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Crystal Canyon Trail

Monday, October 27, 2014

This is a walk I've done a lot of times, including this morning. But these pictures were taken last spring, when I was still deciding about moving to Arlington TX from my son's house in North Richland Hills. Both are part of the whole Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. My son's house is about 25 minutes away from Arlington. This park is about a mile or a little more from my house. It is a short .40 mile trail and most people (me included) do it at least a few times. It is used pretty frequently but not by a lot of people at once. There is a larger park about a mile and a half from me, called River Legacy park that has about 8 miles of paved trails, playground, some dirt bike and hiking on dirt trails, and picnic tables for individuals and bigger group areas that are reserved (just the group areas are reserved. Twice when I was there on a Saturday I ran into races being run there. It is very popular and always busy with bicyclists, walkers, runners, skaters, and anything else that is not motorized (except horses). Lots of people walk dogs there too. I've also been there a lot of times but the Crystal Creek Trail is not used with the heavy load and much quieter there. I never see any bikes because it's too short, but do see runners, walkers, and lots of dogs on leashes. Maybe I'll do a blog about River Legacy Park another time.

Crystal Canyon is right off a busy side street and across from a large apartment complex, but when you start walking the trail you don't feel you are in a city, but I feel more like the forest service trails I walked in New Mexico. This is from the sign at the beginning. It has a lot of little benches along the way and a slight incline but not much. It also has some interpretive signs along the way about plants, animals, and other interesting facts of the area.

There is a nice wide trail to follow all the way through but not paved. That's fine with me though. It goes in a circle and you can go either way. This is the beginning of the trail when I headed right this time.

This is the first interpretive sign and talks a little about the crystals that were found there.

There is a small stream that winds near the trail in some places and 3 little footbridges cross it as I go along. The middle bridge is exactly halfway around from when I measured it with my mileage program on my phone. Sometimes water runs, and sometimes there is just sporadic standing water or none. We are in a severe drought here.

This is the first bridge a little way in.

The trail continues to meander and here is one of the little benches

This is the 2nd bridge, which is halfway. You probably can't see it in the SP picture but on the larger size on my computer you can see the bench right past the bridge.

One some of the curves little retaining walls are built to keep the ground in place.

Another retaining wall and an interpretive sign. This one is on the fauna in the area. I didn't take pictures of all of them.

This is the last little bridge and the parking lot is just up ahead.

When you get here you can hear the cars along the 4 lane side street again but it's on the other side of the trees. On much of the trail you can't hear it at all. Less than 1/2 a mile but a cute little trail and feels like being away from the city. I often either have people pass me on the trail or meet them coming from the other side a few times in one trip since some people just wander it but I think the majority are using it for fitness and so do more than one lap around. Usually by the 3rd lap I need to stop and rest for about 5 minutes, then go further. After the first rest I need more frequent ones than at first LOL. Early, about 6 or 7 am, this is used more than in later in the day because of people getting some exercise in before work. Then I might run into 8 or 10 people total. Some days I just see 1 or 2. But you never know when you will see someone there. I went really early during the heat of the summer, or went walking anywhere for that matter, by about 7 am or it got too hot. Then it was about 75 or 80 already and humid. Now it's still been getting hotter than normal for this time of year, but not as humid and I can go a little later, like about 9 or 10 unless it's a really cool or overcast day. Saturday we reached 91 degrees. Today was supposed to be 87 but then tomorrow down to 75 and in 70's the rest of the week where it is supposed to be.

Because I've walked there so much I don't take my camera to this area usually. I do however have my cell phone with me all the time and if something really unusual was there I could use the camera on my phone to get it. The same with the River Legacy park here. When I first went to either one I took pictures. And if I go to a new place, or one I dont' go often, I take pictures. Except for the 2 zoos. I usually take my camera every time because the animals do different things and each zoo has some babies and they are so cute and do change fast. The Fort Worth Zoo has 2 elephants that are just over a year each and a month apart. It also has a baby ape that I love to watch. The Dallas Zoo has some cute chimpanzee babies. Both zoos have a few more besides those too, but those are the main ones I really enjoy seeing learn new things. The Fort Worth Zoo has a fenced long yard where they run a cheetah certain days of the week for about 1/2 hour or so. Otherwise he's in his normal area. He's a little over a year old too, and has a companion on his runs that is a black Labrador retriever dog that is also just over a year old and they've been raised together since they were just 6 or 8 weeks old. They are such close friends!

Hope you enjoyed my short trail which is good for a walk to get some cardio of some type in. I have lots more pictures of lots more places over here!
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