Last weekend we went hiking at Cleburne State Park with our son’s Webelos den. They had to hike for 3 miles, one of the requirements for them to get their Webelos Walkabout Badge. The planned was to hike the Spillway Trail and continued to Limestone Ridge Trail.
Our meeting point was Camp Creek Day Use Area, just about .2 miles from the Ranger Station. It was on the left side, the first group area you would see in the park. There were picnic tables and a restroom nearby. It’s a nice shaded area, but watch out for Poison Ivy. We saw one by the parking.
It was close to 11 a.m. when we started our hiking at Cleburne State Park. First, we hiked past the historic Camp Creek Bridge built by the CCC in 1935. The Bluebonnets were blanketing the area of the bridge. They were so pretty. We then made a pit stop because we were going to hike for the next 2 hours.
From there we crossed the street to continue on with our hike.
At this point, the trail was shaded, winding through the trees. We all moved in a full steam.
Then we came to a clearing where the water from Cedar Lake flowing into the creek. It looked pleasant and I realized it’s the place where we had picnic supper about a month ago.
From this point, the trail changed. We hiked up the rocky hills all the way to the Spillway Overlook.
This three-tiered spillway was built and carved by hand out of the Comanche Peak limestone by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 3804 in 1935. Pretty impressive! I wonder how it looks like after long rainy days.
From the overlook, we continued on until we reached the fence-line. We turned right where the Limestone Ridge Trail started. The trail was flat and we started seeing wildflowers along and behind the rusty wired fence. One of the mothers said, “It’s so Texas, isn’t it?” I agreed.
Then we walked into the shady and wooded area again. Here we finally saw our first shell fossil. It’s huge! Don’t ever think of moving it from the park though. Everything in the park stays in the park.
The trail abruptly changed to a pretty sketchy 45-degree angles rock stair steps. That’s also the place where the dogs from behind the fence started barking non-stop at us.
After that, we hiked along the snaky switchbacks, winding through the trees, up and down the small hills. Here we took a break and I spotted a cairn built on the tree branches. Interesting! We also saw more of shell fossils.
At the end, the Limestone Ridge Trail connected to the middle of Spillway Trail. We then followed the same trail to where we started.
It took about 2 hours for us to finish our hiking in Cleburne State Park. It was nice and easy, though the difficulty of the trails was moderate and challenging. You can always turn around after the wildflowers if you don’t want to do the Limestone Ridge Trail. Just follow the Spillway Trail back to your car.
What the boys did when hiking at Cleburne State Park
- Identified animal prints and scat.
- Identified plants.
- Picked up litter.
- Learned to read the trail map.
When you go hiking at Cleburne State Park
- Bring plenty of water.
- Pack your picnic lunch.
- Watch out for Poison Ivy. They are everywhere.
- Look for fossils, but leave them on the place where you find them.
How much is the entrance fee at Cleburne State Park
- Adults (13 years and older): $5/daily per person.
- Children 12 years and under: free.
- Or buy a Texas State Parks Pass for $70 that you can use for the whole year to visit all state parks in the state.
Other things you can do at Cleburne State Park
- Swimming (in the summer).
- Boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding.
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