The Day of the Vultures, and Another CCC Park, Meridian State Park, Meridian, Bosque County, Texas

Texas has 51 State Parks I have now visited 24 of them at least one time. Today was Meridian State Park. Meridian is about two and a half hours from home, but I wanted to get another one off the list so away I went.

Meridian is another of Texas’ many CCC built parks.

Meridian was built by Company 1827 (V) in 1933 and 1934. They built a refectory (cafeteria), roads, trails, retaining walls and a really neat bridge which still has its original wooden beams today. Now a bit about the numbering of companies in the CCC. The number followed by a “V” meant these men were veterans of WWI. In an earlier post I had a company number followed by a “C”. This designation was for black or colored companies.

After our early fall trip to Arkansas which was a little early to find fall, I went to find fall here. Nope. Last years trip to Lost Maples was gorgeous but in many parts of central Texas leaves don’t turn colors, what few there are, but just turn brown and dry up.

yep just brown.

Looking at a park map I decided to do the Bosque Hiking Trail, the Shinnery Ridge Trail and the Little Woods Trail. There is another trail in the park but there was no way to get to it from the Bosque so I left it out. Anyway this route was good for just over 6 miles.

My first stop Fern Ledge

Almost as soon as I stepped out of the car I was at the Fern Ledge. This is a grotto full of ferns.

Fern Ledge

From Fern Ledge I took the Bosque Trail away from civilization. Soon I was at Bee Ledge. Bee Ledge is so named as a large beehive of over four feet in length used to be under the ledge until Vandals destroyed it by fire. The colony was lost forever.

Bee Ledge
View of Lake Meridian from Bee Ledge

I continued the trail around the entrance into the lake of Bee Creek. This is at least the third Bee Creek I have found in Texas. There is one in Austin/Bee Cave, there is one at Pedernales Falls and now this one. Anyway every vulture in this part of Texas must roost in this estuary. I heard the loudest bunch of noise like a whole herd of deer running but it turned out it was Vultures taking flight as I approached. Must have been at least 50 or 60 of them.

Caught this one before flight but most of his buddies are…….
….up here!

The Bosque Trail was more rugged then I had anticipated. Although not alot of elevation gain at first it was far more rocky then I had expected.

Section of the Bosque Trail

not to far past the vulture encounter I came to a set of primitive campsites. One was nicely wooded the other in the sun. I would definitely pick the shaded one. Here was the best view of the lake.

Lake Meridian

Lake Meridian is only 72 acres so it is not a large body of water. They do have a beach and boating is allowed….. usually. They are having a blue-green algae problem right now so all lake activities were suspended. Not like I would take a dip in it anyway. It’s rather cool today.

This area is also where I caught the Shinnery Ridge Trail which is a loop so will bring me back to this area. The Shinnery Ridge Trail is somewhat unique. The first 1/3 of a mile or so of the trail is paved so it is accessible to all.

the partially paved Shinnery Ridge Trail

This trail was much like the Hike and Bike trail at McKinney Falls, poor quality asphalt, laid years ago and forgotten on whatever maintenance program is going on. It was almost like a natural surface.

Descending from Shinnery Ridge

From here the Bosque Trail became much more challenging. After a short road walk the trail descended steeply towards the lake.

descending towards the lake

From here it was constant up and down through some rocky terrain.

Soon I was on the Dam built by the CCC.

The Dam

Behind the dam was the requisite canyon all Texas State Parks seem to have.

Canyon at Meridian State Park

Now I am at the good stuff. The refectory was gorgeous!

The Refectory
Inside the Refectory
The Refectory

I continued on along a retaining wall built by the CCC for about another quarter mile.

The retaining wall

Next was the rock bridge the CCC Built. This one still retains it’s original wooden beams.

CCC bridge

a little farther into the woods some of the old trail work was still visible.

Old steps along the trail
Little Forest Trail

Across the gorge spanned by the bridge I hit the Little Woods Trail. Now this is designated as a junior hiking trail but it was the best in the park. It was rocky, had sights to see and some elevation gain. Don’t know why it is designated “junior hiking trail”.

Along the Little Woods Trail
View from Little Woods trail

The Little Woods Trail met back up with the Bosque Trail in the Bee Ledge area so I was back at the car. Nice little park but I don’t know that it warrants a return visit.

Oh I did find a little fall in Texas

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