Ray Roberts Greenbelt Trail [CLOSED] is a 21.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Denton, Texas that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The trail can be accessed from 3 different locations. There is one parking lot at either end of the trail (one on Highway 380, and one on FM 455) and one in the middle along FM 428. Each parking area has restrooms, picnic tables, and kayak/canoe take-outs and put-ins.
Per the website parts of the trail is currently open. "The FM 380 section of the Greenbelt Corridor is closed. The hard surface trail of the Greenbelt Corridor between Hwy 428 and Hwy 455 is open, but the equestrian trail remains closed. Work continues to repair severe erosion issues and washed out bridges.
The section of the equestrian trail from 455 (Elm Forks) South to 380 is closed.
Please contact the park for more information". http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake
I drive down 380 everyday, watching for trl to open...maybe in another year if it doesn't rain.
Kat: keep an eye on the park website at http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake
I've never called the 800 number, so I can't speak to that, but the website has had a notice up at the top of the page for ages ... I've been checking for the trail to reopen for at least a year and a half :^o it feels like longer
Love these trails for early morning runs. Sometimes closed due to high water! Pretty views of the lake.
I tried to get to this trail today 6/19/16 from the south end and it was closed. So, I went to Lake Ray Roberts and told the Park Ranger that I had tried to access the southern portion, to which she replied "That part has been under water for a year and a half."
First of all, I called the 800 number to get trail conditions. I checked the website. NOWHERE did it say that the southern trail head was closed. If it has really been a year and a half, don't you think you might want to update a few things?
I wouldn't go there for at least another year. It's WAY under water.
Plenty of space to walk and explore
In order to test some hiking gear I decided to find a good long trail locally that could give me a safe environment to test with. I originally wanted to start out from the southern end of the trail, north of lake Lewisville and could easily have passed it since it wasn't well marked. Unfortunately the flood damage closed this entrance so I ended up driving to the north entrance at the Ray Roberts State Park where they charge you 7 dollars a day.
I would break this trail into three parts based on my experience making it just short of the south entrance. The first section is what I'd call the photo op area where there were plenty of opportunities to take some nice pictures of the landscape around the park. Indian Paintbrushes are out in force right now so the fields have a nice red haze to them. The large oaks are just beginning to show their leaves so they are also looking pretty majestic.
The first four miles are well maintained paths and considering the rain fall, there were very few places where the paths were covered in mud, mostly in shaded sections. The first couple of miles of the North trail are completely shaded. This then opens up into an additional two miles of open field on one side and shaded river bank on the other.
You'll find the majority of the time the river will be just beyond the brush so I imagine the experience by kayak or canoe would be totally different. So this first section I found myself stopping constantly to take pictures and think it would be ideal for family hikes going all the way down to FM-248. It's here with the picturesque red walking bridge that announces the break to the next section of the trail.
There is a pathway under FM-248 in better weather conditions that allows you to travel without worrying about road traffic but it was still closed off due to mud damage. Once you cross the road though you'll find the trail starts in an open field to one side and the river tree line on the other with water and mud more visible on the trail but still usable. The next three miles on this trail start from the open fields where I saw eagles to a wooded covered area with quite a lot of wildlife.
The area almost feels like hedgerows as you enter the woods which line both sides with dense and thick bush growth. This is where I saw a pack of wild black boars milling about on the road then heading into the brush when they noticed me. Later on when the mud was more obvious you could see considerable tracks on the road from a mix of animals (boar, deer, rabbits, coyote) though I'm not sure if some of them could have been bobcats.
This hedgerow eventually opened into a more marshy environment with spiky trees deterring anyone from the path. There seemed to be quite a few animal trails leading off from the main road into the spiky wilderness. At this point the trails were more and more completely covered with mud but still very walkable. The bridges themselves were all fine except for the 3-4 inches of mud covering the surface of each. I always found it interesting to read the mud tracks and see what kind of animals used the bridges to move around with all of the fresh mud.
So then thinking about the last 3-4 miles getting closer to Lake Lewisville. This area seemed to have the more telltale signs of flood damage with many of the large trees blocking the paths and requiring you to either go around them or climb over them. In addition to this all of the concrete and stone paved sections were either washed into marsh or completely covered with an inch or two of mud everywhere.
It was a forest in recovery and felt like a recently dried out bog. I reached a train track which in better days would have been accessible, with the flooding though the pathway below it was cut by a small brook with mud lining both embankments. I jumped worried it would swallow my boots, the mud was rubbery but solid enough to let me continue. Several hundred feet further down the trail you could see railroad track wood beams strewn along the path, clearly driven by the flood waters. After another mile, determined to make it to the south entrance and capture pictures of where I intended to start I checked time. It was getting late and it would take some time to get back so I decided to eat quickly on a dead but dry log and make the long walk back. Not long after mile eleven my toes were betraying me, and every mile past it my mind was constantly overruling my feet.
The fact that you travel the same trail coming back makes for a difficult journey so I would say 21 miles of hiking in where half of it is the same scenery in wet weather conditions makes for a moderate to hard journey. It was a great experience nonetheless though I recommend for people to attempt the 10 mile version instead with strategic car placement with a friend.
Road Closed. Completely flooded.
I've run the whole trail. Great place to train for a distance race. About half of the trail is significantly shaded. Beautiful Texas views. Well worth the $7.
Nice long trail that is quite shaded and flat. Very little change in terrain which can get a bit monotonous. Great place to get in a long recovery run on a flat soft surface. Two sides to this trail...one is paved or graveled, the other side is soft surface dirt or grass for horses. I've run on both sides. Can be very isolated in areas so ladies best to have a canine or friend along.
Great workout! Constantly pedaling! Beautiful in the spring with the wild flowers. Fields of them!