You don’t have to go far in any Dallas-Fort Worth community to find hike and bike trails. Not too long ago, the Metroplex was considered one of the least bike-friendly communities in the country. Fort Worth’s current mayor is an avid cyclist; under her leadership, Fort Worth is becoming one of the most bike-friendly communities in the Metroplex. After a complete turnaround, designated funds continue to expand and maintain some of the area’s most popular trails.
Fort Worth features nearly 40 miles of hike and bike trails along the Trinity River and its tributaries. The system is linked together, giving long-distance bikers options. The Trinity Trails lead downtown to the Botanical Gardens, the Fort Worth Zoo, and the historical Stockyards.
A regional planning organization, the North Central Texas Council of Governments oversees the roughly 1,700 miles of off-street hike and bike trails throughout the Metroplex. The network of trails is called the Regional Veloweb. The Veloweb is a cooperative effort to provide funding to existing trails, to link more trails together, and to extend existing trails to public transportation.
One of the most popular trails for Dallas urban dwellers is the 3.5 mile Katy Trail, which currently starts at the American Airlines Center and winds up just shy of Southern Methodist University in the Knox-Henderson area. Residents in the White Rock Lake area have the scenic nine-mile trail that circles the picturesque lake. Northeast Dallas is home to the White Rock Creek trail, a 7.6 mile trek that is the oldest trail in the city. Half a dozen additional trails exist in the city limits that are shorter and more conducive to walking.
Many of Dallas’ bike trails are expanding. The southern end of the Katy Trail is under construction. It will eventually link with the West End Historic section downtown, giving residents the option to bike to work. The northern end is scheduled to end at Northwest Highway. Additional funding has been approved to link several of Dallas’ trails together over the next few years.
Frisco, the booming bedroom community located north of Dallas, features 56 miles of on- and off-street biking trails. Other Dallas and Collin county communities, such as Richardson, Grand Prairie, and Plano, also offer bike trails.
For cyclists who want a more rugged experience, several mountain bike trails are accessible, especially to Dallas. Garland, Plano, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Irving all feature mountain bike trails. Perhaps the most challenging and well maintained trail is DOBRA in Cedar Hill, which features 11 miles of trails for experienced cyclists and hikers.