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Parks

Dallas’ Newest Mountain Bike Trail Is Open Near the White Rock Lake Spillway

Dallas just got a new mountain bike park all thanks to the Loop, DORBA, and the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. Let’s keep it to ourselves.
| |Photography by JerSean Golatt
Dorba Creekside Park
DORBA’s Sean Laughlin turns over a new leaf at Creekside Park. JerSean Golatt

A new mountain bike trail opened today in East Dallas. Five miles of dirt track twist and turn through 50 wooded acres of the aptly named Creekside Park, which nestles up to White Rock Creek, about a mile south of the lake’s spillway. Credit goes to no fewer than three organizations: the Loop Dallas, which is building a 50-mile circuit around the city and operates a concrete trail that runs beside the park; the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, which should be obvious; and the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association, aka DORBA, the 35-year-old nonprofit whose volunteer army has built and maintains more than 30 trails and parks across North Texas. 

This is the first track DORBA has built in Dallas in 15 years. It’s also the first time DORBA has brought in an out-of-state trail design and construction company. Singletrack Trails, based in Colorado, cut the path through ash, elm, and hackberry, and it built the adjacent bike park, where riders of varying abilities can test themselves on hills and jumps. To create the terrain, which is still under construction, Singletrack trucked in erosion-resistant dirt and prefab ramps. 

Riders of varying abilities can test themselves on hills and jumps.

“There’s a lot of engineering that goes into that,” says Sean Laughlin, DORBA’s director of development. “It’s not just a bunch of kids in the backyard, you know, with a piece of plywood and some dirt. There’s truly a science to it.”

Speaking in late August, Laughlin had just returned from a site visit to Creekside. The lack of rain had kept work on schedule, and Laughlin was excited about what they’d stumbled upon in the woods. “There is a massive cottonwood tree back there,” Laughlin says. “It’s 100 feet tall, at least 3 feet in diameter at the trunk. It is just a beautiful, beautiful specimen. We’re going to work with the state to get it registered.”

They also found tons of broken-up concrete that had been illegally dumped decades ago. Singletrack is laying the material on some of the more technical stretches of the trail. Laughlin calls the old concrete “urban boulders.”

As the lawyers always warn: ride at your own risk. And first one to the ER buys a round for everyone. 

How to Get There

To access Creekside Park, riders will have to ride there because there is no parking lot. Your best bet is to park at White Rock Alehouse & Brewery (7331 Gaston Ave., Ste. 100). After you’ve had some liquid courage, head south on the Santa Fe Trail for about half a mile. Take the fork to the left, which is the paved Trinity Forest Spine Trail. You’ll find the park after you cross the Tenison Glen golf course.


This story originally appeared in the October issue of D Magazine with the headline, “The Secret Trail.” Write to [email protected].

Author

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…
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