Take a Hike
Whispering Pines Trail at Tyler State Park
Distance: 1 mile loop • Difficulty Level: 3/5 • Approximate Time: 1 hour
It’s called the Whispering Pines Trail and, sure enough, the breeze blows with a soft murmur through the trees.
The Civilian Conservation Corps built this 1-mile trail more than 80 years ago in the area known as Beauchamp Springs. It winds through a mixed pine/hardwood forest, crossing ravines and going over bridges.
One of the first features encountered is the CCC-built Children’s Wading Pool, which once provided a place for kids to splash and play. Cool spring water flowed through the rock-lined pool.
Along the trail, interpretive signs inform hikers of natural features such as eastern red cedar and shortleaf pine trees, as well as beautyberry (See Flora Fact, Page 21) and other understory plants.
A little CCC history is mixed in as well.
Tall trees allow dappled sun to reach the forest floor, covered in pine needles.
After the trail winds through the forest and passes near a campground/shelter area, it follows a creek back uphill, forming a loop.
A rock waterfall created by the CCC guides the flow of Beauchamp Springs. Spring water cascades down the rocks, creating an effect pleasing to the eye and ear. The CCC wanted to highlight the sounds of nature as well as the sights, and the waterfall produces soothing splashes and gurgles to accompany the visual treat.
Concrete steps near the dam resemble natural tree stumps, in keeping with the park’s natural feel. Above the waterfall, Beauchamp Springs spills out of the hillside into a pool.
The trail leads back to the Children’s Wading Pool and trailhead, completing this scenic and peaceful walk.
Russell Roe Earl Nottingham | TPWD (top); Chase Fountain | TPWD (inset)
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