New trail comes with a mystery!

 

With its rows of stately pecan trees, historic buildings, resident donkeys, and wonderful trails, Berry Springs Park offers something for everyone, including a new trail in the works that will provide ever-changing creek-side views and its own history mystery.

The trail will be a one-third-mile loop, on the west side of I–35, accessible from the east-side hike and bike trail that extends under I–35. Hikers will likely catch sight of a blue heron lifting away from the creek or a rabbit bounding through the underbrush. And there’s no chance of missing the stone trestles, all that remain of a long-ago bridge.

“The trestles are what got us excited,” says Susan Blackledge, park manager. “They’re a great focal point.” Research is ongoing, but, Susan says, “They could have been part of the Chisholm Trail, or the remnants of an access bridge to an old post office, or part of Highway 81 that later became I–35.” The trestles may feature the same type of stonework as the 1846 dam that is part of John Berry’s original homestead.

At the trailhead stands a stout-timbered kiosk built by Eagle Scout Zane Robertson, his Scout troop, and his dad. It will provide native plant, wildlife, and park information.

Walking along the proposed route, Susan points out areas that will be highlighted—a group of cedars will be “Cedar Grove,” a patch of yuccas, “Yucca Way,” and some beautiful Mexican plum trees, “Plum Pass.” Susan notes that the plum trees burst into beautiful white blossoms in the spring. Farther down, there’s an onion field that Susan says “is unbelievably fragrant.”

Looping to the other side, the creek meanders nearby, ever changing with the seasons. And then the old stone walls rise up, their tan, rocky surfaces blending into the surroundings. These are the trestles. The remains of another trestle are visible across the creek. The actual bridge is left to the imagination that cares to span the distance from one side to the other.

This trail will be a wonderful addition to a park that Georgetown residents are proud to have in their backyard. But there’s still much work to be done—the completion of the trail and the removal of invasive plants. When will it be finished? That depends. “It’s all a volunteer effort,” Susan says, “so it’s ongoing, and the more people we have, the sooner it will be finished and enjoyed.”


For park information, go to parks.wilco.org.

To contact Susan Blackledge, call 512 930-0040 or email her at sblackledge@wilco.org.

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