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One of the unexpected outcomes of the COVID19 restrictions has been significantly increased use and exposure of the City of Dallas’s growing trail system. As a frequent trail user, I’ve noticed many more runners, walkers, bicycles, and dogs as citizens look for opportunities to stay active and explore Dallas without getting in a car. With fewer opportunities see each other in person, the trails allow us to do so in a responsible and physically distanced manner. I’m often asked for recommendations on trails. Dallas has a robust, albeit somewhat disconnected, network of trails. Some of the trails you’ll see me on most frequently include Northaven Trail and the Santa Fe Trail.
Because if its proximity, the Northaven Trail is the one that gets the most use from me. It follows the path of the Oncor easement and runs east-west across North Dallas from Central Expressway to the area near the Walnut Hill DART station in Northwest Dallas. It maximizes otherwise unusable green space, now filled with wildflowers, with eight miles of trails underneath the powerlines, and makes nearly anything south of LBJ Freeway and north of Northwest Highway between I-35 and I-75 accessible on foot of by bicycle.
The Santa Fe Trail is another personal favorite. Not only does Santa Fe present an important connection to reach downtown as well as a hidden entrance to Fair Park, but it is one of the most aesthetically pleasing trails, with ample tree canopy and wildflowers scattered along the path. City of Dallas trails offer much needed recreational opportunities and, just as importantly, help connect the City by giving transportation options for those who would rather walk or bike somewhere. Dallas still has much progress to make with pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure but hopefully this amplified recognition (and nice weather this spring) more citizens appreciate the importance of trail infrastructure for Dallas. I’m excited to see our trail network expand and reach full connectivity.
Written by Jeff Kitner