- Tue May 12, 2015 11:39 am
I've been curious to see what's inside a state park screened shelter, so I stopped off at Martin Dies Jr. state park and had myself a looky loo. I visited both sides of the park, Hen House Ridge and Walnut Ridge. I was expecting to see some sort of bed inside the screened shelter but only found a picnic table, broom, light, and duplex receptacle. After seeing lots of debris and limbs that have been knocked down by recent storms, I understand why a screened shelter may be a better choice than a tent. Hen House Ridge has a self pay box for day use at the gate. I discovered this after waiting for the office to open at 8AM. I walked the Slough trail and the connecting trail over to Sandy Creek park and saw lots of squirrels but no other wildlife or waterfowl.
Walnut Ridge was open for day use only, no camping yet. State park employees were working to clear storm debris throughout the Walnut Ridge unit. Yellow Do Not Enter tape was stretched across the trail heads at the Walnut Slough day use area, but I did get to walk out on to the observation bridge. There were lots of rental canoes and kayaks staged there at the Walnut Slough parking lot.
The park is in a scenic area, is clean, and has canoes and kayaks for rent. This could be a good place for first time paddlers.
Hen House Unit screened shelters
shelter #38 on Gum Slough
screened shelter interior