My Dallas Trail Story:
Casual Coffee Ride Along the Trails
I ride bikes a lot. Most of my riding is for fitness, health, and race training. But slowing things down to enjoy a casual morning ride has become a necessity over the past few years – if you’re looking for an easy trail spin around Dallas, grab an espresso drink and check out this route.
I’m Philip Hiatt Haigh, Executive Director of The Loop Dallas, and this is My Dallas Trail Story.
Starting off a ride with a jolt of caffeine is a favorite – I usually order a cortado, a shot of espresso with just a bit of milk and foam. This is a nice way to enjoy a coffee drink without a lot of liquid; I find it less comfortable to ride after a full cup of coffee or cappuccino – and hopefully avoid a nature break along the way!
This route is a 17-mile round trip that uses the Katy, University Crossing, Ridgewood, SoPac and Santa Fe Trails and then Main Street through Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas before heading back to the start using the protected bike lane on Houston St.
Traveling 17 miles under your own power can seem intimidating. For a ride like this, I keep a casual pace and am not setting any speed records. I’m enjoying a coffee drink, the green spaces around the trails, and taking in the sights of our city. This ride took just under two hours with multiple stops along the way.
My favorite part of this ride is right at the start at the southern entrance of the Katy Trail – the iconic exposed Texas limestone. The limestone here in Uptown and Oak Cliff is the northernmost tip of the Balcones Fault, the same geographic feature that gives the Hill Country iconic scenery. The rock walls make me feel like I’ve escaped the city and am out in nature.
Another favorite site is along the University Crossing Trail. The vibrant murals are a great photo op and highlight each trail’s personality. In the summer, this is a good stop out of the sun as well!