Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nice Place to Run: Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

This morning I joined a few other runners for a North Texas Trail Runners club run.  I had never been to Oak Cliff Nature Preserve and thought this would be a great way to meet some other runners and check out some new trails.  From my house in east Fort Worth, it took less than 40 minutes to get there.  (Of course, I wouldn't want to drive that on a weekday morning!)  The entrance, a little bit hidden among some apartments and industrial buildings, certainly doesn't scream "great trail running ahead!"  But I had seen some pictures and read so reports, so I knew to expect some decent trails.

The trails, faithfully maintained by DORBA (Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association), loop around for about 8 miles total.  The trails themselves are not as challenging as those at Cedar Ridge, but there are plenty of short climbs to keep it interesting, on many of which I thought, "There's no way I could ride my bike on that!"  The trails loop around and intersect; it's not  hard to get turned around.  But DORBA keeps them well-marked, so once you get familiar with the layout, there's no need to send up a flare.  We did see plenty of mountain bikers, but they were considerate and easy to share the trail with.

On any scale, the trails at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve are fun trails to run on.  The fact that they are nestled in this south Dallas neighborhood and so easily accessible make them a great place to run.  Check them out.

I kept up wit both these guys on this day, but I think they'd be too fast for me to keep up with on a longer run.
Kay hosted the club run and kept us fueled up.  She's training for a double ironman triathlon.  That's intense!
These pictures aren't very good.  For more on Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, including better pictures, go here:
or here:

Oh, and here's DORBA's map, showing how they fit all those trails in a not very big piece of land:

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