During our PCS from hell, we were looking for things to do to get us out of the hotel room. (Preferably something cheap or free.) Texas has beautiful state parks (There are 25 of them near Fort Cavazos!) and I was eager for a good hike.
So, we headed out to Colorado Bend State Park. It’s only an hour away from Fort Cavazos and home to a beautiful waterfall!
We busted through the Gorman Falls Trail armed with 2 kids and a glass of sweet tea. Funny…until we got to the rock climbing section!
Consider this a cautionary tale and don’t make the same mistakes that we did.
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Don’t Underestimate the Heat
After years of easy Carolina hikes, mostly surrounded by trees and their glorious shade, we were completely unprepared for our new landscape.
Although it was early November, the temps were hovering just under 80 degrees.
However, the lack of shade on the way to Gorman Falls made this hike surprisingly hot.
It wasn’t too bad for us, but this is not a hike that I would do in July. Make sure you check the temperature and take plenty of water with you when you go.
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The ‘Steep Descent’ is Also Slippery
According to the state park’s website, this is a “3-mile round-trip hike over rough and rocky terrain, with a steep descent near the falls.”
And while that is a very accurate description, we were not ready for that ‘steep descent’!
We passed several groups of people with backpacks full of gear, hiking boots, those hiking stick thingies, first aid kits, etc. And I stupidly thought, “Wow, isn’t that a bit much?”
LOL…..the joke was on ME. Because that ‘steep descent’ was just shy of requiring ropes and special equipment.
Not only was the descent steep, but the rock face was also extremely slippery, even though it was dry as a bone.
Due to thousands of people walking on it over the years, the rocks are worn almost completely smooth. Thankfully, there is a cable guard rail to hold on to.
We made it down safely, even me in my completely inadequate shoes. Who wears Converse sneakers to hike in any way??? But it was very slow going and pretty sketchy in a couple of places.
Going back up wasn’t nearly as bad (ya know, except for being out of breath).
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Gorman Falls Could be a Little Underwhelming
I could get kicked out of Texas for this next part, but in the spirit of honesty, Gorman Falls was a little underwhelming.
Maybe it’s because we just came from North Carolina – the land of waterfalls, where rushing beauties like Looking Glass Falls are right beside the road for everyone to see.
Or perhaps it’s because we saw Gorman Falls when it was dry and there wasn’t much water rushing over the edge?
But I wasn’t super impressed by this waterfall.
I mean, it was definitely still worth the trip. The waterfall just wasn’t as majestic as I was expecting.
This could also be due in part to REALLY pretty pictures I saw on Instagram before our trip. However, nearly ALL of those pictures are taken from the vantage point of people standing IN the river.
We hiked to Gorman Falls, instead of coming in by kayak or canoe and didn’t have any extra clothes for getting wet.
Just don’t be surprised if the waterfall doesn’t live up to your expectations.
Despite all of our preparedness shortcomings, we had a great time!
Colorado Bend is a gorgeous park and we can’t wait to explore more of it! I’m considering another trip where we paddle to Gorman Falls.
I was afraid that my family wouldn’t go on another impromptu adventure again after this hot mess hike. But the girls have asked me multiple times if we can find another waterfall and we can’t wait to check out Chalk Ridge Falls and Krause Springs!