In recent years, the culture of running in the DFW metroplex has exploded. The newly renamed ‘Dallas Marathon’ has emblazoned Dallas on runners’ top lists, and brings people from all over the world to compete in this annual event. With this boom has come the heightened interest in trail running and ultra-marathons. With this emergence has come the increased need for good places to run. Enter the Greenbelt Corridor outside of Denton, Texas.
What Makes It Great
There are three parking lots to choose from spanning the entire length of the Corridor to start your run from. From North to South the first one is at FM455 near the Ray Roberts Dam, FM 428 in the middle section, and US 380 at its southern edge. Because it’s most easily reached and the closest to the metroplex, the southern entrance is the most frequented.
Mirroring the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, the trail is entirely tree covered with old growth forest. For those looking for an off road run in the midst of wildlife, this is a sure bet. Many North Texas bird species can be observed in the canopy, as well as ground mammals wandering the riverbanks looking for water. Poisonous snake species are also common here, so be aware of your surroundings and the trail in front of you. With 10 miles of path one way, long distance can easily be achieved with a round trip. Because of its mostly flat surface, the Greenbelt Corridor Trail attracts many runners looking to get in pure distance at an easy clip.
For those looking for an even longer day on the trail, continue north past the Lake Ray Roberts Dam and enjoy more off road bliss. This section of trail winds along shores of Lake Ray Roberts and gives a runner more hills, rocks, stumps, and obstacles.
Who is Going to Love It
Trail runners, road runners, and general outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the environment of the Greenbelt Corridor Trail. The remoteness of the place will satisfy the hardcore trail runner in spite of the limestone path, however, because of the flat limestone surface road runners will feel a bit more at home. With the multiple access points along the trail, it’s easy for families in the area as well as runners from all over to find a spot to run.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Northern entrance can be reached by taking I-35 North into Sanger and exiting Chapman Rd (FM 455). Head East and the road will run into the parking area by the dam. The mid entrance can be reached by taking FM 428 North off of Loop 288 in Denton. From the southern end of Loop 288 in Denton, head East on US 380 to reach the southern and most often used entrance.
The cost to park/enter is $7.00 at the Ray Roberts entrance, and $5.00 at the other two.