Runners, it’s confession time. Did you spend your whole summer sweating it out in the A/C on a treadmill? I did. I’m just not hardcore enough to run in the sweltering heat of a Texas summer. Now that it’s starting to cool off, I’m itching to ditch the gym and hit an honest to goodness trail. If you are, too, here are a few you should consider checking out. Sure, you can’t watch TV, or that girl on the elliptical in front of you while you run, but the views of the Metroplex this time of year are bound to be more inspiring.
From short trails to long hauls, there’s something for everyone who’s ready to get out and pound the pavement.
Best Spot for a Short Run
Location: Downtown Dallas
Hours: 5 a.m. – Midnight
Directions to the trail from various points can be found here:
Katy Trail Mileage and Parking Map:
The Katy Trail is a 3.5-mile trail that takes up the space of an abandoned train track that runs through the city of Dallas. There are two separate surfaces for runners and bikers. You’ll find mile markers every .25 miles, but you won’t find public bathrooms. If a pit stop is in order, you’ll have to be resourceful and find local establishments that will have you.
CBS DFW Insider Tip: Rumor has it the Starbucks on Knox St. at the trail’s north end has been accommodating to those in need of a bathroom break.
For more information about the trail and to support it, check out Friends Of Katy Trail at http://www.katytraildallas.org
Best Overall Spot to Run
White Rock Lake
Location: East Dallas
South of the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and State Highway Loop 12 (Northwest Highway)
White Rock Lake is, without a doubt, undisputed, the best place to run in the entire DFW area. Having trained for and run a marathon here, I feel confident putting that out there. Over 9 miles of paved trails circle the lake. There are water stops frequently scattered throughout the trail, and there are several free parking lots around it (though they fill quickly on Saturday mornings). The trail is mostly flat, with a couple hills to keep your heart pumping.
The lake is also home to a sailing club, and you’ll see several boats out on the water. You won’t, however, find people swimming in it. The trail is also great for bikers, so be on the lookout and remember your trail manners.
Find out more about White Rock Lake and how you can support it at For The Love Of The Lake- http://www.whiterocklake.org/
Best Spot to Marathon Train
Trinity River Trails
Location: Fort Worth
The Trinity River Trails are a system of 35 miles of trails connected throughout Fort Worth. You can access it from several points, including downtown, the Stockyards and over 20 parks.
Here’s a tip from traillink.com: From downtown Fort Worth, the best access to the Trinity River Trails is at Heritage Park, which is right behind the spectacular, solid-granite Tarrant County Courthouse. Turn left (south), and you can run up to 14.2 miles out-and-back to Southwest Boulevard — all paved, each mile marked with a wooden stake.
You can find a comprehensive trail map here:
Jill Krause is a blogger, product ambassador and mother to 2 young children. You can find her humorous take on life as a parent at http://www.BabyRabies.com.