Lisa Tridle

Beautiful, Exhausting, Worth It

While the specs of the hike don't sound tough, it is a surprisingly difficult hike with steep switchbacks and uphills (with little else but dirt, so wear shoes with good tread). It is absolutely worth it - the flowers, fields, and peak views are beautiful. Early on, you'll reach a fork where the path splits into a few directions, be sure to follow signs for Trail 1119 (this is Devil's Causeway). None of the trails are listed by name or nickname, only trail number. You'll walk on a narrow path along fields (peppered with vibrant wildflowers if your timing is right - we were there mid-July). There's little shade cover so consider heat and sun preparation. The first 2/3 of the hike is a balance of flat and uphill, nothing too intimidating, though a few of the uphill stints may leave you needing a short break. At one point, you'll reach a narrow uphill that looks over a rock-covered field and a lake, then beyond that, another uphill through a field, and finally, you reach the switchback section, leading up to the final vertical scramble up to the causeway crossing. This last 1/3 of the hike is tiring, steep, and maybe even technically challenging in certain parts. You'll also meet a number of other hikers, as it's a well-traveled trail, so be prepared to share the narrow trail. Once you reach the top of the causeway, you'll cross over a very narrow series of boulders that sharply drop on either side - it's an uneven 10 foot-wide (ish) crossing - I crossed by crawling on feet and hands, no shame! The views from the top are beautiful and the adrenaline rush from the crossing is a thrill. The hike is challenging but really pretty - well worth the effort and inevitable exhaustion that follows. Don't forget sandals to change into once you've gotten back to the car - a lifesaver!

Neighborhood Walk with Water Features, A Park, Native Plants

I live in the area and take this walk at around 3 days/week. It's quiet enough, the trail is wide in most spots, and there's an impressive amount of nature along the way, given its urban location. The landscaping is very impressive, it's been strategically planned so there's always something pretty (and native to TX) in bloom, whether it's the wildflowers, blossoming cacti, sunflowers, crepe myrtles, redbuds, or other plants. There's little shade coverage on the trail, so on sunnier/hotter days, I recommend dipping into the Mueller neighborhood for a walk along the shaded sidewalks among the well-kept gardens and honeysuckle-covered fences. There are two parts of the park, one has a couple of tiny water falls and few ponds to sit by or fish from (no swimming). In this part, you can find off-trail dirt paths taking you into the wild grasses to cut across the field. There are a few picnic benches to enjoy and large sculptures that dot the trail. The second half of the park/trail is where the farmers' market is held, where you can also find a few spots for a beer, a coffee, an ice cream, or lunch. This is where the larger pond is, along with a few larger mowed fields, great for picnics, outdoor yoga, and casual group play. In all, the trail is lovely for a neighborhood trail, offering a lot to look at and plenty of natural and man-made landmarks to stop and admire. Easy enough for kids, wide enough for dogs, and enough paved portion to bring a stroller.