Connect to Nature with DART

Katy Trail

For those unable to visit the amazing Metroplex nature trails, many outdoors destinations are perfect for a bike ride, stroll, vigorous workout or a day in the park, all accessible by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).

White Rock Lake Trail is the granddaddy of local hike and bike trails, and it’s much more extensive than the ring around the lake. From just east of White Rock Station, head south to the nine-mile loop or go north to the less-traveled, forested White Rock Creek Trail, which follows the rambling creek for more than seven miles to LBJ Freeway.

Bachman Lake is another mainstay for local hikers and bikers, with a paved trail that meanders along the lake’s shore, passing waterfowl and cypress trees. With a length of five kilometers, this is the perfect place for serous runners to train. It’s located just to the northeast of Bachman Station.

Opened in 2000, the Katy Trail is one of Dallas’ most popular hike-and-bike trails. The former rail corridor extends from the American Airlines Center,  where it is accessible via Victory Station, through the Turtle Creek greenbelt running through the heart of the city to the edge of Highland Park, north of Knox Street. Around the midway point of this 3.5-mile trail, pause for refreshment at a couple of al fresco cafés that directly face the trail.

When the Orange Line opened, it forged another rail-to-trail connection. The Campion Trail is a paved path extending through both wooded and open areas along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River from North Irving just east of Las Colinas Urban Center Station, north six-and-a-half miles to Valley Ranch. This trail offers a bonus to mountain bike riders, as there are several unpaved detours that lead to wilder areas off the beaten path.

Cottonwood Trail wends its way roughly from Spring Valley Road to Royal Lane, and it can be accessed from the southwest corner of the parking lot of Forest Lane Station. The paved path is fairly new and very smooth, making it a great choice for roller-blades. It runs mostly through residential areas, with access to major shopping areas, transportation, medical facilities and educational institutions.

The Chisholm Trail, in Plano, is a half-mile from Downtown Plano, where it connects a strand of city parks and extends north along the banks of Spring Creek all the way to Legacy Drive. The mostly flat greenbelt eventually joins a second greenbelt— the east-to-west-running Bluebonnet Trail—just before reaching its northern terminus.

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