The Great Egret's Ridge Trails at Trinity River Refuge are Open and Improved
by Ashley Chattle
Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge would like to announce the opening of a new set of hiking trails located right here in the City Liberty. These trails provide a primitive hiking experience through undisturbed bottomland hardwood forests, with opportunities to view native wildlife and a range of natural habitats. All trails are fully-marked and ready to be hiked without the need of a map for guidance, but only open from sunrise to sunset.
To hike the trails follow the marked yellow posts, as well as colored tree markers, to navigate your way throughout the trail system. At the start of the hike, you will pass through 3 closed gates --don't be intimidated. These just mean that it is walk-in only. There are 5.3 miles of total trails, broken up into three separately marked segments: Possum Passel Pass (1.2m), Great Egret's Ridge Loop (2.0m) and Boggy Boots Loop (1.5m). This allows you to choose from a range of hiking levels, from a more maintained and relaxed walk along Possum Passel Pass, to a longer, more rugged, hike along Great Egret's Ridge Loop, which boasts 3 scenic outlooks and access to Trinity River. Or, to get the full experience of the trails, check out the farthest trail--Boggy Boots Loop--and complete them all.
AmeriCorps Recognizes Trinity River Refuge
LIBERTY, June 17, 2013 - AmeriCorps National Conservation Civilian Corp-Southwest Region recognized Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) for a job well done by awarding the Refuge the Sponsor of the Round Award! They were nominated by AmeriCorps Sun 8 Team for the outstanding support the Refuge provided, helping the team to be as successful as possible in achieving their mission of National Service. "This was a great all around experience", according to Refuge Manager Stuart Marcus, "and we hope to host a team again next year."
Trinity River NWR broke the urban myth that held no first time sponsor could be given this award. The Refuge strived to make the team feel like they were at home with family by assisting team members with professional, cultural, and personal development while doing everything possible to make the team's work as efficient and meaningful as possible. During the 5 weeks the 10 member Sun 8 team was here in April and May, the team engaged over 2,500 children while hosting educational events featuring live animals, sprayed over 50 acres of water hyacinth in Gaylor Lake, sprayed 50 acres of Chinese tallow trees around the Refuge, assisted in facilities maintenance and landscaping, ran the Earth Day events, and built and maintained 1.5 miles of new hiking trails as a part of the From Crosswalks to Boardwalks Projects. The team also provided local community support by helping out with the Relay For Life and Shred-it Day events in Liberty during the weekends.
$45,00 Grant Awarded to Friends of Trinity River Refuge
The Friends of Trinity River Refuge (FOTRR) was just awarded a National Recreational Trails Fund Grant by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. These grants provide funding for projects that create new and maintain existing recreational trails. FOTRR was awarded a $45,000 grant to enhance the From Crosswalks To Boardwalks Project. The funds from this grant will be used to construct a 500-foot boardwalk over Palmer Bayou and adjacent wetlands on the Knobby Knees Trail. The From Crosswalks to Boardwalks Project was designed by the Refuge and the City of Liberty to connect citizens to nature. This boardwalk will be located ½ mile past the Knobby Knees Trailhead in the Liberty Municipal Park and will connect visitors to the additional 9 ½ miles of trails located past Palmer Bayou on the Refuge. The boardwalk will be constructed from recycled plastic materials and completed in early 2014.
New Road Signs
On 1-11-13, TxDot placed two signs along FM 1011 on the outskirts of the Liberty City limits directing visitors to the new Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge headquarters facility. We have already seen a rise in visitors stopping by the new office, but this will really help people find the new Refuge office.
Earth Day 2012
The Trinity River Refuge Earth Day event held on April 21st at the Champion Lake Public Use Area was again a big success. The weather was cool and brisk winds kept the mosquitoes at bay. The kids had a great time participating in the "Wildlife Tracking Experience" by learning animal tracks, wearing an animal mask, and walking like a raccoon, deer, or alligator. A local hardware store, Potetz Hardware, donated numerous plants for the habitat display area where kids could follow the animal tracks. They also got hands-on experience in handling frogs, an alligator, and turtles. Nearly 100 folks were given a boat tour of the lake while fishing, dip netting, and kayaking were also very popular. Over 180 folks, a new record, participated during the 3 hour event.