Having participated in National Trails Day the past 3 years, the Friends of CBSP decided that the first Saturday of June may be a great time for that event in Montana, but it was just too hot in Texas for most people to want to participate! A decision was made to have a Colorado Bend State Park Trails Day and Bluegrass Jam/Show in a cooler month and March 28th was the date decided upon. It took a lot of planning before a full day of fun activities for the whole family was born.
It was decided to do morning activities on the Gorman side of the park and afternoon activities on the office/campsite side, with cave tours all day long!
Guided hikes to Gorman Falls/Gorman Spring were at 9:00 am and 11:00 am led by volunteers Genia and Rickey, each pictured on the far right of the two groups below. (Click on the pictures to make larger.) One group came carrying 3 young children on their backs! Gorman Falls was very nice after all the recent rains.
Gorman Spring Trail was also nice, including the two water crossings!
The Trail Building Orientation started at the same time as the early Gorman Falls/Spring Tour. Rusty, the teacher for the orientation, gave some instruction before heading into the woods for a hands-on trail building experience. Rusty used his chainsaw to cut the trail and was followed by those who shagged the brush out of the way. Those who manicured the trail (raking and hoeing) came at the end. The trail that they worked on is the one that will lead to the new Observation Deck.
Here are the Before and After pictures:
The 10:00 am tour was the Tinaja Trail Tour to show off our newest trail finished just last year at around this time. Wayne, James, and Svenja all had a big part of building this trail and were happy to volunteer as the trail guides!
There was a good-sized group that showed up to check out the trail and a great time was had by all!
This trail has great views and interesting plants!
Hiking down to the tinaja and seeing it in person is always a highlight!
The last tour on the Gorman side of the park was the hike to the proposed overlook… except that the Overlook Deck had been approved the month before and the Friends group lost no time getting to work in it! By the end of the weekend, the Overlook Deck was a reality! The picture below is the tour group, including Bob the guide, and the picture below that is of Gorman Falls taken from the Overlook Deck.
On the other side of the park at the new amphitheater, a bluegrass jam had started at 11:00 am led by some of the members of Dueling Hearts. Dueling Hearts played a concert from 2:00-4:00 pm complete with special speakers Judge Tom Bowden who was judge at the time that Colorado Bend State Park opened, Representative Dr. J.D. Sheffield, and park superintendent Kelby Bridwell.
At 2:30 father/daughter team, Allison and Scott, led the Beginner Mountain Bike Ride. It wasn’t a big group, but it sure was fun!
At 3:30 pm, Archery started on one side of the amphitheater and Climbing and Rappelling started on the other side, complete with musical background from the concert! Park personnel were involved in both of these activities. Special thanks to Texans for State Parks for the grant that allowed CBSP to purchase the archery equipment.
A couple of our cave guides helped out with the climbing and rappelling activites. (That’s why his pants are so dirty!)
This was a GREAT day to be outdoors! The weather couldn’t have been nicer, the trails (above and below ground) were in great shape, the special activities were a blast, and the accoustic bluegrass music (jam and concert) was totally enjoyable!
The story of how the Observation Deck was built in 4 days follows!