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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Today we enjoyed one of our favorite outings: Mountain View Park (9000 Middlebie Drive) and Spicewood Valley Trail (accessed across Callanish Park Drive from the park).

Mountain View Park has a fun playscape as well as a pavilion, baseball field, and tennis courts.

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We followed this sidewalk toward Callanish Park Drive.

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We crossed the street and found the trail entrance, which looks like this:

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As soon as you get closer, you can see the trail heading down.

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The trail is easy to follow and has rails to help you down the steeper sections.

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As you can see, this part of the trail is not stroller-friendly.

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Once you get to the bottom of the steep section, the trail is relatively flat.

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We turned right at this distinctive rock.

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It looks like someone had a cool treehouse here!

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We had not visited the trail since Summer 2011, during the historic drought. What a difference a year makes! The boys and I really enjoyed the beautiful landscape.

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We went about 1/4 mile and stopped for a while at our favorite spot, where an old dam creates a small waterfall on Bull Creek.

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This is one of my 10-year-old son’s favorite fossil hunting spots. He said that all of the leaves on the ground made it harder to find fossils.

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The waterfall scene is very relaxing. It’s also a good area for the age-old kids’ past-time of throwing rocks into the water!

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If you are patient and observant, you will encounter many interesting things at Spicewood Valley Trail.

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Almost right away, the boys found this crawdad in the water.

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Next, they discovered a well-camouflaged frog.

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The boys were intrigued by this spooky little skull in the creek.

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Our dog Eva Green gives Spicewood Valley Trail “two paws up!”

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After spending some quality time exploring around the old dam, we continued another 1/4 mile along the trail and then turned around. As we walked, our dog spooked a lizard who dropped his tail when he scrambled away. Eva Green was completely fooled by the twitching dropped tail and the lizard escaped to safety under this leaf.

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The boys were amazed by this beautiful moth. If you look closely, you will see that the moth has an unusual blue and orange body under the white and black wings.

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Save some energy to get back up the ridge on the return trip!

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THE RUNDOWN:
Austin Active Kids Opinion: One of our favorite outings….it feels like an adventure and there are so many fun things to discover!
Outing Time: About 1.5 hours
Outing Distance: 1.5 miles
Reminders: Mountain View Park has restrooms, a water fountain, picnic tables, and a fun play scape. Bring mosquito spray, water bottles and a trail map if you plan to hike Spicewood Valley Trail. Please note that due to concerns (or lack of information) about the water quality, we do not go swimming in Bull Creek. Unlike our other visits, today we did not see any other people enjoying the trail.
Check out this Austin Explorer article for all of the details about Spicewood Valley Trail. If you want to experience a unique drive when you leave, take Spicewood Springs Road toward Loop 360. You will cross Bull Creek seven times and see lots of pretty sights. You can read about the history of this area in this Community Impact News article and view this Texas historical marker near the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and Loop 360.

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