On the trail we blaze: hiking, biking, running in Dallas

Elizabeth Mitch, Staff Writer

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Freshman Sandy Twetten runs along the Campion Trail next to Riverside Dr. in Las Colinas. The trail is 10-15 minutes away from campus. Photo by Kaity Chaikowsky

With autumn approaching and cooler temperatures rolling in, going on a hike or a bike ride is a great way to relieve stress. Whether you are just a beginner or a seasoned adventurer, these trails can offer something unique for everyone.

Benedict Tan Wei You, president of the Venture Crew club at University of Dallas, recommended the L.B. Houston Nature Trails, which are only about a 20 minute walk from UD.

“L. B. Houston is low level difficulty for both hiking and biking,” Tan Wei You said. “It’s a great hiking trail to get out of campus because it feels like you’re in a different place.” However, he also says to check the weather before you go, since rain can bring small floods.

The Cedar Ridge Preserve area also features several hiking trails to explore. The preserve is connected with the Audubon Society in Dallas, and as a result the trail features various nature-related events throughout the year. If you are looking for a unique activity, this upcoming Saturday, Sept. 26 there is monarch butterfly tagging at Cedar Ridge at 10 a.m. According to the trail’s website, there are also opportunities to volunteer every third Saturday of the month to keep the trails beautiful.

“Volunteers remove non-native plants, restore trails, and work in the butterfly garden,” according to the website. “Repairing trails reduces erosion trouble spots, and removing non-native plants clears crowded trail edges.”

In a D Magazine article on Dallas’ trails, writer Bill Holston mentioned Dogwood Canyon as a wonderful place to enjoy nature and even see some unusual wildlife, such as the black-chinned hummingbird and the endangered golden-cheeked warblers. In the spring, the canyon features a large array of flowering dogwoods.

If you are feeling adventurous, but want to say close to home, the Campion Trails are for you. Just miles away, the trails are a continuously expanding project that will eventually connect to a regional hiking and biking trail system reaching several cities in the metroplex, according to the City of Irving website. According to the Dallas County website, the North Campion Trail is the longest trail in Irving, in total reaching nearly seven miles. Its paved road takes you from Las Colinas to Valley Ranch. Along the way, you pass a bird sanctuary, a record-holding elm tree and some polo fields. Campion Trail South is shorter but recently gained three miles and now connects to the Lone Star Trail, going all the way to Grand Prairie.

Tan Wei You says both hiking and biking offer unique experiences. He said that hiking can be a great opportunity to think and enjoy nature, whereas, biking can be best enjoyed as a social activity. Tan Wei You said to pack light and wear sturdy shoes when preparing for your expedition, and plan to go in either the morning or evening to avoid hot Texas temperatures in midday.

If you want to try out one of these trails, but you are not quite sure how to start, keep an eye out for Venture Crew’s upcoming hiking event. On Sept. 26 the club plans to make a morning trip out to the L. B. Houston Nature Trails; sign-ups will be on Crusader Connect.

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