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Best 15+ mile road bike trails in DFW area?

Best 15+ mile road bike trails in DFW area?

Old 04-12-15, 11:49 AM
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jaranth
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Best 15+ mile road bike trails in DFW area?

Hi folks,

I live smack dab in the middle of DFW. I've been on Trinity Trails (a lot), River Legacy Park, and many other smaller trails.

Recently, I've been trying to up my distance, but it seems that it's getting harder to find good bike trails at longer distances. Of course, I can follow paved roads, but I prefer the less-traveled, more specialized bike trails.

So, I'm looking for suggestions for good routes with few cars (or none), in or within 50 miles of DFW... any suggestions welcome!
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Old 04-12-15, 12:37 PM
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My usual place to ride is on the park roads around Lake Benbrook. It's a road but there is a $1 daily park pass (or $30 1-year pass) to get in.
There are very few cars and lots of cyclists. Speed limits are low. There are virtually no pedestrians or dogs.
From the ballfields at Dutch Branch park (plentiful parking) through the roads to SH-377 is a 17-mile out-back.

For extra miles: The park roads branch off from the Trinity Trails (trailhead at Art Cowsen). There are also some cyclist-favored rural roads if you're willing to take the shoulder of SH377 about 1/2 mile to McDaniel road and then on Kelly Road to FM1187 and back (35 miles), or continue from FM1187 (shoulder, high traffic) to Aledo-Iona road back to RM2871 shoulder to return through the neighborhood bike routes to your starting point (26 miles).

Dutch Branch park is accessible from IH820 from either the SH-377 exit or Winscott exit. Or drive over from I35W to FM1187 to SH377. It is behind the YMCA.
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Old 04-12-15, 01:02 PM
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First off, you can't find good trails if they don't exist. There are a number of trails in the area, but they are limited in extent, and once you exhaust those, you're done.
You might check out the Campion Trail up on the north side of Irving.
Plano has several miles of bike trails, but they tend to cross busier roads, so you ride a couple of blocks and stop and wait.
You can start up at the north end of the White Rock Creek Trail off of 635, ride down to White Rock Lake, around the lake and back up, for maybe 20 miles or so. You can ride from White Rock Lake on the Cottonbelt Trail on towards downtown Dallas. The White Rock Creek trail goes under roads, with few if any stop signs. The Cottonbelt Trail has several stop signs/stop lights at busy roads, which are irritating. All are paved.
The Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway might be of interest to you. It's all gravel, not concrete.
Garland has a few miles of bike trail, but not really enough to be worth traveling out here for, handy if you live here.
I think North Richland Hills has some bike trails, but never have ridden on them.
On Google maps, there's a "bicycle" option which will make bike trails show up.
Check where your local bike clubs and bike-shop rides go, and you may find some less-busy roads. (Or, maybe not!) But worth checking.
Some routes that are just fine on a Saturday morning are not so hot on a rush-hour weeknight.
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Old 04-12-15, 02:33 PM
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Have you been to White Rock Lake? It can get crowded at times but some days it is not so busy. Links to other paved trails.
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Old 04-13-15, 12:01 PM
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@nkfrench:
I used to live in Benbrook, and that area was my default biking area... beautiful area, I wish I still lived there! Anyway, I've been all over the lake, and the areas around the YMCA... It sort of connects with Trinity Trails, too (via a city park and about 2 miles of road), so it's good for medium distances say, around 50 miles if you use up every nook and cranny. I haven't done the part you mentioned that includes Aledo, because of the roads but I guess I should give it a go.

@StephenH:
I haven't been on the Mineral Wells/Weatherford trail because of the gravel, but I've heard it's packed gravel and a road bike can do it (I'd probably use my MTN bike though)... what's your opinion?

Though I've been to White Rock Lake, I did not know about the trail leading to/from it. I'll do some more research. I've been on the other trails you mentioned... with one exception: Campion Trail... never even heard of it! On Irving's website, they say it's ultimately going to be 22 miles... I live very close to there, so I shall try that current stretch ASAP!

@texbiker:
I've been to White Rock several times in the past and it was always really crowded, at least on the weekends. I guess the main reason I haven't checked out other Dallas trails is because it's *Dallas*... I mean, aren't all the Dallas trails jam-packed all the time? I've shied away from Big D because of that perception (and the drive it would take for me to get there).

Thanks for the replies!

Last edited by jaranth; 04-13-15 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-13-15, 01:02 PM
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I mostly ride on roads, only did the Lake Mineral Wells trail one time, that was on my Worksman cruiser.
The Katy Trail tends to be crowded with joggers/walkers, or was last time I was there, that's why I didn't mention it.
On the route around White Rock Lake, I normally use the roads about 3/4 of the way around, and use the trails otherwise. The sections of trail that people don't normally ride on are bumpier and narrower. I'm usually out there on weeknights or Sunday afternoons, and crowds aren't usually too much of a problem.
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Old 04-13-15, 01:07 PM
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fyi, the Trinity Trails have been expanded so they connect all the way up from Art Cowsen trailhead to the lake roads, all of it MUP and none on-street between there and Bellaire Drive on-street bike lanes.

My bike club has done several Friday all-day rides where we took our bikes on the TRE to Dallas West End, then took the various bike trails and a few easy streets up to Richardson then Plano; then we took the Dart Red Line back to West End for supper before heading home on the TRE. White Rock Lake is on the route and there is another Dart station nearby. The train is a $10 one-day pass usable both on TRE and Dart. It's much easier than driving over. I wish the TRE ran on Sunday; and we avoided the morning rush hour on the TRE.

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Old 05-16-15, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jaranth View Post
.... the Mineral Wells/Weatherford trail because of the gravel, but I've heard it's packed gravel and a road bike can do it (I'd probably use my MTN bike though)... what's your opinion?

I've done it on a road bike, no problem.

For mtb, also look at the NETT:
Northeast Texas Trails Coalition | Biking, Hiking, Walking, and Equestrain trails in NE Texas

And for mtb also check out the Ray Roberts Greenbelt. I've done it on a roadie but there are some large gravel chunky sections. The trails, paved and dirt, continue inside the state park "Isle du Bois" unit.

You'll see on google maps a path from Denton, along the dart rail toward Corinth. That one's pretty straight and boring to ride but the park at Corinth has some fun easy mtb singletrack. A the Denton end there are some fun funky bars and restaurants.
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Old 05-16-15, 09:57 PM
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once you're out of town a little, enjoy the roads and go as long/far as you like. north, like McKinney, Denton, etc....
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Old 05-17-15, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jaranth View Post
I live smack dab in the middle of DFW
White Rock is one of the best bets in the city. I haven't done it in awhile but I think it's all still in the same condition. Used to be 9 miles per lap, you can do as many laps as you want.

Campion trail in Irving is possible but it isn't very long round trip, maybe 13 miles. In that area you can get on Royal Lane and head west towards Grapevine. Once you get in the area of Freeport Parkway there are a lot of other roads you can loop around on to get more miles. With a little creativity you can get 30 miles or more, just watch for girls in Toyota's. Contact me directly and I can give you more details.
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Old 08-13-15, 08:10 AM
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Thread revival!
North Richland Hills was mentioned. The Cottonbelt Trail (Tarrant co) runs parallel to the rail line the Tarantula uses and runs continuously from Haltom to Grapevine. There are stops at cross streets but most are quick. The biggest drawback is probably that it's dead straight and quite flat.
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Old 08-18-15, 09:16 PM
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I ride the the trail that starts at bob woodruff park, Plano go north and under 75, then it connects with the blue bonnet trail, take different forks around the area. On my saturday ride i can rack up about 50 miles on these trails. Part of this trails can be busy with people sometimes and there are stretches that you have to cross streets every few blocks but i feel safer on here than on the street. This upcoming weekend ill be trying rides in the country roads north into Mckinney and beyond.
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Old 08-19-15, 04:08 PM
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I've done the Mineral Wells Trail round trip from the Weatherford Trailhead many times. I really like the ride. I did my first really long ride there, as it was my goal last Summer to complete the round trip(about 40 mi). I did it on my mountain bike, as that's all I had then, but with the right tires it could be done on a road bike. Actually I rode on worse trails this summer in Colorado on my road bike. Only advice I give if you go this time of year is pretty obvious, take plenty of water. Fill up opportunities are kinda sparse if you just set out with a couple of bottles.
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