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      Hikers experience extreme heat on trails

      Palo Duro Canyon State Park Superintendent Shannon Blalock said with the addition of newer trails visitors must make sure they are staying hydrated.

      With miles of trails being added to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park officials say that means more visitors to keep track of, but that's not always possible.

      "We had a terrific weekend, about 4,500 people came through and that's not even counting today," Park Superintendent Shannon Blalock said.

      That's 4,500 people walking, biking or camping-out over a weekend that saw temperatures at nearly 104 degrees at the bottom of the canyon. Blalock said it??s impossible for her rangers to keep track of each person or group, but a group of volunteers is doing just that for those hiking trails like the Lighthouse Trail.

      "They're called Palo Duro Bike Patrol," Blalock said. "It's a crew of men that come out and ride the trails during peak season; they check on folks and hand out water."

      Blalock said with upcoming trails being built including the Comanche Trail and its newest Rock Garden Trail hikers must take into consideration not only the temperature, but how difficult each trail is.

      "We suggest one gallon for each hiker, and if it??s more than 80 degrees just don't go," Blalock said.