Great Place for Cycling Adventures

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Great Place for Cycling AdventuresMy Dallas Story

“With all the work across the region to expand trail and green space access, imagine the new places you can explore each day!”

By: Philip Hiatt Haigh, Executive Director, The Circuit Trail Conservancy

My name is Philip Hiatt Haigh, and I am the Executive Director of the Circuit Trail Conservancy (CTC), the public private partnership building The LOOP. My professional and personal lives recently merged in my current role building an urban trail network around the core of Dallas, but I have been riding and racing bicycles in Texas and around the country for the past 13 years.

My passion for cycling began in undergrad at Texas Tech University after watching a short film on mountain biking in British Columbia (before YouTube!). At the time, I didn’t know anything about cycling and didn’t know you could explore new places and ride trails as an adult – I hadn’t been on a bike since middle school!

After graduation, I moved back to Dallas and began riding local trails at least three times a week with my “home trail” at Rowlett Creek Preserve. The North Texas mountain biking organization, Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association (DORBA), provides great resources on all the local off-road trails, volunteer opportunities to keep our green spaces clean, and coordinating events like races and clinics to improve your handling skills.

While I still look forward to racing around the country, I’m often out scouting new routes or leading groups through beautiful parts of Dallas that most people have never seen. I think the easiest path to an adventure is on the Trinity Levee System. These gravel roads are not open to vehicles (occasional maintenance trucks) and span the city for all sorts of scenery and landscapes. Even if you don’t have a bicycle, these roads provide convenient and safe routes for everyone to enjoy.

Over the next two years, construction on a number of bicycle and pedestrian trails will make access to Dallas green space even better. The most prominent example will be a segment of The LOOP connecting the Katy Trail in Victory Park to the Trinity Strand Trail in the Design District. This 1-mile connection will allow people to get from Uptown into the Trinity Levee System (and eventually Fort Worth) – without ever leaving a dedicated trail!

It may seem like riding a bike for years may give me special insight to hidden gems – but with all the work across the region to expand trail and green space access, imagine the new places you can explore each day!

The Trails (and Tales) Go On and On

So, there you have it. For more exhaustive listings, visit our Hitting the Trails page and our Walk & Roll page. The North Central Texas Council of Governments also has a comprehensive trail page. Cyclists can visit the DORBA page, while joggers/runners can visit North Texas Runners.

Don’t forget to check out our Hidden Gems page for more of the Dallas Region’s best kept secrets.