It was 2012 the last time we were at Huntsville State Park. We were planning to camp last weekend but bad weather on Saturday deterred us from venturing out. I think had we not had Forest we might have attempted it, but it worked in our favor anyway as Forest came down with a nasty cough and it was probably better he wasn’t outside in a tent overnight. Chris still wanted to get out and do something on Sunday so instead of hitting up Sam Houston National Forest again we opted for Huntsville State Park as they have a diverse trail system and we enjoyed our last visit there.
The weather was a bit grey and iffy at first but cleared up as the day went on. We opted for the Chinquapin Trail which provided a nice loop around Lake Raven. There were quite a few other people out on the trail and since this was a multi-use trail they ranged from hikers to runners to bicyclists. We also saw one other couple babywearing their kid who was probably several months older than Forest.
Forest started off on my back and stayed that way for the majority of the trail. About a quarter of the way into the loop he started getting fussy and ready for a nap but had problems getting comfortable on my back. I tried to put the hood up so he could have a little support for his head but he wasn’t having it since it blocked his view. We stopped and arranged him on a front carry instead. Let me tell you, after doing a back carry with him and then returning to front carry for a long period—it’s back aching. Back carry is so much better right now on a hike! Of course later on he decided to fall asleep on my back when we were less than a mile back to the car.
The trail ended up being about 7 miles, which was great for us to stretch our legs and be outside for awhile. There are some convenient park benches sporadically on the trail which offer a place to sit with a baby if needed and we used them a couple of times. One thing I really like about the park was that it was managed well, as in burned appropriately for habitat. Sam Houston NF has some areas that are in dire need of burning but the state park had done a good job in burning where it was needed. There were great views across the forest in a lot of areas, with some nice ravines that provided a bit of terrain and a hilly atmosphere. Dogwoods were blooming all over the forest and we even saw a Mexican plum blooming. Here and there were a few small herbaceous plants blooming. Wildlife was quiet for the most part.
I definitely think we should revisit this park before summer comes!