Been there, done that, look for the other thread on the topic.
Been there, done that, look for the other thread on the topic.
Ok...I had an epic fail for today.
I had planned on driving to Merit and continuing on to Celeste, but when I got past the School (where the path was still OK-ish) I drove to where I'd planned to start:
South of 36
Annnd North of 36:
(that's the trail to the left of the semi-trailer)
I drove on...a much better idea after reaching the school would be to get on the road until you get to the Merit Cemetery (trail is on the west side of the road):
Still...I decided to drive on to Celeste, since the wind was blowing hard from the south. (I'd rather have the tailwind at the end of the ride)
After the pavement ends 1/2 mile to the south of Celeste. you will hit the nasty hard packed sand and weeds:
Ruff to pedal through.
Then you will hit 2 bridges that must be walked within a short distance of each other:
Thank God the path turns more rocky and actual dirt ofter that:
I managed to get 3.1 miles south before the legs started getting tired enough to turn around.
Part of the problem had to do with the slicks I hadn't changed off the bike...but the sand....!!!
The other things worth mentioning, are the (wheel swallowing) cracks in the asphalt trail North of the Parking area and sometimes found in the dirt/packed sand a couple places to the south.
I managed to do the 6.47 Miles in Just over an hour and the legs won't be talking to me for awhile.
All in all this part of the trail is a FAIL.
Thanks for the report on your exploration of the Chaparral Trail. Sorry to hear that the trail didn't turn out to be a better ride.
I might try the trail myself in a week or two, starting in Farmersville, and see how far I can go. If I do, I post my own report.
You should be able to make it at least to the Merit"s School. Just have the wide knobbies on!
So what's the best hope/estimate for how far you get from Farmersville toward Paris if the ground is dry?
you should probably be able to get through at least to Celeste, from what I've seen
Hey, it has been over a year and a half since anyone posted on this Chaparral Trail thread. Anyone out there have a current update regarding the condition/rideability of the trail? At almost 60 miles in length from Farmersville to Paris, this thing could be pretty epic. Has it been extended all the way to Paris? The info on TrailLink.com appears to be somewhat out of date too---not even a map (Although BF'er rjschirmer put one on MapMyRide.com). There is some Google info about a right-of-way lawsuit getting settled late last year, so maybe that helped move it along?
Yep, I can go check it out myself, and probably will, just asking for tips/info first. In particular, I wonder if anyone has done the entire length, and what sorts of good recharging/restocking options exist along the way. Thanks!
No updates here. But for what it's worth, the city of Paris recently opened a new bike trail through town. I don't know if it's a continuation of this one. I think it was being presented as more of a city trail, not a trail-to-Wylie type thing.
Edit: Found this, the Paris trail is a local 3-mile trail, but it is also a rails-to-trail: http://www.traillink.com/trail/trail-de-paris.aspx
Thanks StephenH. I checked out the Trail De Paris site, and found an even better map. See the attached link, which should take you to a map illustrating the "Red River Valley Trail" a very long (140 miles??) trail from Framersville to New Boston. This trail includes the Chaparral Trail, the Trail de Paris, and other segments. While it looks like several segments are only proposed at this point, the overall story of a long city-to-city MTB trail is getting more and more interesting.
I went down the trail just yesterday! it's paved for about 5 miles from farmersville headed north... then it turns to gravel, and eventually it turns to dirt. I only went 8 miles (about to Merit) but it's a good trail with awesome country scenery!
I wonder if they ever got all the property easements ironed out? That issue was somewhat murky awhile back.
Might be a great time to ride it. With the very dry weather it would be easy to ride.
I've been riding it every Saturday for the last 3 weeks and it's dry as a bone right now... I've gone about 5 miles past Merit and the trail is good... will try and make it to celeste this weekend.
trail is still dry, even after the recent rains... went with 2 buddies over the past weekend. about 12 miles in the poison Ivy went WILD! deep and thick, healthy lookin;' juicy type... lol.. celeste does have a little store to refuel.
At approximately 31 miles of rough/overgrown gravel terrain, Farmersville to Ladonia on the Chaparral Trail represents a good length for a quick out and back, overnight MTB trip. A riding buddy and I tackled this trip on September 24/25, and enjoyed a good adventure. Highlights included seeing small-town Texas up close (Farmersville, Meritt, Celeste, Wolfe City, and Ladonia), and a strong sense of pioneering, given the relatively overgrown state of much of the trail. Our overnight stay in Ladonia revealed an unexpected tiny gem of a town, with two good restaurants, a great rustic lodge, and even a visit from the Mayor!
During the planning stage, the first question was where to stay in Ladonia. A Google search turned up no nearby hotels, but I came across Rick Barrett (email@example.com) and his Ladonia Lodge thru a Yahoo users group. This 6-bedroom lodge is located at the edge of "Downtown" Ladonia, and was absolutely perfect for our needs.
The internet also revealed the presence of two restaurants in Ladonia, but I could not have hoped for the quality we experienced. Dinner on Saturday night was at Fat Boy's BBQ (www.fatboysb-b-q.com). We arrived a little beat, but were revived by great ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, as well as the unique treat of fried corn-on-the-cob. But get there early---Fat Boy's closes at 5pm on Saturdays. It is also BYOB, but the local gas station can stock you in that department. Breakfast on Sunday was at Gloria's Kitchen, clearly a local institution. Even Ladonia Mayor Jan Cooper showed up---and she had heard a few intrepid cyclists were in town.
Be forewarned----some sections of the trail are woefully unkempt and overgrown. The worst sections were rideable, but barely. And yes, there are clearly man-made obstacles---trenches and mounds that deter use and basic maintenance. However, the locals to whom we spoke along the way were very friendly and enthusiastic, and some (including Mr. Barrett) even pledged to push their localities to improve the upkeep. Bottom line: The more we use the Chaparral Trail, the better it will get!
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Thanks for the update and the photos. Did you have to take any detours or cross any barbed wire fences along the way? How many creekbottoms did you have to cross?
My biggest question/wait has been when can one go from Farmersville to Paris. Heck, I'll even add a bike for that!
Would a CX bike handle it or do you recommend an MTB?
I'd say, from some of the areas I rode, you'd want the mountain bike (or 29er) with some wide tires.
MTB with wide knobbies and front suspension is the way to go. The gravel is rough, not finely crushed like at Lake Mineral Wells Trailway.
This is cool, I am in the process of planning a long bike pack tour from Dallas to Lansing Mi, and want to do as much "off road" as possible, looks like this will be my starting off road section, then up through AK and Mo to the Katy. Got a lot more reasurch to do. I will most likley do some single track as well. There are some good point to point in AK and Mo I have seen.
Just FYI...AK= Alaska, AR = Arkansas...that might save you some confusion down the road...
Well Stephen....maybe he wants to take the loooong way. :D
Tate, That sounds like a new and wonderful adventure. If you manage it, we expect updates and pics.