Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

Cedar Brake Outer Loop | Dinosaur Valley State Park

Over the weekend I drove up to Fort Worth to see Patrice and Justin who are currently the Gear and Go Tour ambassadors for Backpacker magazine. You might remember them from our trip to Guadalupe National Park nearly two years ago at Thanksgiving or our first encounter with them in The Whites on the Appalachian Trail where they gave us trail magic and we met them after they had been following our journey from Georgia to Maine.

Anyway those two have been traveling the country this summer giving presentations at various outdoor stores and they were stopping three times in Texas. Fort Worth was going to be the best opportunity for me to see them, as their trip to Houston will be brief before they have to head out to New Mexico for a presentation there.

My dad was game for going for a short day hike and we decided that Dinosaur Valley State Park offered the best hiking within a short drive, though we did think about the Fort Worth Nature Center too. We mostly hiked the Cedar Brake Outer Loop Trail but cut off the far northern reaches and used the Black Capped Vireo Trail to get to a different section of the Cedar Brake Outer Loop Trail to finish out the hike at the Paluxy River bed, where the dinosaur tracks are located. I’d say it was six-ish miles that we hiked that morning.

Dry, dry, dry! There were a couple of other hikers were encountered but it was mostly trail bikers doing long loops.

Note the bike guys in the background; Friendly riders, too.

One of the views we first saw. Most of the area was socked in by the Juniper trees but there were a few other spots where we got a glimpse of the area.

Patrice and I were walking up front at first until we realized we were breaking trail and the spider webs along with it. She borrowed a pole from Justin and finally, though, the bike guys came through which meant we were home free the rest of the way.



Patrice still breaking trail as we walked into the morning sun.

A great set of prickly pear cactus.





Coming down the trail with one of the other views we saw.

North-central Texas rolling hills! Not too much terrain in this area but this area is one of the places for it.

An Eryngium species giving a bit of color on the hike.

After we came down from the hills on the west side of the park we walked along an old roadway adjacent to a field. It was here that gave a good perspective on the terrain.

It’s not the mountains, but it’s the best we’ve got in that area I suppose. You make do with what you’re given in a certain area!

Coming back down to the Paluxy in a different area. This is where the dinosaur prints are!

The last time I was here three years ago there were people swimming in the river. Now, not so much.

Down the dry river bed in search of tracks…

And we found some!




After checking out the tracks we headed back to trailhead parking lot across the park from where we were at and then drove back over to the picnic area to eat lunch. Patrice and Justin told us some of their stories from their travels this summer and talked about their future possibilities and adventures.

We took them back to their super-awesome ride for the tour, their home and transportation on the road. I think they have really appreciated having it their first go-round out there as Backpacker ambassadors.

They still have several more stops before they are through for the year, maybe your town is on the list?



You can see Patrice’s recent post that includes a few photos from our hike here. It was great to see them since I know that our paths won’t cross often! I know that my dad and I had a great time chatting with them and stretching our legs a bit for a hike!


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