Part of the inspiration to create this trail guide came from watching Cedar Ridge Preserve add parking, add parking and add more parking over the last decade. It is amazing and inspiring to see so many new people finding their ways to trails. I love Cedar Ridge; I have been going there for over a decade. I love seeing families on the trails and seeing how so many people are enjoying and learning from the environment there. I am also watching as the city is finding resources to build and improve its system of multi-use trails. So there is a great transformation going on in our community with respect to getting outside.
However I also watched as the trails in popular “destination” spots became damaged through over use and the struggle of local maintainers to keep up the trails. As I started hiking the trails around town, I noticed that some trails were overused, causing damage, while others did not even receive enough use for the trail to remain a trail. Meanwhile we are driving across town to destination trails on a regular basis and not providing the donations or labor to keep those beloved trails in tip top shape. So we want to spread use out and encourage donations of money, time and talent to trail maintenance organizations.
To find new trails in an effort to spread my own use out, I found myself checking multiple websites and still mostly finding the trails that were already known. Then I would find trails like Cottonwood Creek Preserve in Wilmer, Texas buried on the 5th page of results. This trail is a short 2 miles (round trip), but needs a lot of love to be the trail it could be. If people nearby hiked it more often, it would be easier to maintain.
Cottonwood creek is not, and probably won’t ever be a destination trail, but it can still be a daily or weekly gem to people in the local community. I want people to be able to easily find trails, even the “trails less traveled” near them. They can then enjoy these natural resources on a more regular basis, without feeling the burden of a trip to a destination trail system. Hopefully there will be many who come to care for and maintain the trails near them.
We want to find every trail in and near Dallas/Fort Worth. We know we won’t be the best source of information for every trail, but we want to be a single source that links to the best resources, that is searchable and map-able. We want to make finding your new favorite outdoor space easy.
We know that our 49 current listings are not all the trails in and around Dallas/Fort Worth. We do have a list of many more that we are researching and adding every week. We have one simple request of you … Don’t wait. Don’t wait for us to list the trail that you think is already in our list to add. Tell us about the trails you love, the trails near you, the trails you know of. We may not have them in our list and would love adding them, or expediting their being listed. The only thing we need is the name and location of the trail to research it, and would be grateful if you just sent us a list. If you want to do more, write a description of the trail, find websites that inform people about the trail (possibly a map of the trail), and some photos we can use on the site. Together, we can make a resource for all to share.