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Fossil Valley Trail is one of the “loops” (when combined with the Cattail pond trail) that make up the trail system at Cedar Ridge Preserve. Though the trail is only 0.9 miles, you have to access it by using the Cattail Pond Trail, adding an estimated 1.5 miles of trail ( Note: this is not represented in the current profile).
I usually pass the sign for the Fossil Valley Trail and continue following the Cattail Pond Trail down the escarpment and to the pond. The trail that continues around the pond is the beginning of the Fossil Valley Trail. Fossil Valley Trail has the highest elevation gain in the Cedar Ridge Preserve and is considered the most challenging of the trails there. Approximately half way through the trail an overlook with a bench and a view to the north. This is a wonderful place to enjoy a great view of the landscape of the Escarpment going down to the prarie, giving a clear view for miles. It is a great place to view birds and appreciate the local ecological system. It also happens to be a peaceful place to take a rest halfway through your hike.
From the lookout the Fossil Valley Trail meets with the Trout Lily trail. This is a trail that is very small and will meet back up with the Fossil Valley Trail. Aptly named it is a great trail to observe trout lily’s in the spring (March-April). If choosing to take this route away from the lookout make sure that when you meet the Fossil Valley Trail again that you turn right.
To continue on Fossil Valley Trail from the lookout you will be headed down a steep incline. The trail continues till it reconnects with the cattail pond trail where you will turn right to return to the main trail-head and parking lot.
Cedar Ridge Preserve maintained my Audubon Dallas and volunteers. It is a wonderful preserve and recently there is plenty of evidence that it may be loved more than it is supported. Maintaining trails that get this kind of traffic requires resources of money and time. Please donate in the donation bin in front of the building to help keep resources like this available to all people in our community.
Contact Audubon for volunteer opportunities.
Take only pictures
Leave only footprints
Online resources for updated information:
Time: Open Tuesday-Sunday...Closed Mondays: November 1-March 31, 6:30 am-6:00 pm and April 1-Oct. 31, 6:30 am-8:30 pmTrail surface:
Access: Donation box present-please donateTrail Amenities:
- Wood chips
Trail type: ComboTrail Length: 0.9Effective trail length : 2.4Exposure: Mostly shadyDifficulty: HardElevation gain/loss (Ft): 125Files: CRP_Map.pdfFile2: CRP-Trail-Profile.pdfScenery:
- Street parking
- Paved parkinglot
- Gravel parkinglot
- Water fountain
- Abundant birds