Before I went to the Azalea Trail in Lufkin I dropped by the Angelina College Forest Fitness Trail to scope it out. Located at the back of the college near the athletic buildings I found the parking lot empty save for a few cars towards the back of the lot. Looked like I would be alone for the hike, which I expected anyway.
Part of this trail reminded me a bit of Turkey Creek Sanctuary a park in Florida near where Chris and I lived our first two years in Florida. I would go running there often and we hid our first geocache there. Ok, maybe it was the ambiance instead, the habitats are definitely different!
I appreciate when trail systems post the names of some of the plants along the trail. Of course I end up finding signs that are out of place or the plant that it was labeling has died or been blown down. This is Viburnum rufidulum, rusty blackhaw.
The only thing really blooming and providing color was Gelsemium sempervirens, Carolina jessamine. This is vine lights up the forest in the spring around east Texas and I’ve noticed quite a bit of it growing around my neighborhood.
There are two creeks along the back end of the trail system. This one is Hurricane Creek, the same creek that I walked along at the Azalea Trail. Not nearly as trashy in this location but you can spot the road in the background.
From consulting my butterfly book I think this is probably the Little Wood-Satyr, Megisto cymela. There’s a very similar species/subspecies and it seems that even separating the two is contended, but with the Viola’s Little Wood-Satyr the lower eye spot on the upper wing is slightly larger than on the Little Wood-Satyr. Either way, a very pretty species that was bouncing around on the floor of the trail.
Poncirus trifoliata, trifoliate orange. I didn’t realize it was an invasive/exotic. I have seen some gardeners trading it and using it in their gardens.
Overall it was a lovely walk that I hope the locals actually use. The path was fairly clear on the main loop, the little loop at the far back was a little less clear with some brush hanging over the trail, but I think it was a great natural area to explore if in the area and you only have a short time to stretch your legs.