We headed out to Bastrop to hike the Colorado River Refuge. We didn’t really know what to expect as we couldn’t find much information about the area or the trails. We did, however, find a map of the trails to get an idea of how to tackle the trails.
We parked at the Two Bridges Trailhead and made our way to the River Trailhead via Two Bridges Trail where we took the River Trail to the Dragonfly trail. We hiked to the Dragonfly Trailhead then retraced our steps back to where the Cliffhanger Trail and Two Bridges Trail meet. Instead of heading back to the Two Bridges Trailhead, we turned right and hiked the Cliffhanger Trail to the Cliffhanger Trailhead where we called Jerry who had hiked back to the Two Bridges Trailhead to retrieve the truck. Confused yet? LOL!
The only trail at Colorado River Refuge that we did not hike was the Cottonwood Kings Trail as we ran out of time and Jerry’s foot was hurting.
Two Bridges Trail
Train Bridge at Colorado River Refuge
Shortly after turning onto the Two Bridges Trail, you come to a train bridge that crosses the water. It makes for a beautiful backdrop and picture. I have a thing for old bridges as well as train bridges. I may or may have not stopped here for 10 minutes admiring its beauty and taking pictures.
Before long we reached the intersection for the Two Bridges & Cliffhanger Trail junction. We decided to continue onto the Two Bridges Trail by turning right and going up man-made stairs which lead to the River Trailhead.
The River Trail is a super short spur of a trail that will connect you with the Two Bridges Trail to the east and the Dragonfly Trail to the West.
After a short hike on the River Trail, we connected to Dragonfly Trail which goes through a green space of a subdivision.
As you make your way along the trail you come to a cactus-type garden where cacti are identified by small signs. I imagine this would be a pretty area when all the cacti are in bloom.
Eventually, you come to split where the dragonfly trail splits. Stay to the left to stay on the dragonfly trail or go right to Meadow Loop. Both trails meet back up together, so it really doesn’t matter which way you decide to go. The Meadow Loop Trail, however, does run right along the backside of houses.
Note: The picture below is coming back from the trailhead of Dragonfly Trail so the signs are reversed.
Once we retraced our steps back from the dragonfly trail we met up to the Two Rivers / Cliffhanger Trail intersection. Jerry decided to head back to the truck and we decided to do the Cliffhanger Trail and have Jerry pick us up at the Cliffhanger Trailhead.
The Cliffhanger Trail, for the most part, hugs the river until you get to where it splits off to create a loop. The upper trail is called Cliffhanger Trail and the bottom loop is called Baja Cliffhanger Trail.
We decided to do the Baja Cliffhanger Trail since it would allow us to get the most distance in.
Overall Thoughts of Colorado River Refuge
It was great to get out of the house, but it’s not a trail system I would do again just due to the lack of mileage and scenery (other than the river). However, if I lived very close by, the Colorado River Refuge would be a great area to do daily hikes.
Watch our Video
River Access: While the trail does run along the river, there is almost no access to the river itself without going down steep banks where there are no beach areas.
Surrounding Areas: The Dragonfly Trail runs right between two neighborhoods, sometimes right next to backyards. If you are looking for a quiet area to hike, this is not it.
Mileage: There are only about 3 miles total of hiking trails (one way). If you start at Cottonwood Kings you could get in about 6 miles roundtrip.
Fishing: Fishing is allowed…if you can find a way down to the river that is.
Parking is available at the Cliffhanger Trailhead, Two Bridges Trailhead, and the Cottonwoods Kings Trailhead (which is also ADA accessible).
Hours: Sunrise to sundown
Address: 315 Riverside Dr., Bastrop, TX 78602
Other Things to do in the Area
Bastrop State Park – (coming soon to the blog)
Visit the gas station from Texas Chainsaw Massacre – (coming soon to the blog)
The Dinosaur Park – Take a nature hike with life-size dinosaurs (coming soon to the blog)
McKinney Roughs Nature Park – (coming soon to the blog)