Skyline Park opened up last year, and it’s a lovely area for hiking, biking or even horse riding! Right now it is still free to enter, but I believe that will change in a few years!
How to get there-I 10 and take the Watson Road exit. You will turn north at the end of the ramp and continue until it gets to the park. There are signs on your way there, and its about a 3-4 mile drive from the end of the highway. Please note, as of December 2016, water at the park is “non potable”-i.e. not drinkable, so please bring water of your own (we always carry a case of water in our car, just “in case”).
You will see a little station at the sign for collecting fees to enter the park, but right now it is free! Follow the signs to the trails.
There are bathrooms! This is right at the parking lot. There were two stalls in the womens room, no changing area. This is also where I saw “do not drink the water”. So, don’t bring empty cups to fill up ! Notice there are no water fountains either.
So, this sign was in the bathroom, which of course made me a little nervous after the issues at Usery Park last year (big bee swarms ended up killing a person..eek). I’m one of those ridiculously calm people around a bee, so I’m not so nervous about it, but of course I am for my kids. These are really good tips, and if you have a kid that is allergic (or you yourself are) , please take precautions if you decide to hike! We saw some bees in the sink in the bathroom, but otherwise, I saw none.
Here’s the trail map. I was not infinitely wise in our decision to do the trail we did and really should have done a bit more research before thinking “Go big or go home” for our trail pick. Turnbuckle started out pretty good, but gets super steep mid walk. We had some people pass us and I noticed that they were very high up, and my kids were getting tired so we ended up turning around! I only have my littles with me (3 and 4 years old). I think a 9 or 10 year old that is active would have been able to do it, but too much for our littles. If I had been smart, I would have closely looked at the lines on the map to see that they were close together (the closer together the rings on the map, the steeper the walk!).
There are many other options of trails to take, and I highly suggest other ones if you have littles. I hope to be back soon to check different, and flatter and shorter ones out!
We went on a day right before Christmas, and it was cloudly, a little chilly, and almost starting rain. There are also some warnings on Watson Road about “Turn around, Don’t Drown”, so be wary if you go near the time it is raining as there are some low lying areas and washes that may not be safe to travel through.
You can see the beautiful Bridge in the distance that went over the wash from the parking lot and picnic area to some of the trails.
Taking a snack break!
The trail was pretty smooth (but not flat, a bit hilly) with some rocks jutting out on it. I’m accustomed to Rocks and roots in the middle of the trail since I grew up in a Connecticut.
The Turnbuckle trail would not be good for strollers, but some of the other trail systems may support it. There are no playgrounds set up, but there are places that you can camp.
I think this was just a beautiful place to check out, and we even saw a rainbow during our hike!
Skyline Park Buckeye
2600 N Watson Rd