Sunday, December 9, 2012

Caney Creek Preserve

Jeez, I think I've grown old all at once. That little excursion around Postelle Creek the other day trashed my legs completely. It's as if I've never walked a mile in my life. My calves are so shredded, I can't even do the shop ride tomorrow. God, you take a couple of weeks off and that's what happens? That just can't be right.

I could barely walk around my house yesterday, but today I ventured out in search of whatever recovery I could get.

I had a place in mind... Caney Creek Preserve. It's a new park, over by where I used to work. I used to drive by the property twice a week or so, whenever we'd go eat at Taco Mac or Shane's Rib Shack. Then a few weeks back I was out for a road ride, and "whoa!" the old farm had become a park.

 Caney Creek Preserve West Trailhead

I guess I should put "park" in quotes, really. It's not a traditional park, with ball fields and tennis courts, but a more of a greenspace with a parking lot. Kind of like Haw Creek or Al Burruss.

There was a playground though.

 Caney Creek Preserve Playground

Again, not your typical playground. Just a bunch of stuff to climb on.

There was a trail too, and thus, I was compelled to explore.

On that day I discovered the place, I was on my road bike and though I'm not afraid to get it dirty, the signs were ambiguous about whether the trail was open to bikes and I left it alone.

Today I needed a place to take a little walk and it seemed like as good a place as any.

The trail started off paved and basically went from the lot over to a dog park. There were little remnants here and there of the former purpose of the property.

 Old Fence

An old fence, an overgrown road, old ruts leading across a field.

The trail followed one set of old ruts and ended abruptly just as it crossed the main driveway. I double-checked the map, which showed it continuing on. Hmmm. I guess the map is a little ahead of reality.

I used my imagination though and followed the route that the trail will likely take, right around an old homestead.

 Caney Creek Preserve Historical Site

I've driven past that old house a gazillion times. I always wanted to stop and look inside. It used to be surrounded by abandoned trailers. The county removed the trailers a few years back, but left the old house behind. I used to work with a guy who alleges that a friend of his was involved in the fight to preserve it as a historical site. I wonder if they'll put up an interpretive sign one day. I'd like to know the history behind it.

The future path of the trail looped around the old house and doubled back on itself, then eventually led back past the lot and into the woods near Caney Creek proper.

The creek was kind of hard to see from the trail, but I noticed an old ford leading down and across it and got a better view from there.


The creek looked remarkably healthy for being hemmed in by neighborhoods. There were little fish darting around in the pools.

There was plenty of cane on the other side too.


I guess that's where it gets its name from.

The trail wound around through the woods, through some fields, and eventually across the creek in a more formal fashion.

 Caney Creek Preserve Trail

So, is the trail open to bikes? Clearly you can walk and walk your dog, and clearly you cannot drive your truck or ride your horse on it, but what about your bike? I think I'll call the parks office, it would definitely make a nice little addition to one of my road loops, if its legal.

The singletrack on the other side was pretty sweet...

 Caney Creek Preserve Trail Singletrack

...and it meandered around I the woods for a while before popping out at another trailhead much like the first.

I looped up around a little hill. The sun was going down somewhere ahead of me but it was too overcast to make out exactly where.


The air was cool, it was getting dark, lights were glowing softly along the road. I could hear my favorite sound... distant traffic.

I wanted to just stand there for an hour but I really needed to get back and eat dinner with my family.

I'd forgotten entirely about my aching legs but when I got out if the car and tried to walk into my house, it all came back to mind. Man, this is horrible.

I guess I'm too old to take too many weeks off anymore. I'd guess I'd better get back on the wagon.

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