NaturaLu Excursions: 52 Hike Challenge 2021: Hike 6

Hey Adventurers!

Yesterday’s hike was amazing for a few reasons. Remembering why I love sharing my love of nature with others. There is something so beautiful about being connected with others who look like you. I am so happy to see more Blacks out in nature over the years. Enjoying life and connecting over the way Mother Nature’s beauty surrounds us. Setting goals, laughing, challenging, and encouraging each other.

The group!

This Sunday, I had the opportunity to host a group hike, which comprised of individuals from all levels of activity. For many this was the first “official” hike and on top of that…we completed 10 miles. Yes, some newbies, bit the bullet and pushed their limits, and hit 10 miles. I loved that everyone wanted to stay together. We encouraged each other and made sure we took plenty of breaks. It was an amazing accomplishment and I am beyond proud of them! And luckily, I didn’t scare them away! Hiking is a good obsession to have!

Along Dante Trail and the creek about half way to the grotto from Lower.

We met at Purgatory Creek Natural Area in San Marcos (TX). The park is mostly flat with some small inclines. The trails range from dirt to rocky (small to very large), so watch your step! We started at the Lower Purgatory trailhead. It took us about 5 miles to start from the Lower to Upper. We took the Dante trail to Malacoda trail to reach the Grotto and then double backed to Dante trail to Upper Purgatory. On the way back, we took Styx to Paraiso to Dante and then over what I think was Ovid to over the Dam (that area is a bit confusing-ha!). You can also access the area from Prospect Park on the other side of Wonder World highway. I will have to venture that way next time!

https://smgreenbelt.org/trails-mapped-throughout-sm-natural-areas/
The Grotto off Malacoda trails.
Overlooking the Grotto from Dante Trail.

For the most part, the trails are marked well, but there is still some confusion on both sides. So be careful, it would be good to stuy the map prior to going and take a picture (or print it out before) at the trailheads. They are doing some trail work and have closed off older trails in some parts. Also, if you ever plan to go during spring (March-May) the Paraiso Trail is closed off for nesting season for the Endangered Golden Cheek Warbler. There are plenty of trees on most of the trails, so if you do this on a hot day, you will benefit from some shade at least!

Until the next adventure…

Lindsey

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