DALLAS PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT

Added trails will bring new views and connections
City striving to link up neighborhoods
A cyclist rides along the White Rock Creek Trail at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The city is scheduled to complete six trails in the next two years, connecting North and South Dallas and giving walkers and cyclists clear access to rivers and other trails. (Elias Valverde II/Staff Photographer)
By LAUREN GIRGIS
Staff Writer
lauren.girgis@dallasnews.com

New bridges and trails will soon bring unparalleled access to previously disconnected neighborhoods in Dallas County while providing pedestrians and cyclists urban and natural views.

Six trails are set to be completed in the next two years, connecting North and South Dallas and giving walkers clear access to rivers and other trails. The developments include a walkable bridge over U.S. Highway 75, a trail from Dallas to its western neighbor, Fort Worth, and a 50-mile loop that will connect the entire city.

The trails are part of Dallas’ efforts to reconnect its neighborhoods — particularly in areas south of Interstate 30 that have been historically underserved.

“I see all these trails as a vital way to … make it easier for people to either walk or bike to transit stations or just walk or bike to neighborhood destinations,” said Jared White, a Dallas Park and Recreation planning and design manager.

Here are six trails that will alter the city’s landscape and make transportation — without a car — easier for Dallas residents.

West Dallas

Trinity Skyline Trail Connector

Project cost: $5.6 million

Completion date: Open

Part of the 65-mile Fort Worth to Dallas Regional Trail, this extension of the Trinity Skyline Trail will connect Dallas’ westernmost border with Irving, running along the Trinity River in West Dallas. The trail crosses the Elm Fork in Stemmons Corridor and connects with Irving’s Campion Trail. The Campion Trail provides views at greenery and urban locations, passing along the Elm Fork Trinity River and offering access to athletic fields and picnic areas. The trail allows access to Trinity View Park in Irving and connects suburbs to downtown Dallas.

Trinity Strand Trail Phase II

Project cost: $5.5 million

Completion date: Late fall 2022 or early spring 2023

The second phase of the Trinity Strand Trail will run from Dallas Market Center and Turtle Creek Boulevard to the Inwood Road DART Station. The first phase of the Trinity Strand Trail has already been built, running from Oak Lawn and I-35E to Medical District Drive. This portion of the trail will travel through the Medical District, past the Dallas Market Center and Parkland DART stations. Once finished, the trail will link over 73 miles of trails in the Dallas area, including downtown and Uptown, the Southwestern Medical District and the Dallas Design District.

Hi-Line Connector

Project cost: $18 million

Completion date: Late 2022 or early 2023

Running through Victory Park and into the Design District, the mile-long Hi-Line Connector will link the Katy Trail and the Trinity Strand Trail. The path will connect areas in downtown Dallas and include a portion running underneath the highway as well as a 12-foot-wide concrete trail, increasing transportation options from Katy Trail to the Trinity Strand Trail. The portion of the trail cutting underneath I-35E will include lighting and art installations.

“The end user piece is really going to be the most impactful part of this entire project,” said Philip Hiatt Haigh, executive director of the Circuit Trail Conservancy. “We’ve seen trails before in Dallas, but we’ve never had a trail that connects the entire city in a meaningful way.”

Southern Dallas

Honey Springs-Cedar Crest Trail

Project cost: $4.5 million

Completion date: August

After nearly four years of construction, city leaders expect to open the nearly 5-mile east Oak Cliff trail this month. The path will run by the Cedar Crest Golf Course and connect schools, the DART Illinois Station and a library. The trail, which includes on-street pathways and a pedestrian bridge, will run along East Illinois Avenue and cross near South Marsalis Avenue. The trail will skirt residential areas and John Phelps Park, which boasts a recreation center, playground and picnic areas.

North Dallas

Northaven Trail Bridge

Project cost: $20.8 million

Completion date: Spring 2023

The half-mile Northaven Trail bridge near Royal Lane will allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross over U.S. Highway 75 and White Rock Creek to the east. The bridge is significant because it will connect the Northaven, White Rock Creek and Cottonwood trails east of the bridge. The North Dallas bridge will have dedicated parking at the trailhead, an arc over the bridge lanes, and will pass by restaurants and other local businesses near the highway.

The connector project will bridge the gap between the already popular Northaven Trail, a relatively flat path with access to numerous schools, dining and shopping opportunities. Currently, the bridge is not open, but construction has begun on both the east and west sides, said Jeff Kitner, president of the Friends of Northaven Trail.

East Dallas

Trinity Forest Spine Trail Phase I

Project cost: $5.6 million

Completion date: Late 2022

The first phase of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail will run from the Santa Fe Trail to Samuell Boulevard. It is the first phase of the longest part of the loop, which aims to connect White Rock Lake and East Dallas to South Dallas and the Trinity Forest Trail System. The trail, which will be split into a north and south portion, will connect areas on both sides of I-30. The trailhead at Samuell Boulevard will be cleared of trash and feature a dedicated biking and pedestrian lane.

Hiatt Haigh said the trail will look similar to the White Rock Creek Trail, but will be placed at a particular elevation to avoid problems with flooding that can occur there. The 7.5-mile Spine Trail will allow residents south of I-30 to safely access northern neighborhoods without driving.

Connecting Dallas

The Circuit Trail

Construction on Dallas’ 50-mile loop’s Hi-Line Connector and Trinity Forest Spine Trail will begin later this year. The loop, which is designed to connect nine city districts and has been more than a decade in the making, is being spearheaded by the nonprofit Circuit Trail Conservancy.

The new additions will include four trails totaling more than 10 miles, connecting 39 miles of existing paths to link urban views with natural landmarks across the city. If the nonprofit gains grant approval from the Texas Department of Transportation in November, Hiatt Haigh said, the project could hit a grand total of $85 million in funding.

“You can go around in a circle and never end up in the same spot,” Hiatt Haigh said.

Twitter: @laurengirgis