Page 1 of 1

NorthEast Texas Trail

Posted: 21 Jun 2018 14:40
by jrd1964
Interesting article about a rail trail that spans 130 miles along 2 pieces of former rail lines. It is "railbanked", meaning inactive for now but the railroad companies reserve the right to reclaim the paths if they like. This also means it's not abandoned, like many other non-used rail lines have become. It goes from Farmersville northeast to Paris, then east to New Boston. Some towns have embraced the trail to the point of adding benches, water fountains, signage, and even a hostel in one town. Others aren't quite as enthusiastic. Some parts are nicely paved with concrete or asphalt, others are mixes of dirt, gravel, or ballast. A few stretches need more attention. Currently there are 3 bridges out but the trail's website directs riders to detours. A short section in Paris is still actively used by freight rail; Trail reps have tried unsuccessfully so far to get Union Pacific to allow trail access alongside the Paris freight rail section up to now. In the meantime, officials in Paris have made a detour available. Trail reps have also approached the state about making the trail a state park, but so far, have had little luck (no $$$ for another state park is the reason given). For now, those overseeing the Trail depend on donations and grants to get them by, as well as volunteer work by locals along the Trail, as well as bicyclists. The NorthEast Texas Trail is the longest of its kind in the state, and one of the longest in the US. ... exas-trail

Re: NorthEast Texas Trail

Posted: 21 Jun 2018 15:29
by DPatel304
This is fascinating, I had no idea this existing. Sometime down the line, when I can take more time off of work, I've always wanted to go on long bike rides and see more of the country that way.

The length of this one looks like a pretty good 'starter' trail. I wonder if there are people who go across this in groups.

Re: NorthEast Texas Trail

Posted: 22 Jun 2018 05:29
by jrd1964
From the looks of the pics on their Facebook page, they get solo riders and groups. A few hike it, while still others traverse it on horseback. Apparently there are a few spots with poison ivy/oak whenever there hasn't been as much volunteer mowing or trimming.

Re: NorthEast Texas Trail

Posted: 23 Jun 2018 14:04
by I45Tex
I don't want to come across as negative, because I do like this project. I hope it can be completed and maintained for an achievable amount of resources and I hope the Circuit Trail Conservancy* and other projects link up with it somehow in the future.

But I'm rubbed the wrong way by the bit about being right up there with the longest in the US (an unsourced wiki claim about being the fourth-longest trail "of its kind," for instance). This is initially since it seems to rely on selective technicalities to be true, and, more importantly, because it seems meant to create a favorable background impression that - with NE Texas Trail's help - our outdoor recreational trail choices might compare to the choices available in other parts of the nation (...a claim which would be absolutely false except in the sense that we indeed have to start somewhere to ever get less far behind them).

People routinely enjoy trails from DC to Pittsburgh; Nashville to Natchez; Chicago to Madison, WI; Albany to Lake Erie; from BART to Mount Diablo; to say nothing of the hiking you can do within the neighborhoods of San Diego, Boston, etc., etc. The terrain didn't force us to design those opportunities into our urban expansion here in Texas, nor did they serve as springboards to routes into the countryside.

Even where subdivisions have enjoyable parks set aside, there are very few ways to travel between most of them without using city streets, and trying to retrofit links won't be a particularly cost-effective way to help change the sedentary inertia of most NCTCOG neighborhoods.