I (Charlie) was in Dallas for Thanksgiving and decided I needed to do some more exploring of the ever growing Dallas Trails network. My spouse’s parents live right near Central Expressway and Walnut Hill, so, I jumped on my bike ready to do a circuit of a good portion of central Dallas. I found the most useful info from the Friends of the Santa Fe Trail group, which is a new rail trail south and east of White Rock Lake.
First, I rode north to Meadow Road which provided an easy crossing under Central Expressway, then left onto Greenville Road for a short but trafficiky ride (without sidewalks despite a major park / ballfield complex – grr!) over the the eastside of White Rock Creek. There I actually headed north to check out the recently constructed Cottonwood Trail primarily so I could check out the under Central Expressway / 635 interchange trail crossing. It’s pretty amazing how they threaded about 1/3 of a mile of trail under the interchange and while quite noisy, it was very impressive, as it provides a connection to the trail system north in Richardson. Here’s a few photos showing the route and some of the artwork along the interchange walls.
The Interchange trail flows right into the Cottonwood Trail – an spur of off the White Rock Creek Trail, with a number of links into existing parks as well as a light rail station connection (very nice) So, the photos are showing the progression of the trail as I headed south on my bike.
Soon enough, I was back on the main (and older) section of the trail along White Rock Creek. Yellow and red leaves were fluttering down as I continued south along the trail, which is subject to flooding. Here and there I saw portions of the creek banks, which showed telltale signs of urbanizing.
At Northwest Highway, they are rebuilding a portion of the street, so I had to use a detour, riding east a short way to the light rail station entrance, using the traffic signals to cross Northwest Highway and then make my way on the street heading south to the park to hook up with the trail around White Rock Lake.
Once on the trail, I headed east to use the trail along the eastern shore. The wind was blowing from the south at about 10-15 miles per hour, so it was at times, a bit slow going.
I eventually passed the Arborteum and made it to the “falls” at the southern end of White Rock Lake, where I stopped to pause at the reworked plaza, then headed across the bridge, and then a bit north, before taking a left onto the new Santa Fe Trail heading south.
This is a new trail on an old railroad bed built just this past year and takes you through southeast Dallas to the edge of Deep Ellum somewhat abruptly. There, I made my way a few blocks north to Elm where I headed west through the heart of Deep Ellum to Downtown Dallas.
For those of you worried about riding in traffic, it was Black Friday, but just after lunchtime and the traffic wasn’t too great in the downtown area. Once downtown, I stayed in the bus lane (always a good choice) along Elm and then headed north to see the progress on the forthcoming Woodall Rogers Park (aka the Park)
The park is showing some great progress with the work on the tunnel completed and the pipes for irrigation, structures for structures and improvements and everything going in. There are even custom built holes for the trees to be planted (very cool).
After looking around a bit, I threaded my way over the American Airlines arena, then onto the Katy Trail and back up through Highland Park to the dreaded intersection at NorthPark mall again waiting to cross Northwest Highway.
A great ride overall – about 35 miles. Looking good, Dallas.