A Short Hike on Paynes Prairie

Tuesday January 17th 2023

The weather switched from below normal temperatures to above normal today. It was still cold overnight, but during the day the temperature climbed to the mid seventies. The normal daily high is in the low seventies. Tomorrow is forecast to be even warmer.

View of Paynes Prairie from the Cones Dyke Trail
High zoom picture of the birds and wild horses on the prairie from the observation tower near the visitors center.

I took a hike out onto the prairie this afternoon. I wasn’t alone there were a number of other hikers taking advantage of the nice weather. I only took the Cones Dike Trail about an hour out into the prairie before turning around. It was getting a little muddy and I wasn’t wearing the right footwear. In addition to avoiding mud, I had to avoid a lot of horse excrement. The wild horses weren’t in the immediate area this afternoon, but had clearly been there recently. I also so tracks in the mud that I think were from the bison known to roam the prairie. I’m not sure if it was good luck or bad luck that the bison weren’t in the area today.

The campground was quiet today with only a small amount of turnover. During my walk through the day use area late in the day, there were very few people visiting. Most of the people I passed were campers walking their dogs.

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