Best Trails in Dallas for Running, Cycling, and Training
Dallas is a wonderful City to get out and walk, run, or cycle. It is home to some of the best trails that gives outdoor enthusiasts a perfect getaway from the office. Below are the top trails in Dallas with details of the total distance, the scenery it offers, The Goods & Cons of the trail, and what type of training it is suitable for. Happy Running/Cycling and get out there and try these trails if you haven’t already!
1. Chisolm Trail
Located in Plano and parts of Allen and Mckinney, the Chisolm trail runs for miles and miles stretching East-West from East Plano to West Plano. The trails are all paved and run through scenic areas mostly throughout Plano. There are a number of intersections where it crosses major roads but the intersections are relatively safe with “Slow & Yield” signs for both drivers and trail goers.
The Chisolm trail starts (mainly) at Harrington Park on 16th Street right off Highway 75. The trail goes through a number of parks & neighborhoods, past Custer Rd, Independence Road, and even Coit Rd all the way to Preston for a total mileage of 7.05 miles one way for the most direct route from Harrington Park to Preston Rd. It’s a good route for half-marathon training or cycling with a few water fountains along the way & restrooms around mid-point. If you do the route there and back, it gives you a total mileage of 14.10 miles.
At Coit, the trail leads into a cross-intersection where you can veer off to Preston Ridge trail which takes you North all the way to Allen and the border of Mckinney and South to Park Rd in Plano.
Distance: 7.05 miles
Scenery: Neighborhoods, parks, streams, bridges
The Good: Long, quiet trail, water fountains and restrooms along the way
The Cons: A few interruptions (where you need to stop) along major intersections and some smaller neighborhood roads.
Good for Training: 10K, Half-Marathon, Cycling
2. White Rock Trail
The trail around the lake itself is roughly 9 miles but what most people don’t realize is the trail actually runs all the way to Anderson Bonner Park on 635 and 75. From White Rock Lake to Anderson Bonner park is about 6.85 miles. So if you run/ride from the park, do the loop around White Rock Lake, and come back, you’ll cover a distance of about 22.7 miles. Good for long runs for marathon training or a longer bike session.
If you ask around locals, most will tell you White Rock Trail is one of the prettiest trails in Dallas with a large number of popular runs (including the Dallas Marathon) passing through the trail.
Distance: 6.85 miles to White Rock Lake, 9 miles around White Rock Lake
Scenery: Bridges, Old traditional buildings, dams, docks, lake
The Good: Beautiful trail with almost no interruptions from traffic
The Cons: No fountains or restrooms until you reach White Rock Lake
Good for Training: Long-Runs, Marathons, Cycling
3. Bluebonnet Trail
A slightly lesser known trail but a true hidden jewel. The trail actually runs into the several trails at the beautiful Oakpoint Nature & Preserve. At Oakpoint Preserve, you can explore many trails that leads to beautiful parks, lakes, and neighborhoods. But from the Oakpoint Preserve in East Plano, the trail runs all the way West until it intersects with Chisolm trail so if you were to be creative, you could have an extensive bike training held along these beautiful trails. From Oakpoint Reserve, it runs east all the way to a beautiful lake and park – Bobwoodruff Park where more trails you can get immersed in.
Distance: Hard to say precisely but from the most East point to the West is approx 10.4 miles
Scenery: Lots of lakes, nature, preserves, neighborhoods
The Good: One of the most scenic and diverse routes with several turns to explore
The Cons: Easy to get lost
Good for Training: Half-Marathons, Marathons, 5Ks, Cycling
4. Katy Trail
You’ll always find a good crowd of runners & cyclists along the Katy trail because it’s one of the most accessible and nice trails to take a stroll or jog at almost anytime of the day. It runs through the popular uptown Dallas and goes to the head of downtown leading you right to the American Airline Center (home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars). The total distance the Katy trail covers is about 3.68 miles. Along the way, you’ll find a bars, restaurants, and sometimes even new businesses promoting their product. The trails are wide and friendly for pets.
Distance: 3.68 miles
Scenery: Bridges, forests, people, bars
The Good: Popular, lots of people, pet-friendly
The Cons: Shorter-Distance
Good for Training: 5K’s, Leisure Running
5. Arbor Hills Trails
Arbor Hills is a beautiful park with lots of trails that lead you to beautiful scenery. Located in West Plano, it’s close to a lot of high-end areas. The trails are a bit difficult to navigate though as there are lots of smaller trails that veer off in different directions and the total distance will not get you high mileage. However, it’s a good trail to take a leisure walk or light jog.
Distance: Longest continuous route approx 2.16 miles
Scenery: Beautiful outdoor trees, wild flowers, observation tower
The Good: Beautiful place
The Cons: Very short-distance and trails veering off in different directions
Good for Training: 5K’s, light jogs
6. Trinity River Trail
Located just southwest of Downtown Dallas, Trinity River Trail boasts the incredible Dallas Skyline as its backdrop and extensive trails by the river that run for miles and miles. The trail passes through the popular Trinity Groves area with lots of bars, restaurants, and night-life scenery. It also runs adjacent to the Ronald Kirk Bridge and the popular Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. There is still much construction going on, but a lot of the trails is expected to be completed by 2018. Much of the trails are along marsh areas since it runs along the river so flooding may sometimes be an issue that causes the trail to be inaccessible for up to a few weeks.
Distance: Difficult to determine mileage without completion of trails but once completed, trails can cover upwards of 20 miles +
Scenery: Riverside, Dallas Skyline, Ron Kirkland + Margaret Hunt Hill bridge
The Good: Long-distance, beautiful backdrops of Dallas
The Cons: Prone to flooding which may close the trail for weeks
Good for Training: Marathons, Ultramarathons, Long-distance running/cycling