Tracking down Trail-heads in North East Dallas County

It was a beautiful day after a fall rain and we drove out to see Rowlett Creek Preserve and all three trailheads of the Trinity Trail at Lake Lavon.  We did not do any hiking due to the muddy trail conditions caused after a rain in north Texas. Hiking in muddy conditions does significant damage to trails and should be avoided (and it is messy). In the future, we will be highlighting some trails that are good after a rain, but until then the great post rain hikes are on cement at places like Arbor Hills or on the many multi-use trails around D2016-09-25-17-09-42FW.

Our first stop was Rowlett Creek Preserve. We immediately realized that the address being used both our DFWtrailguide as well as DORBA would not navigate you to the correct place. For navigation on Google maps, 4070 E Centerville Rd, Garland, Texas will take you right to the entrance where you will see a nice stone sign. IT is a nice park on the greenbelt and has a covered picnic area with a grill. For those who are biking, there is a bike repair station in the middle of the parking lot. The trail was definitely one which would be very muddy after a rain.


Leavenworth’s Eryngo

Then we proceeded to the southernmost trailhead of Trinity Trail, the east fork trailhead, and first found a Campground named East Fork Park that is run by the Corp of Engineers. I spoke with the person at the gate for a  little while and he then directed me to skyline drive where the trailhead was well marked by a large fenced area with parking and restrooms. This is where I was able to get a beautiful picture of the Leavenworth’s Eryngo showing us its bright fall color.

Realizing that the DFW trail guide was lacking in directions to these trailheads, I clicked on one of the resource links to the Trinity Trail Preservation Association’s website. I used a link on their trailhead info page of a “Google Map of Trinity Trai”l. Though it would not navigate me to the other 2 trailheads, with some basic old fashioned map reading I was able to chart my course. Seems out here that addresses are not as valuable.

The next 2 trailheads are really the ones that seem to me to be most likely to garner the most interest (at least IMO). They are fairly close together, just 2 different streets that  turn off E Lucas Road. There are 2 reasons why I expect to be back here: 1) On the way to the Brockdale Trailhead you will pass the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and 2) North of the Highland park Trailhead there is a Champion Sycamore Tree (The giant tree measures 25 and a half feet around and had a crown spread of 126 feet).

The Raptor Center is open the first Saturday of every month. This just seems to me to be a match made in heaven. So grab the kids on the first Saturday and head out to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center for some great education on these important birds.IT looks like we are posting this just in time to attend the Raptor Center’s event… The next first Saturday event is October 1st, this upcoming Saturday. They have programs starting at 11AM and 1PM. To find out more check their website. From there head to the Highland park trailhead and be ready for what looks to be a LONG hike to the Sycamore tree. In fact, it is so long, you might want to make 2 days out of it and camp at the east fork campground.  You will be greeted by beautiful lake views  of Lake Lavon and a well-preserved native habitat.

From there head to the Highland park trailhead2016-09-25-18-23-29 and be ready for what looks to be a LONG hike to the Sycamore tree. In fact, it is so long, you might want to make 2 days out of it and camp at the east fork campground.  You will be greeted by beautiful lake views  of Lake Lavon and a well preserved native environment.

On another note I would strongly suggest long pants for this trail. The trail we were able to see leaving all three trailheads was narrow and had grass arching at the edges of the trail (and over it in places). Though I saw no ticks, this is great habitat for ticks; so do come prepared.

We visited 4 trailh2016-09-25-18-07-20eads and 3 of them were on one trail. This is inspiring some changes and we may be listing additional trailheads separately on these longer trails (and multiuse trails). It seems only listing one can cause some directional confusion. On the flipside, our decision to link to all resources for each trail saved this trip. We were able to switch to the TTPA’s website to find directions and a map that led us in the right direction. We will never claim to be the best source for every trail, but we want to list them all and link to the best planning resources for you.

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