Located on the north shore (of course) of Grapevine Lake, the Northshore Trail is the favorite training trail of many Dallas/Fort Worth trail runners. From the trailhead at Rockledge Park to the Twin Coves Park entrance, the trail is approximately 9 miles long. There are water fountains at each end of the trail and at Murrell Park, which is at about mid-distance. The trail has lots of rocks and roots and lots of ups and downs, but no steep climbs. Northshore Trail is also a favorite of mountain bikers and hikers, but no horses allowed.
Update: 8 July 2009
The general consensus is that the in-going gate at Murrell Park closes at 10:00 PM, but that there is a call box for Little Pete's and they will buzz you in until 1:00 AM. The out-going gate is automatic.
The daily entrance fee to Rockledge or Meadowmere Park is $3, Monday through Thursday per vehicle and $5 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Grapevine residents, seniors, physically challenged individuals and active military may obtain an annual pass to access Rockledge Park, Meadowmere Park, and the City’s nine boat ramps for $35. A Non-Grapevine resident annual pass is $75. Passes may be obtained at both parks and The Vineyards Campground & Cabins.2. Knob Hills [DORBA]
Another DORBA trail, but not nearly as busy as the nearby Northshore Trail. 5 miles long, but linking to horse trails, giving 7-8 miles of out and back. Mixture of flat and open, shaded and a few small climbs. Few loops and areas you could get turned around. No water available at or on trail. Free.
For an easy, enjoyable short run, Horseshoe Trail is a good choice. Located on the south side of Lake Grapevine, the trail winds its way through woods near the lake for about 3 miles. Relatively flat and smooth, there is still enough change of terrain to make the trail interesting. Located in the town of Grapevine in Oak Grove Park, just off Dove Road.4. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve offers a 2.2 mile designed off road bike trail. The trail is easy but has a number of switchbacks. The trailhead for the bike trail is off the concreate path wich parallels Parker Road. There are some additional trails which are under development. These trails with a total length of about 2.5 miles are off the concreate path just north and west of the bike trailhead. These trails offer several steep hills.
The Arbor Hills Preserve is in Northwest Plano. From Dallas take the Dallas North Tollway to the Parker Road exit. Then take a left (west) onto Parker Road. Follow Parker Road past the Midway stoplight. The Arbor Hills entrance is just west of the Fire Station.5. Isle Du Bois State Park [website; DORBA]
Bike trails, horse trails, and concrete park trail, plus great swimming beaches and play areas for children. The horse trails are flatter and more open. About 8 miles each way, out and back. No water apart from at trailhead. The bike trails are still being developed by DORBA. Currently 4 linked loops giving about 8+ miles of twisty and hilly trails in the trees. Water is available at the top of loop A, less than 1 mile from trailhead, so you still need to carry lots.
This 'trail system' also interconnects with the Lake Ray Roberts/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor and holds a lot of potential for really long runs with limited water that don’t repeat the same ground. Small charge or get a State Park Pass.6. Johnson Branch State Park [website; DORBA]
Newer mountain bike trails, sheltered and fairly undulating. 8.8 miles made of a series of connecting loops that can easily be cut shorter. Very pretty. Water only available at trailhead. Another one with really nice family facilities; beach, concrete trails, play areas. Small charge or get a State Park Pass.7. Erwin Park
This trail is located near McKinney. The trail is approx 8 miles long and varies from tight and twisty turns through the woods to long straightaways in open grassland. Directions are from the intersection of US 75 and HW 380 in McKinney. Go west on HW 380 for about 2.5 miles to State Road 1461. Take a right (north) and go 2.1 miles toward Rhea Mills. Turn right at the Erwin Park sign onto CR 162. This is a short road which turns right onto CR 164. Proceed about .9 miles and turn left onto CR 1006, then proceed another .4 miles to the entrance to the park. Stay left at the first fork in the road after entering the park, then look for the parking area near the pavilion.8. Sister Grove Park
Close to 6 miles of single track trail consisting of two loops forming a figure eight. The trail is fairly flat with a few rolling hills. From Dallas, go North on US-75 to McKinney, then head east on US-380. At the Lake Lavon bridge, take a left on CR-559, which is also a bridge. Turn left on CR-56, another left on CR-562, and Sister Grove Park will be on the left (south) side of the road.9. Rowlett Creek Preserve [DORBA]
Single track trail with 11 loops totaling approximately 13 miles. The trail is mostly flat with a few rolling hills. This is a nice trail when it’s not muddy, and in the summer, a pretty large portion of it is covered in shade. Located in Garland, the trailhead/parking lot is located at Centerville Road and Castle (just south of 190).10. White Rock Lake
The Lake is East of US75. From West, North or South take Mockingbird Lane East from US75. Just before Buckner Blvd make a sharp right turn, right after crossing the bridge (there will be a sign), go down the hill till it dead ends. Go left (watch for runners and cyclists), past the sail boats till you see a cabin on the left that says Big Thicket. They have rest room facilities and a water fountain. You can follow the yellow line all the way around the lake on an asphalt trail, or on the side in the dirt/grass. Water fountains are placed all the way around. Do watch for cyclists--they ride fast and some are not runner friendly. The loop is slightly over nine miles. Many NTTR members run from the Big Thicket every Sunday morning starting at 6-7am, depending on the season and the distance to be run. They run anywhere from 9 to 20 miles. The longer loops go into the surrounding neighborhoods, and a bottle is necessary. There are some good climbs on the longer loops.
If coming from the South or Northeast, you can take Highway 78 (it’s called East Grand from the south and intersects I-30; and Garland Road from the NE intersects I-635) until it intersects Buckner Blvd. Turn left from E. Grand, or turn right from Garland Rd. on to Buckner.11. Cedar Ridge Preserve (formerly known as the Dallas Nature Center) [website; trail map]
Located in Duncanville, south of I-20 off Mountain Creek Parkway, these trails offer challenging hills and beautiful senery. There are seven individual hiking trails that total around 8.5 miles along with a .25 mile wheelchair-accessible trail. No bikes are allowed, however, it is a popular spot with families and scouts, so watch for kids on trail. Ne fee to enter but donations are accepted.12. Cedar Hill State Park [website]
In Grand Prairie, south of I-20, this scenic park offers well maintained trails and rolling hills. Built and maintained by Dorba, the trails are frequented by mountain bikers. (Riders go one way on the train; pedestrians go the other.) The trail loops in 3.5, 7.5, and 10.5 mile distances. Day use fee is $3 per person, or a Texas Conservation Passport at $50 per year admits a carload.13. L.B. Houston [DORBA]
Approximately 4 miles of flat twisty single track trail. Avoid for several days after a hard rainfall, as this trail is very slow to dry. Trailhead is located on California Crossing about a quarter-mile west of Luna Rd. (south of Northwest HW).14. River Legacy Trails [website]
Located in Arlington, the park now consists of about 6 - 7 miles of fun dirt trails. They are mostly flat, but very wooded and curvy, and not rocky. The longest loop is on the west side, maybe 5 miles of loops and out-and-backs. Your feet never need to touch cement.
The park is open 6 AM to 10PM, and is located at the intersection of N. Cooper and Greenoaks Blvd in North Arlington. First drive to the intersection of I-30 and Cooper (which is just west of Six Flags), then go North on Cooper about 2 miles to Greenoaks. Turn west (left) on Greenoaks, and the park entrance is 100 yards on the right.15. Pilot Knoll & Elm Fork Hiking & Equestrian Trails [website]
Located at Lake Lewisville, these trails are multi-use hiking and equestrian trails. Both trails are slightly rolling, and mountain bikes are not allowed. The Pilot Knoll Trail is approximately 8 miles long, and the Elm Fork is currently under construction with about 6 miles of available trail to hikers and runners (only 2 miles are currently available for equestrian use). More info and driving directions can be found on the US Army Corps of Engineers website.16. Ray Roberts Lake/Lake Lewisville Greenbelt Corridor [website]
Approximately 10 miles in length, this multi-use trail begins at the Ray Roberts dam and ends at the headwaters of Lake Lewisville. The trail system is open to hikers, runners, bikers, and horses, and river access for canoes and kayaks is also available. More info can be found on the US Army Corps of Engineers website.17. Walnut Grove Trail
This trail is located on the southwest portion of Grapevine Lake. There are up to 10 miles of trail available by combining loops, and the the trail is divided into an upper woodland trail and lower shoreline trail. In addition to Corps of Engineers access points, the City of Southlake has a trail access at Harbor Court, off Burney Lane.
The Trinity Trail is a 9-mile hiking and equestrian trail that follows the southwest edge of Lake Lavon from the East Fork trailhead near the intersection of CR 384 and CR 389 to Brockdale Park. The trail traverses a variety of habitats including lake, marsh, moist woodlands, open woodlands, and prairie.19. Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
7.5 miles of single track trail.
Directions: From I35E take Illinois west, just past S.Hampton make a left on Pierce, go past the houses and black fence, turn left into the back of the apartment complex, make a right at the gate (dirt drive).
From loop 12/408, take Illinois East. After you pass Westmoreland, you come to Pierce. It is the first right after you cross the Dart RR. Go right.20. Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve [map]
7.05 miles of natural surface trails; 3.35 miles of concrete recreational trails; near Jupiter Road and Spring Creek Parkway21. Boulder Park
Located at: 6600 Pastor Bailey Dr. Dallas, TX 75237
Details: Located north of Duncanville, at the SW corner of Hwy 67 & Red Bird Lane (about 1 mile north of the I-20 & US 67 intersection). [MAPSCO 63T] Hwy 67, Red Bird Lane, and Pastor Bailey Drive make the East, North, and West borders of Boulder Park. From 67, exit Red Bird Lane, go West about 1 mile, then South (left) on Pastor Bailey Drive. (you'll be driving around the perimeter of the park to get to the parking area) Parking is available on Pastor Bailey Drive, or on the side streets, Hallet and Calhoun, located on the West side of Pastor Bailey Drive if the parking lot is full. DO NOT park in any church parking lot. The trailhead is located at the left of the parking lot.
This hiking trail, along the shores of Lake Texoma, is commonly known as the "toughest little trail in Texas." With 12.5 miles of rugged quad-building climbs and beautiful views, the trail is a favorite winter/spring training site for ultra-runners. (Poison ivy abounds in late spring and summer.) Although Cross Timbers is a favorite trail for scouts and campers, few mountain bike riders attempt it. The trailhead is located at Juniper Point Campground, 1/2 mile south of Willis Bridge, just off Hwy 377. Runners frequently congregate at Cedar Bayou, about 10 miles north of Whitesboro on Hwy 377.2. The Breaks at Bar-H Ranch [website]
Located 80 miles north of Dallas/Ft. Worth, and five miles northeast of the small town of St. Jo, Texas on FM 2382. From the Dallas/Ft. Worth area drive north on I-35 to Gainesville. Drive west on Hwy 82 to St. Jo (23 miles). Turn right at the Dairy Queen onto FM 2382, and drive north for 4.5 miles. Look for the bikes on the fence and go left on County Road 433 (gravel). Go down the hill one mile and look for the old 1942 fat tire bicycle on the left. The camping area, restroom facilities and self-pay station are just inside the entrance.3. Grasslands [trail map]
Although not a new trail, it's recently discovered by NTTR. Cloverleaf 50 miles of rolling, sandy, single-track horsetrails and jeep roads through scenic Oak groves, wildflower prairie and stream crossings. Located about 70 miles northwest of DFW airport near Decatur.4. Benbrook Lake ACE Horse and Nature Trail [website]
Southwest Fort Worth. 6-7 miles [each way] out and back with 4 loops off to side. Great mixed trail, first 3 miles have 3 loops, mostly smooth and wide trails, open views of the lake, lots of flowers in the spring. The further end is wooded, rocky and more hilly [well undulating] with a further loop. There is PI on the second section but it is passable in the winter or with ivy block. There are seasonal water fountains near the trail, but I have never relied on them.5. Cleburne State Park [website]
Two loops, one large one going around the lake about 8 miles. Rough and rocky underfoot, lots of good tough hills, mostly sheltered by trees. The inner loop is in the trees, shorter and flatter. The two loops do interconnect. Only water is at the trailhead. Small charge or get a State Park Pass.6. Dinosaur Valley State Park [website]
10-15 or even more miles of trails. A good map is essential. Lots of hills, some open spaces and lots of trees. The trail is in two sections, the old trail is rougher and a bit of a maze. Take a map and sense of humour. The newer trail is on more open land and links in with the older trail in several places making a variety of loops possible. You need to cross the Paluxy River to access the trails, best done on some stepping stones by the Dino Foot Prints, but expect to get wet if the water is up. Water is not available on the trail. Carry lots. There is a small charge, or you can get a Texas Conservation Passport.7. Lake Mineral Wells State Park [website]
There is a total of 16.5 miles of trails in this state park near Mineral Wells, TX. Horseback riding, hiking, and bicycling are permitted on the main trail (9 miles); hiking trails (lake trail 5 miles) and backpacking/hiking trail (2.5 miles) do not allow horses or bikes. Note: Trails may be closed during wet weather.8. Sansom Park [website] - contains more info, directions and trail maps
This trail consists of interconnected loops totaling 7 miles. Nice dirt single-track with some rocks through lots of trees and open meadows with views of Lake Worth. Elevation gain of 1000ft in 7 mi loop. Located on Roberts Cut Off Road southeast of the intersection of Jacksboro Highway (199) and NW Loop 820.