Gorman Falls

GormanFalls&Scouts2

National Trails Day fell on June 2, 2012 and this was CBSP’s first year to participate.  The park did so by having guided beginner and experienced bike rides on the trails.  The beginner riders were taught techniques of riding a mountain bike on the River Trail.  The experienced riders enjoyed a guided tour of all the trails including the connector trail from the Gorman Falls parking lot to Lemons Ridge Pass to Spicewood Canyon Trail to the River Trail and eventually ending on Heller Brakes Trail.  The experienced group even got to look into a cave and see a baby buzzard!

1-RiverTrail2 2-RT3

2-RT1 3-NiceView3

Connector Trail from Gorman Falls parking lot to Lively area.

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Lemons Ridge Pass

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4-LRP12-Alvis 4-LRP15-Alvis

4-LRP4-LgBabyBuzzardInCave

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7-HellerBrakes1

On June 30, 2012, Ranger Kevin led a Spicewood Canyon Adventure Tour.  In the parking lot, a strange grasshopper-type creature made friends with one of the participants.

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Ranger Kevin led the group up Spicewood Canyon Trail and stopped at 3 beautiful overlook sites.