Mission: Texas Hiking, Destination: Austin (Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve)

For Cinco de Mayo weekend my friends and I took a trip to Austin, mostly because Matt had his rugby championship there. We decided to stay two nights so we could also do some hiking. We were VERY ambitious. So ambitious that we though we would go to Enchanted Rock (and by we I mean me), I did not know that it’s like a whole extra two hours west of Austin, and we had a rugby game to watch on Saturday and a drive back to Houston on Sunday. On top of that we had a little car breakdown on the way to Austin and didn’t get into town until after midnight, so we were not at peak performance on Saturday morning. I was talked down from Enchanted Rock (although its still on the list) and we decided, based mostly on convenience, to check out Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Definitely the right decision.  We did about a two mile loop, following the outside loop and cutting east at the waterfall towards “Possum Trail.”

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One of the coolest things about the trail was the change in terrain and environment. We started in cedar forests and trecked down to a shady, almost jungle like area with beautiful creeks and a waterfall flowing into a forest pool.

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Then we hiked up (lots of elevation change for Houstonians) to an open trail with cacti (in bloom in May) and beautiful views out over the hill country.

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So much elevation change.

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Although we didn’t see any, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, like many preserves near Austin, is a nesting ground for the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler, as is the rest of the broader park, Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, which we visited on Sunday.

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