That’s the part of the system I’m most familiar with. The group is working with the Texas Legislature for funding and are exploring options to designate the trail system as a state park. When the pavement ends, expect crushed-stone, dirt, and gravel surfaces. There were some areas that felt pretty wild (the area where the trail crosses the Sulphur river comes to mind). I did pick up the trail again about a mile later, I rode on some county roads, but the same thing happened again within a half mile. In the 1980s, a law allowed railroads to ‘bank’ unused rail lines through lease, sale, or donation. It extends from Farmersville… Had to call wife to pick me up. Get info about the 2021 The Oktoberfest Trail Run happening in Farmersville Texas! Trail quickly turns rural after J.W. Everything was great until about mile 7. You can also query NTTC on their Facebook page to get updated information from Rail Stewards. It is apparent that several land owners use the trail for access to their property, which keeps the trail clean and smooth. It's a very short incline with a very severe bump at the top. Alternatively, park at the J.W. I suspect that right of way remains right of way regardless of whether or not an adjacent landowner desires it. Most Rails to Trails are not perfectly paved or graveled. No doubt that people continue to use the right of way to dump trash. Dont Mess With Texas huh? Riding the shoulder of 78 is pretty sketchy and I would t recommend it. First off we had to take a road around the initial entry as it was not rideable. Put the middle bollard a little to one side. We encountered only one other person along the trail, a guy on a four-wheeler. Our community is a stone’s throw away from Farmersville Historic Square, specialty shops, and over 150 years of living history. It was, to say the least, sad. The five miles from the Onion shed in Farmersville to around the junction with FM 2194 is wide, well maintained and easy riding for most any bicycle. My brother-in-law and I are planning to ride from Farmersville to Paris in the near future with welcome stops for chicken fried and pancakes. I would think that would also mean that in the heat of the day in summer, you can forget a breeze to cool you. For now (until retirement), I will have to be satisfied with doing day-hikes along certain legs of the trail. During the recent 3+ inch rains that added up to about 40,000 gallons of additional water along the side of the paved trail. It looks like the only maintenance has been an occasional mowing. The Farmersville City Coun­cil appears set to move ahead on applying for grants to help finance the cost of developing an 8.1-mile section of the Chaparral Trail to Celeste while considering the scope of the grant applications it will file. New Trailer broke my bike axle before I left 2. I took a troop on a hike from Farmersville to Celeste on October 3. In Avery, about 40 miles east of Reno by car, another section of the trail, the DeKalb Trace, can be traveled by bicycle, horseback, or on foot all the way to New Boston, a distance of 22 miles. 8.5 miles was the end of the line. A Google search turned up no nearby hotels, but I came across Rick Barrett ( and his Ladonia Lodge thru a Yahoo users group. It’s almost a gem, but could be better. I rolled my ankle 10 times while walking. We hope to hold another event next spring. When completed the Northeast Texas Trail (NETT), otherwise known as the Chaparral Trail, will be the longest hike, bike and equestrian trail in Texas and the … Numerous times I encountered barbed-wire fences, no trespassing signs, giant round haybale storage, etc. Many of us continue to enjoy and promote the trail. On my return trip from Celeste to Merit, I was advised by another group of Geocachers that they were confronted by one of the "landowners" and given instruction as to the routing to take to avoid both him and the adjacent "landowner". The fact that the Feds have paid for right-of-way means that violation of that agreement is a Federal matter. Will put on my knobies next time. Trail De Paris Rail Trail. The first 2-2.5 miles is paved then it turned to doubletrack. Overall this is still cross country mountain biking and I recommend riding nothing less than a true mountian bike. We had really wanted to use this trail. In one section just east of Wolfe City we found 5 dead cows that had been dragged (rope or wire still attached to the feet). Trail surface was coarse grave and quite overgrown. Made it all the way to Wolfe City before I could no longer take the poor trail and the beating I was taking from the over growth. (These wet areas would likely be dry in summer.) I have some concern with the practice of paving the trail with concrete. Pretty clear through mile ~17 or so, but a bit overgrown after that. I did not see anyone along the route. The section between Farmersville and Merit provides mountain bikers and hikers five-miles of improved trail surface through rural farmland and township. This is just a portion of the 130 mile long Northeast Texas Trail, which continues to Paris, Texas and beyond to New Boston, Texas. I found some particularly well-priced treasures there. Rode 25 Miles on Chaparral Trail on ruff as hell gravel roads and sketchy bridges. What exactly happens to right of way once it is vacated? Alternatively, the trail also goes behind Bland High school in Merit if you're looking for an end point (or starting point) in Merit. This occured mainly at road crossings since these areas were easier to access. Please tell me that the gravel/dirt trails will not be covered with concrete. There are three old RR trestles/bridges that do not have any improvements. Great weather to ride was able to get in 55 miles total 9. In March 2008, I mountain biked the section of the trail between Roxton and Ben Franklin. We were definitely able to see that the path, though rustic after the first paved 2.5 miles, was clear as far as we could see. Picking up where I left off at the 7.5 mile mark I encountered a 75-yard long ankle-deep watery mess. I was told by some neighbors of the trail that when the railroad was removed the ballast was sold. Become a member and wear your FREE T-Shirt with pride. The 35-mile route is the … Then there is the issue with all of the horse droppings. I'll drive to Merit and continue on when I have my next day off, weather permitting. One drawback is the fact that horses are allowed on it. Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more! That might not seem like much, but it means a one mile concrete pathway just four feet wide creates 13,165 gallons for each inch of rain. Exercise extreme caution at all CR and FM crossings because the traffic pays no attention to the warnings and yields. This 6-bedroom lodge is located at the edge of "Downtown" Ladonia, and was absolutely perfect for our needs. I scouted recently the sections that run through Pecan Gap and Ben Franklin in Delta County. There is NO WATER anywhere along the trail; however there are tasty treats not far where it crosses through the towns. Throughout the historic area, you will find eclectic antique stores. Dont know what folks expect from gravel roads, but this one is easily rideable on hybrid or cyclocross > 10mph the whole way. Marking cross roads with GPS coordinates. There are still large rocks in the gravel, and there are still areas that will probably pose a problem after a rain, but the underbrush has been cleared significantly and the road graded. Courses. The towns along the way offer nice rest stops. It gets complicated, but many of the small towns along the route obtained quit claim deeds from the banking entities for sections near their municipalities. The trail continues through the communities of Merit, Celeste, Ladonia, and Wolfe City with several miles between each. If you’re a fan of the great out doors, we also have Chaparral Trail close by for cyclists, hikers, and outdoor explorers. I live in Farmersville near the southern trailhead and ride this trail often with my daughter. That is where the trail intersects with CR 1101. However, the locals to whom we spoke along the way were very friendly and enthusiastic, and some (including Mr. Barrett) even pledged to push their localities to improve the upkeep. We had some of these that we had about an inch on either side of our wheels requiring us to virtually stop to get thru. The trail boasts miles and miles of unspoiled natural beauty making this trail especially a treat for nature enthusiasts, bikers and hikers. ", "Having grown up in the north Texas area, I was really looking forward to checking out this trail on a recent visit back to the area. I was so excited! The first first five or so miles were great, paved then gravel. As typical with railroad right of ways, the trail abuts farms, ranches, and private residences. Then conditions got very primitive very quickly. The 130 mile trail traverses from Farmersville (through 19 rural towns and 7 counties) to New Boston (West Texarkana). The Farmersville to Merit path is part of the ambitious Northeast Texas Trail system. Trail was pretty open, though narrowed in a few places by vegetation (cedar trees and low hanging elm tree branches and scrub weeds towards Merit). Welcome to Farmersville! The first 2.5 miles are paved out of Farmersville. In the process of removing the rock some of the earth was scraped away. My house is along the trail and I have never seen old mattresses, trash & have definitely not smelled strong odors.Kudos to the City of Farmersville and other city entities who have worked really hard in making the Rails to Trails an attraction to Farmersville. No railings are in place. The trail was hikeable. Farmersville, TX is known as a hidden treasure, nestled in the sweeping rural landscapes 35 miles north of Dallas. Based on the posted description we expected the trail to be open for 12-15 miles. 1. Took my first ride on the trail today from the trail head in Farmersville to Merit. Spain Athletic complex and head Northeast on the trail; bypassing only a short (paved) section of the trail. Yet the reduced runoff allows the dirt bikers to make greater use of the unpaved areas with less impact. Your donation will help us to continue connecting more people to trails around the country. The first issue is with the bollards that are used at each intersection with the crossing streets and roads. The Chaparral trail head is near the old Onion Shed. I've been looking for a good trail to ride my horses up to Caddo. We also cleared a few downed trees along the way. Becoming uncomfortable about whether we were welcome to ride this trail, we turned back. There were ATV's and motorcycles but no hikers or bikers. From there, trail becomes overgrown and nearly impassable, though travelers can drive about 30 miles northeast, to the city of Paris, to pick up two more sections of the Northeast Texas Trail, both fully paved. I have nothing against them nor would I try to deny recreational use of the trail to their riders, but they are tearing up the crushed granite section of the trail. True to its name, Farmersville grew from its early roots in cotton farming to a thriving business center. Out and back I can get a ten mile run in pretty easy. Breakfast on Sunday was at Gloria's Kitchen, clearly a local institution. Farmersville is a great place to eat and plan your hiking, biking or caching trip, Celeste has a quick shop right off the trail and Wolf City has a cafe with great food down town. Lastly, I found the following link ( that might be helpful in educating everyone on legal issues concerning the right of way. The Chaparral Trail is a highlight with folks driving up with their bikes to spend a day seeing how far they can go on the 130 mile bike and walking trail. Trailhead starts at S Main Street and Orion Alley (although Googlemaps calls it Hill St) in downtown Farmersville. Learn from my mistakes and try it again. Passage is possible by foot or walking a bike. The first 2.5 miles are paved and then it becomes progressively more overgrown. Passing through the little towns was nice since we were carrying little more than fluids and cash. In a land were URBAN sprawl is everywhere it's nice to see trails like this to ride on. Overall, very well maintained. Traffic is lighter than Section 1, but the trail is used, and you'll probably encounter someone at any time of day throughout the year. Farmersville is located off US Route 380 between McKinney and Greenville. Will be attempting this section of the trail again soon. Hope to see you there. Correction. It used the be nice and smooth but now it is pock marked with hoof prints and is quite rough in spots. I am from Wilmington De and do a tone of trails in the North East. The trail races are on the converted Chaparral Trail. We are planning on doing about 22ish miles one way from Farmersville to Wolfe City soon. The 2,426 sq. Bottom line: The more we use the Chaparral Trail, the better it will get! One critique—the brush has been cut back so much that there is far less shade from Merit to Celeste than from Farmersville to Merit. This section is paved with asphalt while in the city of Farmersville and later paved with concrete (10 ft. wide) for approximately 2.5 miles. The following is a listing of the ride. This left old rail right-away intact for use as trail systems. 132 Mile Rails to Trails. Find 10 photos of … (Cache-in-Trash-Out) we picked up trash along the two miles or so of concrete trail running north out of Farmersville. Repaired bike and drove to Lavonia Park Camping. Collin College's 75-acre Farmersville campus is now underway, preparing to open for the 2021-2022 academic year.Riverside Homebuilders is excited to join the Farmersville growth. My question is who is responsible for policing the trail. If the rubber crumb mat is placed on top of the surface, it becomes a terrain following trail that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. This and the description of the trails leading to cattle gates in Delta County begs questions regarding the posession of right of way once a rail line is abandoned. More to come in the future. The fido listed in one of the reviews at the 3 mile mark was my black and tan beagle mix, and he is now dead. My wife and I did an out and back from Celeste to Wolf City on 11-30-12. There were a few rough areas but mostly it was moderately packed and very rideable. Chaparral Trail: Great Trail - See traveler reviews, 2 candid photos, and great deals for Farmersville, TX, at Tripadvisor. The 130-mile project follows the unused routes of the Union Pacific and Chaparral railroads. For example, the City of Farmersville quit claimed the land between it and the Collin County line. I have property that is along the trail. It was a great success and the trail looked great. Prior to the event I mapped the trail from Farmersville to Wolf City. Often my hike on the Chaparral Trail is an excuse. The trail looks like it had not been maintained in quite some time and was very much a pain navigating it. I expect that anyone who gets harassed on this right-of-way should report it to not only to local law enforcement, but also Bureau of Land Management (BLM). My wife and I are 65+ with health issues that make riding recumbent trikes necessary. Further, the group was advised that the second "landowner" was inclined to take pot shots at persons using the right of way. There was a huge pile of decomposed granite and parked tractors at one area, where it was apparent they had been working on the trail. View detailed trail descriptions, trail maps, reviews, photos, trail itineraries, directions and more on TrailLink. Yes, there is a incredible amount of trash along the trail, mostly north of Merit. Through grants and donations, bit-by-bit, the 130-mile trail system has been maintained and improved. Here recently a crew came through and filled the ditch in and now the poachers and tresspassers are bad. In total, the three banking entities control unused rail line connecting 19 rural towns. Perhaps the most difficult challenge is repair of the old railroad trestle bridges. The race begins at the historic Onion Shed, a restored building from the 1930s that was once … The rubber crumb mat also provides a use for old tires with less production pollution than concrete, and adds green jobs to the area. Chaparral Rail Trail. We went out 3.5 miles before having to turn back due to the hour. For the most part a very rideable trail. It would be a shame to let that happen to this fun trail. Hiked the roughtly 31 mile section from Farmersville to Ladonia a few months ago. At a couple of points along the trail were posted No Trespassing signs clearly in the path of the right of way. The section between Farmersville and Merit provides mountain bikers and hikers five-miles of improved trail surface through rural farmland and township. Bikes gears got gummed up pretty good, we were even washing them in the puddles so they would keep moving. Note this parking lot is currently under construction. Near Ben Franklin the trail was blocked with a gate and cattle occupied the area. Finally, at mile 7 I had to abandon the trail, there was water across the trail which I could not ford or go around. But all in all, things are getting better, it would seem, in policing the trash out there. This is the fourth of fifth rail to trail I've ridden/hiked/ biked on and I only have this to say for those that want perfect paved trails to ride on. Photo by Mike Palmer, August 2012. A riding buddy and I tackled this trip on September 24/25, and enjoyed a generally positive adventure. I ran into a problem similar to one mentioned below encountered in Delta County on a section between Geocaching waypoints GC19A7N and GC11N9E. There are still active tracks owned by the Kansas City Southern in Farmersville. Thank you for your consideration. A reasonable pace should be around 8 MPH. Results. One interesting bit was that although it was very windy out (20mph gusts from the south), the trail itself was still and I didn't have to fight the wind coming or going. Rode a spooky trail and would do again 10. The trail races are on the converted Chaparral Trail. But get there early---Fat Boy's closes at 5pm on Saturdays. Trail open though narrowed in a few places by vegetation (specifically poison ivy). I run this from Farmersville (Onion Shed) to FM2194. The condition of the trail was worse than the description above, much more vegetation in sections that made it uncomfortable but still rideable. Beyond that stretch there were no signs at all, clearing the way for horses (we presumed); however, not but another couple of miles we ran into two man-made baracades constructed of brush. Groups have been working to improve the Southern Part of this Trail from the trailhead in Farmersville to the southern city limits in Pecan Gap. In the case of the fences and the gates I was able to lift the bike over and continue. Also, in much of the trail it is obvious that cars or trucks have been driving the trail, leaving ruts behind. More to come. Talked to some locals sitting out on their porch in Merit, and they were not real happy about the land owners towards Celeste that have made issue of the right-of-way (earthen barricades and such) and were disappointed that the bridge over a major creek/minor river had be removed (not sure where because I returned to Farmersville). That is a lot of additional mud and a lot of additional erosion to deal with. The City of Farmersville maintains five miles of the trail; 2.5 miles is paved, and 2.5 miles is a decomposed granite surface. I love the little town of Farmersville. Maps delineate trail conditions and cautions in town-to-town segments. I'll report my findings and post photo's. And impeding a traveler is no less than a violation of civil rights, in my mind (United States v. Wheeler in 1920). ", "Yes, the city of Farmersville has done a commendable job maintaining the trail head and the first couple of miles. That said, there is a bit of a wild feel to this area, and if ever confronted; smile, FULL five finger wave, and have a copy of the settlement to hand them if they'll take it. There were a few areas of heavy gravel and several areas of heavy overgrowth. It is part of the "Chaparral Rails to Trails Inc". More suited for lovers of gravel grinding and backpacking than mountain bikers. In the case of the fences and the gates I was able to lift the bike over and continue. Lots of mud after that, we were up for adventure so we pushed forward mud and all. I hope we continue to see improvements to this trail. I bailed the trail and went for a pleasant 36 mile ride on the farm roads. The Chaparral Trail is the westernmost section of the NorthEast Texas Trail. On my hikes, it’s apparent the trail draws both out-of-town visitors and local residents. During the planning stages, the first question was where to stay in Ladonia. My compliments to those with the foresight to develop this old railway into a wonderful opportunity for exercise and adventure. A city park and large adjacent lot offer parking, picnic, and restroom facilities, along with easy trail access. The Chaparral Trail is the western most leg of the regional Northeast Texas Trail running from the Audie L. Murphy Trail Head to the Collin County line. And though this trail doesn't dump there it will take me most of the way. If you want a ten-mile hike, then trek the entire distance to Merit and then retrace your steps back to Farmersville. This event was held March 7 2009 to correspond with the local event in downtown Farmersville. Frankly even that 2 1/2 mile was a real problem for us. 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