Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mountain Biking in Texas- Rowlett Creek Preserve

Rowlett Creek Preserve
Home of the Teeter Totter and the Whoop-tie Doos.

In the middle of a open field alongside the trail at Rowlett Creek Preserve
Nestled between the city limits of Garland and Rowlett, with easy access via the Tollway and soon the DART light rail system, is this awesome mountain bike trail known as Rowlett Creek Preserve. Technically, the trail is on the Garland side of the city limits, yet for some reason they don't want to call it "Garland Creek Preserve". I guess it wouldn't have the same ring to it. After all, the trail system here has been around since the mid or late 1990's, and by now everybody is comfortable with the name of the trail.

This trail system currently covers about 10 miles of trail with another 3 or 4 miles expected to be open by the end of this year. All the loops on the north side of the trail can be ridden in about an hour and 40 minutes or less. It's a great trail to ride during the week before or after work because it does not demand alot of time to complete.

Rowlett Creek is known for having shifty soil that is constantly changing. Since the trail is in a flood plain it requires constant maintenance to continue to be a functional trail. I wouldn't recommend riding this trail after a heavy rainstorm. Parts of the trail alongside the creek have been known to fall into the water and the trail can be flooded for weeks at a time if there is a wet winter. In the dry heat of the summertime the soil will crack and loosen off the ground making turning at highs speeds sketchy. The constant erosion of this trail has exposed many root beds which can make for a bumpy ride in some places. I have had more than my fair share of falls on this trail, probably more so than any other trail that I have ridden on. Yet I keep coming back for more. That's just me I guess.

Yeah, so anyway, if you just watched my blooper video you'll know what I'm talking about. North Texas isn't known for having large, predatory wildlife in this area. But watch out for snakes! This trail is home to the copperhead snake, a poisonous cousin of the rattlesnake. I have never seen one on the trail before, but everyone else who has ridden out there has. I dunno, I guess I must run over them and not even notice! As long as you stay on the designated trail and don't venture into the tall grass, these snakes will usually leave you alone.

If I haven't already scared you silly about riding at Rowlett Creek Preserve, here's a few more videos of what this trail has to offer. The trail does have alot of man made obstacles and challenging natural terrain. It is fun to ride, but falling usually involves bruising and open gashes, so I would recommend taking it easy if it's your first time on the trail.

In the next video you'll see a few neat drops as well as the first creek crossing.

This last video shows the Whooptie-doo section and has a couple of steep climbs and one crazy 4 foot drop.

This isn't be best, or the funnest, trail to ride in North Texas. If you live in Dallas, it is the closest and quickest option for mountain biking. It is still a fun trail, but I won't try to sell anybody on it. The trail is at it's best during the fall. In the summer there is not enough shade and in the winter it's probably below water. Take all these things into consideration if you're planning a trip out to Rowlett Creek Preserve. Stay tuned and subscribe to my posts to get more articles about mountain biking trails in North Texas.

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