Thursday, June 01, 2006

Salado Creek MTB Tour - Possibly

Theoretically speaking we now can do a tour on Salado Creek. Recently some members of the Thursday night Bike World ride sponsored by STORM (http://www.storm-web.org) stretched the envelope a bit on the access to trails from McAllister Park. A doable extension was found to the trails north of 1000 Oaks by going through a greenway access that puts you on North Jones Maltzberger which from there you can go all the way to 1604 of groomed trails and can even be extended past 1604 to reach 281. Wow! First of all very cool trails go around a damn for the Edwards recharge I'm assuming.

So that's North of McAllister, now I've personally gone in the creekbed South of McAllister all the way to Ft. Sam Houston (I think in and around McAllister it's actually Mud Creek, but who's counting). You make your way to Lady Bird Johnson via the creekbed and from Lady Bird you make your way South and eventually you will have to tip toe through Los Patios (Trespass warning - plus if you do get stopped just mention someone that you that lives there at the retirement/apartments - and no I'm not telling you to trespass - I know folks that have gone to court for lesser trespassing violations so noli consequi - don't know if it's appropriate, but it sure sounds more forceful with some Latin thrown in). After you pass under the bridge at 410 you then enter an old horse ranch (currently overgrown - darn near impassable) which connects with the new park area at Austin Hwy and Ira Lee (creek crossing here as well about a mile up from Austin Hwy and Ira Lee). BTW did I mention you do about 4 or 5 creek crossings so if you don't like getting your BB wet then wimp out and stay home - whatever! This is a gnarly trail so if you're faint of heart stay away. Anyway that new park area has a map of the proposed Salado Creek Greenway expansion project so you can get an idea of the big picture.

So now you're under the bridge at Austin Hwy and Ira Lee (if you're chicken or your MTB isn't as stout as you would like then you can take Ira Lee all the way to Ft. Sam) and you enter the trail by Nations Rent and it's pretty well groomed in this section and most of the next. So you'll have it easy from Austin Hwy to Under the bridge at Eisenhower and from Eisenhower you go about half way and you suddenly have to go right and cross the creek again (wear your sturdy MTB shoes). And you hook up with a trail that every time it rains/floods you get all this trash on the trail so be ready to get off and climb over piles of dead wood or whatever else gets washed down the Salado. Eventually you come to a section of the trail that seems impassable, but it's doable without a machete (although there's a section later that I wouldn't have minded having one for cutting down all the bramble bush that attacks your legs). Careful right before the Rittiman Bridge there's some sewer spillage there - do not immerse your feet or bike in that caca water. Right after that you enter what seems to be one of the nicest trail systems close by.

You are now at James park which has trails that connect with the equestrian trails off of Ira Lee somewhere in here you morph from the equestrian trails of the people off Ira Lee and the Ft. Sam equestrian trails. Now at a certain point yesterday when I was adventuring I came across an obvious camera out in the middle of nowhere - where Uncle Sam said this is where we draw the line. To enter Ft. Sam you must show your license so I dutifully held out my license so they could zoom in on it and clear me through. The MPs didn't come to get me when I kept going so I guess that was ok. Eventually you make it to the Binz Engleman gate to Ft. Sam by going on some of the paved roads - enjoy it whilst you can because it gets way worse here in the next section. Anyway cross the creek over the low water crossing bridge there and go immediately back into the brush eventually you reach access to the RR tracks and go under the bridge there now in this section there are a couple of creek crossings so beware. This is where I pretzelled my back wheel yesterday and had to ride the next hour on the worst looking wobbly wheel ever. I was embarrassed at how visible it was! Drivers were probably saying, look at that homeless guy, poor b@st@rd! Has to ride a pos bike like that. BTW that last section is where you need the machete or you can do it the hard way like I did. Look for a better place to cross the creek than what I found because the pretzel happens.

So then I'm out at I-35 and Splashtown where one can theoretically go all the way to the Southside Lions.

Since my wheel was trashed I decided to forego the next part of my adventure. Think about it someone in the group parks their truck at SS Lions and the rest meet up at 281 yeehaw and you have thirty plus miles of gnarly trail to enjoy. Make sure you bring lots of water. I drained 64 oz camelback plus a waterbottle of go juice in three plus hours.

3 comments:

Bobster said...

I'm going to comment on my own story...I told you wrong this ride can start before 281. If you know where Rogers Ranch is inside of the Stone Oak area this is where this trail will start. Does that mean there's a trail there now? I don't know. Remember the part of the trail closer to 281 is based on what a friend told me. I'm guessing it's like the other areas that they are developing where there is a semblance of a trail available and they will develop it into a groomed trail such as the ones found at Friedrich.

Dorothy said...

I just read your blog on Salado Creek trail! Long time since you wrote it! I'm honestly excited about riding the trail from 1604 down as far as possible tomorrow, if I survive, I'll update this note. Thanks for your insight....

Rick

Bobster said...

I recently rode the area from 410 to the Ft. Sam area. There are parts that are very improved and other areas whee it is difficult to pass. It is quite an adventure! Good luck in your quest. I would venture to say that this ride will qualify as an "epic ride." At Eisenhower you can gain acces to the street and there are convenience stores in both directions. Let me know how the section after 35 is and how that goes. Peace be with you!