Lighthouse - GSL - PDR Loop
ElevationAscent: 259' 79 m
Descent: -263' -80 m
High: 2,925' 892 m
Low: 2,821' 860 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
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“A scenic singletrack loop leading through beautiful state park land, and connecting three trail segments.”— Jen Rollins
I love starting at the GSL trailhead because that section of trail is the most technical, and it's a good portion to knock out when you have plenty of energy. The Givens, Spicer, Lowry Trail is 100% singletrack and has a beautiful canyon lookout point at the one-mile mark. There are mile markers every tenth of a mile. Just past the mile overlook is Red Star Ridge (a neat rock formation). At this spot and at various other spots along the way one will find a bench.
By about 1.5 miles, the terrain become less challenging and more rolling. At nearly the terminus of the Givens, Spicer, Lowry Trail is the Little Fox Canyon Trail (2.3 mile loop not included in this route) that can be added on for a longer run. GSL ends at 3.08 miles and transitions to the Lighthouse Trail.
A sign directs trail users to either the Lighthouse trailhead or Lighthouse formation approach trail. For this loop, choose to return to the trailhead (about two extra miles can be added by following the approach trail).
The Lighthouse Trail is a multi-use trail. One is likely to encounter more people along this trail including those riding both bikes and horses. The trail also becomes more defined (wide path) and less singletrack. There are several overlooks and benches along the way. After about 1.7 miles, one will reach the trailhead parking area.
To access the Paseo del Rio trail, exit the parking lot and run along the road over the bridge to where the PDR trail intersects the road (>0.2 miles). The PDR is a mostly flat singletrack trail that is just over a mile long but more like 1.3 miles from Lighthouse trailhead parking to GSL trailhead parking.
Runners often spot turkey, deer, and other wildlife especially along the river. There are several interesting things along this trail including a native rain dance ceremonial rock structure. One can access the Chinaberry day-use area restroom just over halfway along this trail. Just past the day-use area is a cowboy dugout that visitors like to check out. Just before finishing the run, one will climb a final steep hill by a windmill that opens up to the GSL trailhead parking area.
Land Manager: Texas State Parks - Palo Duro Canyon