After our July 4th getaway to Mineral Wells I continued my tour of the Lower Colorado River Authority parks. This is the last of the LCRA parks around Lake Travis or should I say the last that offer hiking. Several others are mainly boat ramps, swimming holes and picnic grounds. This is like Arkansas Bend a “vendor ” park and that vendor is Travis County.
I usually start with the entrance sign, but this park really didn’t have one other than a brown road sign. You knew you were here because you reached a point on Farm to Market Road 2322 where you had to pay to go any further. Weird. So, I will start with a flower?
Pace Bend is a large park with 9 miles of shoreline, 1300 acres and around 15 miles of trails. The Mountain Bikers have naming rights to the trails so here we go.
I started the day from the east trailhead on the “Straddle your Saddle” Trail. This was the quickest way into the back country from this trailhead. I then came to the North Croton Creek Trail.
The North Croton Creek took me to the northwest trailhead. I exited the trail system to go to the closed picnic areas on the west coast of the park for some views. I have learned that these old picnic sites are going to be re-constructed as more primitive camping.
I came back onto the trail system and took the South Croton Creek Trail to the Paleface Pass Trail. This was the highest trail near the west shore in the park. The views from here were outstanding.
This was once known as the Paleface Ranch hence the name of this one.
The Paleface Pass trail was a bit rugged, so I lost the bikers through there. But it dumped me into a large field with a dozen trails leading everywhere. So, I pulled out my trusty REI Hiking Project App and found the Pancho Trail. This trail along with the Lefty Trail would get me back into the east trailhead. Yes, Pancho and Lefty. Obviously, the namer of those two trails is a country music fan. After the hike I drove to the east shore of the lake as no trails go there directly.
Like Arkansas Bend this side had the white limestone cliffs that contrasted well with the blue water of the lake.
I liked this park but dodging bikers all day is not my description of a great hike. By the time I left it was also very crowded.