Don Robinson State Park
Last weekend I made another visit to one of my favorite state parks, Don Robinson, which just opened a few years ago.
All my other trips there were on the Sandstone Canyon Trail, which is just so fun and gorgeous I hadn't gotten around to exploring the other trail, LaBarque Hills. I'm glad I branched out this time. I can't decide which trail is better.
LaBarque Hills Trail is a lollipop loop of about 2.5 miles. It's in the west half of the park and the trailhead is just down the hill from the main parking area and the bathrooms. The trail winds down through thick forest and then crosses LaBarque Creek after a third of a mile. Just past the creek is the junction of the main loop. We turned left to go clockwise and spent the first part of the hike along the creek, admiring the rushing water and enjoying the sounds of the creek.
We continued southwest along the creek and through this glade, then turned to the north east and through a rolling woodland where we saw this lovely turtle and a baby snake:
We took the "overlook spur" that led to some benches after about a quarter of a mile. Unfortunately there wasn't much to look over, just more forest. The spot is somewhat elevated, so maybe in the winter when the leaves are off it's more exciting.
From there we continued down the trail, which made a sharp right to go back to the creek and complete the loop. We found a dam, waterfalls, and lots of cool sandstone formations, just like on the Sandstone Canyon trail.
So, get out to Don Robinson. It's an incredible place to hike and not a long drive.