Find Your Two-Wheel Bliss with These Dallas Bike Trails
Let’s face it: Dallas is not a bike-friendly city. Of the city’s 385 square miles, there are only 10.4 miles of bike lanes and a mere 2.7 miles of protected lanes. This means that cyclists are often riding right next to large trucks and SUVs, which is a dangerous tango, to say the least.
Despite Dallas’ glaring problems with bike-related infrastructure, there are a handful of beautiful trails and routes that allow cyclists to pedal without a care in the world. Put on your helmets, squeeze into your spandex and keep reading to learn about our favorite trails around Dallas.
White Rock Lake
It’s impossible to own a bike in Dallas and not ride around White Rock. Hell, with the prevalence of Lime bikes — and like 100 other brands — strewn about, you don’t even need to have a bike of your own. White Rock is Dallas’ essential trail and for good reason. The 9.4-mile loop is beautiful and easy enough for riders of all ages. Plus, there’s something utterly refreshing about riding next to a body of water. If you don’t live close enough to ride to the lake, there’s ample parking, so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot to unload your bike from your car. A word of caution about riding at White Rock: there are always a ton of people riding, walking and running, so you’ll want to keep your eyes on the trail. If you still have energy after completing your ride — and you’re on the east side of the lake — you’re just about a mile from Goodfriend, so you can cruise on over for a victory beer or two or three. After all, you deserve it.
Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail connects White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum, so it’s a major cyclist thoroughfare. While it’s not necessarily a scenic trail like White Rock and others, it’s a route that bike-riders need to know. It’s about 4 miles from one end to the other and not too difficult to ride. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend having your ride solely consist of this trail, but it is beneficial for getting around East Dallas. Plus, if you’re riding east to west, you’ll pop out in Deep Ellum where you can grab a nice cold beer (noticing a theme?) at one of the neighborhood’s many fine establishments.
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
If you’re looking to take things off road, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is a great spot with roughly 8 miles of trails. Lots of trees and a few creeks will make you feel like you’re far out of Dallas despite remaining firmly within city limits. You’ll want to swap out your road bike for a mountain or gravel bike, so you can adequately shred the gnar on the dirt trails.
Cedar Hill State Park
Designed by mountain bikers, the trails at Cedar Hill will push even experienced bikers. The park consists of three trails ranging from 3 to 12 miles, but if you’ve made the trip, you should probably just ride all of them. If you want to turn your trip into a multi-day affair, you’re welcome to camp as well. Cedar Hill State Park is the best choice for adventurous riders who want to escape for a few days and push the pedal to the… well, you get the idea.
Brace yourselves for a local business plug. Every Saturday at 7:30 AM, Transit Bicycle Company leads a group gravel ride. A couple of the shop’s very friendly employees takes a group on an incredibly fun off-road journey. This ride doesn’t stick to trails and it’s a great way to explore Dallas and venture off the beaten path. By the end, you’ll know your city better, and you’ll probably make a few friends along the way. Meet at Mudsmith around 7:00 so you can properly caffeinate yourself before wheels up at 7:30. By the time you’re back, it’ll be an acceptable time to reward yourself with mimosas and Bloody Marys on Lowest Greenville.