$7 per person per day. 12 and under free. $70/year Texas State Parks Pass allows free entry. Camping $10 for primitive sites, $25 for water and electric, $30 for water/electric/sewer. Reservations available online.
Just a short 20 miles south of downtown Dallas, you’ll stumble across the beautiful Joe Pool Lake outside of the city of Cedar Hill. Arguably the most scenic area in the DFW metroplex, rolling hills and shaded trails surround this suburban watering hole. Although its close proximity to the city may seem to detract from its outdoor value, the sheer area that the state park protects will make it feel like you’re in the remote wilderness.
What Makes It Great
DORBA (Dallas Offroad Bike Association) has teamed up with the state park to create and maintain one of the best trails in the DFW circuit. Sporting over 12 miles of hard dirt single track, this moderate difficulty trail attracts mountain bikers from all around.
The scenery presented throughout the length of the trail is beautiful and ever changing. The trail consist of 3 concentric loops, with the outer loop skirting the lake at several points. With a gentle sloping shoreline, it’s easy to take a scenic brake near the waters’ edge. During a hot summer’s day, the ability to escape to the lake gives you the option to cool off in the waters of Joe Pool Lake. The trail is well marked along its length, and when you come to the trailhead the loops are color coded to make deciphering your route easier.
Choosing the outer loop will take you the full 12 miles around the outer edge of the park. You’ll have sweeping lake views, as well as canopy covered straightaways. The middle inside loop will take you for an 8 mile ride. Almost mirroring the outer loop, aside from cutting off a detour, you’ll see the same great views and experience the twists and turns of a typical DORBA trail. Lastly, if you’re looking for a short trip you can choose the inner 3 mile trip. This path will keep you near the lake, and limit your backcountry experience.
Who is Going to Love It
Riders off all skill levels will do well on this trail. With the ability to choose your distance, the difficulty level can be modified. Some rocks and roots will be encountered, with the majority of path being hard dirt and some sand. Some straightaways and sections through prairie land will give you some time to rest your legs if you’re conquering the long loop. Wildlife lovers will enjoy this trail as well, as the State Park protected area is home to many snakes, deer, armadillo, and various native birds.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From downtown Dallas, take I35E south until you reach the US HWY 67 split. Take the split right and follow this until you reach Cedar Hill. Take the FM 1382 exit, and follow this road to the west until you reach the park entrance. Follow signs to the DORBA trailhead where parking is available.