BY: STEVEN HILLS WITH AHA MOMENTS GROUP
Great cities develop great trail systems. Dallas understands that linking communities with trails and greenways is a critical piece of the urban puzzle. Dallas’ award-winning trail plan includes over 125 miles of the most beautiful and diverse urban hike and bike trails in the country. Located throughout the city, these trails connect communities, provide alternative transportation corridors, and have become an essential recreational amenity for Dallas citizens.
Inflate your tires, put your helmet on, and pull on your gloves. It’s time to check out these 5 outstanding trails in the heart of Big D.
White Rock Lake Park Loop Trail
The 9.4 mile White Rock Lake Loop Trail along the shoreline of beautiful White Rock Lake in East Dallas is without a doubt the City’s most popular trail. Cycling past the phenomenal Dallas Arboretum, the historic Filter Building, and other historic features including several art deco Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era picnic structures is a delight. Many cyclers venture out onto the tree-lined streets in the Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Forest Hills, and Casa Linda neighborhoods surrounding the lake where they quickly discover that Dallas isn’t quite as flat as they thought. Trail Map – http://happytrailsdallas.com/trail-maps/White_Rock_Lake_Trai.jpg
White Rock Creek Trail
Described as “one of Dallas’ oldest hike and bike trails”, 7.6 mile White Rock Creek Trail, in northeast Dallas next to White Rock Creek, links the ten parks that make up the White Rock Creek Greenbelt. Being a great route for commuting and fitness, the trail provides a direct connection to Richardson via the Cottonwood Creek Trail at its north end and to White Rock Lake and the neighborhoods of Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Forest Hills, and Casa Linda at its south end. This trail is a favorite of riders looking for a quiet, off-street experience that is uninterrupted by at grade street crossings. Trail Map – http://happytrailsdallas.com/trail-maps/White_Rock_Creek_Trai.jpg
Santa Fe Trail
The subtitle for writer Dick Sullivan’s July 2011 D Magazine article about the newly opened Santa Fe Trail was “It’s not as fancy as the Katy, but that’s fine. East Dallas doesn’t exercise in mascara.” The Santa Fe is about getting fit, getting connected, getting involved, and getting in and out of Downtown Dallas without a car. Located in an old railroad right-of-way, the trail begins just east of Downtown near the State Fair of Texas site and passes by the Lakewood Country Club and the historic Hollywood/Santa Monica neighborhood before it connects to the White Rock Lake Park Loop Trail and the Lakewood, Forest Hills, Casa Linda, and Lake Highlands neighborhoods. Trail Map and More Information – www.friendsofsantafetrail.org
Privately funded and supported by the community, the historic Katy Trail quickly became an iconic destination for the people of Dallas and is now being expanded to make it possible for even more people to enjoy. The south end of the trail begins just north of Downtown Dallas and a new section that extends the trail past Mockingbird Lane is under construction. Easily accessible from the M Street and Preston Hollow neighborhoods, the existing 3.5 mile trail serves as a 26+ acre linear park providing recreational and alternative commuting opportunities in and through one of the densest areas of the City. The Katy Trail makes it easier than ever to attend Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars games, concerts, and other event at the incredible American Airlines Center and other places in Downtown Dallas. Trail Map – http://happytrailsdallas.com/trail-maps/Katy_Trail.jpg
Harry S. Moss Trail
Maintained by the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (DORBA), the Harry S. Moss trail boasts 6 miles of natural surface trails with 7 connected loops to provide a great off-road biking experience in the middle of the city. Construction of the trail began in 2010 through a partnership with the City of Dallas. This is the “intown” place to go if you like riding in trees on trails with some tight and twisting areas, dips, mounds, and short hills. The Harry S. Moss trail is also one of 17 DORBA trails in the DFW area which together comprise a total of over 200 miles of off-road fun and adventure. More information on DORBA can be found at http://www.dorba.org. Trail Map – http://happytrailsdallas.com/trail-maps/Harry_S_Moss_Trails.jpg