Hiking Purgatory Creek Natural Area

About 10 miles worth of trails to explore! From beginner to Expert. We’ll create a route so people can exit at different distances if they want. We’ll start at Prospect Park and work our way through the trail system.

About 10 miles worth of trails to explore! From beginner to Expert. We'll create a route so people can exit at different distances if they want.  We'll start at Prospect Park and work our way through the trail system.

Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch to eat on the trail.

About the Trails:

Prospect Park is the original natural area begun two decades ago as developers began work to clear the land. Several forward-thinking individuals worked with the city council to create parkland of about 9 acres. Prospect Park sits on a rather porous section of the Edwards Aquifer with prominent karst features (rainwater flowing into the ground through limestone rocks). Ashe juniper groves, grassland meadows, ephemeral wetlands and oak mottes co-exist. Benches and interpretive signs are located along the trail. A large compass and opposite, The Learning Tree, provide seating and education opportunities in the lower meadow.

Lower Purgatory (Hunter Road) is the most popular trailhead and fills up quickly on weekends and late morning Spring days. It is a destination for serious mountain bikers and trail runners looking for the technical difficulty of avoiding rocks and tree roots as the trail is natural surface single-track. More than 12 miles of trail flow uphill to the Valencia Way trailhead. Popular trails are Dante, Beatrice, Ovid and Ripheus.

Upper Purgatory is equally popular but access is from a half-mile of caliche road (turn-off from Craddock). Popular trails are Dante, Paraiso and Malacoda where Purgatory Creek has carved a large grotto in the limestone cliff. In addition to trail runners and mountain bikers, this is also a popular hike for birders and nature explorers.

Note to trail users: check the map at the trail head or better still take a paper copy with you. Bring water and stay on marked trails avoiding deer runs and renegade trails to avoid getting lost. Do not cross fences. During March 1 – May 30 Paraiso Trail is closed to allow Golden Cheek Warbler nesting. We obtained funds to purchase these lands with the stipulation that we would protect this endangered species

Event Date & Time:

  • Date: October 21, 2017
    Time: Members Only
RSVP List: Members only