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Swamped at the Knobby Knees Day Use Area | Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge

Ruddy Dagger, Acronicta rubricoma

Knobby Knees Day Use Area Trail Map

After our hike at Brierwood Day Use Area we drove south to the town of Liberty where a few more day use areas were closer to civilization and had a higher liklihood of being maintained. Or, that was the thought.

This trail series begins at the back of Liberty Municipal Park. Forest looked sadly at the flagged off playground and wished he could play. I would have loved letting him run around for 30-45 minutes! A few people were out walking, a father and son were having batting practice on the ball field, and otherwise it was fairly quiet. No one else was going to the trailhead.

The first part was rather maintained and led to a bench overlooking a pond before it climbed up a levee and then descended down into the bottomlands. Our hope was to maybe make it to the river or at least find some loop to do.

It wasn’t long before we found the swamp, with plenty of water to go with it. The trail so far was dry.


Orange blazes leading through the swamp…definitely overblazed.

But, what is this?

Uh oh! The trail is submerged! We tip-toed around the drier spots as best as we could but eventually Chris and I got our boots wet and we switched Forest over to his small waders. If we could just make it to the boardwalk!

Scenic views from a bench in the swamp!

Summer Grape, Vitis aestivalis

What’s that? The boardwalk is under water??!!! *sigh*

Luckily we spotted a swinging gate attached to the barbed wire boundary fence and made a beeline for that. Directly behind it was the levee and we could easily walk back down to the good portion of trail and back to our car.

Texas Bull Nettle, Cnidoscolus texanus

Well, our trail choices weren’t looking so great for this day! I should have heeded the suggestion I had seen on the TRNWR website to check water levels on the river because at a certain height it meant trails would be flooded. We’d had some rain recently but I honestly didn’t think it was enough for it to turn into a swampy mess along the river, but I was wrong! That said, we had some fun and even Forest liked it after he got his mud boots on.

We had lunch back at that park bench overlooking the pond and the made our way for one last trail of the day.

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