Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lake Arrowhead State Park

Getting from one place to another in Texas can mean long drives. (When you cross into Texas from Louisiana on I-10 you're still 870 miles from El Paso!!) So, even though my home base is Central Texas, on my way up to north Texas for some November camping I didn't try to make it all in one shot, choosing to do a layover at Lake Arrowhead State Park along the way.

The park is about 15 miles southeast of Wichita Falls and centered between the popular routes of US-281 and US-287.

The lake is on the other side of this dam.

Texas has very few natural lakes, in fact the only one of any size is Caddo Lake over on the Louisiana border, and the fishing mecca of Lake Arrowhead was formed by damming up the Little Wichita River in the mid 60's.

No fishing license is required when fishing from the shore within a Texas State Park

and Lake Arrowhead SP has two large fishing piers on one side of a little cove in the relatively small park (524 acres)

and 9 big wide concrete boat-launches on the other side of the cove. (If the entire body of water is within a Texas State park you can also fish from a boat with no fishing license but that's not the case here at Lake Arrowhead where most of the lake is outside the SP boundaries.)

Of course the reason I stopped here is because they also have camping. For $10 I got site 60 in the water-only section. (Water as in out of a spigot, being lakeside was just a bonus.)

I was the only occupant of the 4-site loop tucked away from any other park traffic, if you don't count the prairie dogs that created all those mounds you can see scattered across the large campsite.

From the sound of it they were not all that happy to share the space with me. Apparently Prairie Dogs actually have an alarm cry that means 'human'!

And I wouldn't recommend stumbling around the place in the dark either!

There's about 5 miles of trails within the park, mostly classified as easy,

so, with more ground than I could cover on foot in the couple hours of daylight left to me, I pulled the quad-B (Big Box Beater Bike) down from the rack and it proceeded to kick my ass, literally!

The quad-B is actually sitting crosswise right in the middle of the lightly used trail here.

With the focus here being on the lake, the trails don't appear to get much traffic so, though they are pretty flat on a macro-scale, hence the 'easy' designation, on a micro-scale the clumps and tussocks of the prairie grasses made for a jarring ride on my tender butt! Not unlike riding on railroad ties.

And I can tell you from personal experience that though it looks easy enough, the casual rider (Read lazy old man that's been sitting on his ass all summer getting out of practice) should not try riding through the culvert that takes the trail under FM-2606 unless awkward, slow-motion, all-tangled-up-and-moaning-once-things-finally-come-to-a-stop, crashes are your thing. (Now I'm not confirming, nor denying that such an event did occur, but fortunately there were no witnesses so my dignity remains intact either way.)

Oh crap! Maybe someone did see. . .

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