New REI-Fit City hike series launches with trip to St. Edward’s Park

This morning's hike at St. Edward's Park marked the first in the Best Hill Country Hikes with Fit City series. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

This morning’s hike at St. Edward’s Park marked the first in the Best Hill Country Hikes with Fit City series. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Recent rains have worked magic on area parks, turning them as lush and green as Ireland. Creeks are flowing, birds are chirping and trails beckon.

I explored St. Edward’s Park off of Spicewood Springs Road this morning, during the first hike in the new Best Hill Country Hikes with Fit City series.

The hikes take place on Monday mornings, once a month. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

The hikes take place on Monday mornings, once a month. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

REI Outdoor School instructors lead the monthly guided walks, which we’re calling Best Hill Country Hikes with Fit City. I tag along to represent Fit City — and because I like to hike and meet other people who appreciate outdoor adventure.

Dave Andreas of REI led our group of about a dozen up the steep rocky hills above Bull Creek at St. Edward’s Park, where we got classic Hill Country views. We learned about golden-cheeked warbler habitat, listened to bird calls, talked about Leave No Trace principles and soaked up some fresh air. Then we looped down to the creek, where we inspected eroded limestone bluffs and walked through meadows of Indian blankets.

Indian blankets are blooming at St. Edward's Park. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Indian blankets are blooming at St. Edward’s Park. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

I’d much rather ramble around in the woods than sit in front of a computer on a Monday morning, so this new hiking series suits me just fine.

The next one is set for June 6 at Wild Basin Wilderness. On July 11 we’ll explore part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. Cost is $20 for REI members and $25 for non-members.

David Andreas led this morning's hike. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

David Andreas led this morning’s hike. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Please, take off work. This will be way more fun.

The hikes start at 9 a.m. and wrap up by 11 a.m. The group meets at the downtown REI store, 601 N. Lamar Boulevard. Cost is $20 for REI members or $25 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, go here.


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