Trail Tips and Information about the Katy Trail
Check out this section to find helpful information about the Trail. We've listed some of the topics we get the most questions about, but if we're missing something, please Ask KT.
The Katy Trail is a City of Dallas park, and the Parks Department doesn't like to build public restrooms because of the sanitation and liability issues associated with them. The Friends suggest visiting the Reverchon Rec Center down the ramp from the Thomsen Overlook near the Trail's south end, or the HP Pharmacy or Starbucks on Knox Street near the Trail's north end. Just be a good customer and buy a bottle of water on your way out.
Perhaps the best place to park near the north end of the Katy Trail is the parking lot behind the Lamps Plus store on Knox Street. To get to it, take Travis Street south from the Knox intersection, then take a right into the first retail parking lot on your right. Go straight and it will turn become an alley that leads you to a lot adjacent to the Katy Trail. Note that some of the spaces are reserved for E2M employees during business hours.
You can also park at the American Airlines Center's north parking lot when there isn't an event going on. That lot is adjacent to the southern trailhead. Additionally, you can park at Reverchon Park in the lot near the baseball fields. The main lot is temporarily closed for construction. The $1.5 million plaza/ramp project that the Friends of the Katy Trail finished in Reverchon about two years ago leads directly to the Trail just 1/2 mile from the south end.
Unlike the Katy Trail that exists today which was designed and built under the direction of the Friends of the Katy Trail, the work on the east side of Central Expressway is being managed by the City of Dallas. The Public Works engineer overseeing the project has told the Friends the final design for what he calls Katy Trail Phase 3 (McCommas to Ellsworth south of Mockingbird and Worcola to Skillman north of Mockingbird) is expected to be complete by December 2012.
The expansion is broken down into Phases III, IV, and VI. Once the new phases are completed, the trail will extend an additional 4.3 miles and will be about 12 feet wide as well.
Phase III, which is broken up into two pieces, will begin at McCommas Blvd. on the west side of 75. It will connect to the original section of the Katy Trail then extend across 75 on the McCommas bridge to the North side of Glencoe Park. At that location, Phase VI of the trail will begin, which will consist of two bridges and a small stretch of trail that will connect the two ends of Phase III.
Phase VI will run alongside the Dart Rail tracks at the Red and Blue Lines, cross over Mockingbird near Mockingbird Station, and then cross over the Dart Red Line, where it will end right before Worcola Street. Phase III will then pick up at Worcola and travel alongside the Dart Blue Line until Skillman Avenue, where it will continue left onto Skillman and end at Sandhurst Lane.
Phase IV, the longest section of the extension, will pick up where Phase III leaves off at Skillman and continue alongside the Dart Blue Line, cut through Ridgewood Park, and then hit the DART-owned Union Pacific Trail. From that point, the extension will continue North until Northwest Highway, where it will make its home stretch East along Northwest Highway and end at the White Rock DART Station near Lawther Drive.
While most phases of the Katy Trail have been funded primarily by Friends of the Katy Trail, Phases III, IV and VI are being funded in a partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the City of Dallas, who is providing city bond money to build each of the trail’s extensions. According to David Recht, the City’s project manager for the Katy Trail Phase III, Phase III is approximately an $850,000 project, Phase IV approximately $4 million, and Phase VI approximately $7 million.
Final design of what the City calls Phase 6 (Ellsworth to Worcola, a.k.a. crossing Mockingbird) was on the City Council agenda in August. Construction on that connection is slated for fall of 2009.
The City has around $12 million to connect the Katy Trail where the Friends of the Katy Trail leave off at the McCommas bridge up to the Mockingbird DART Station, then follow the DART line out to the White Rock Station. They've been slowed trying to create a wheelchair-accessible connection on the north side of Mockingbird.
The mile markers on the Katy Trail are imbedded into the concrete trail every quarter of a mile and show the distance from the end of the Trail in the direction you are traveling. Whether you start at Airline Road in the north, or the American Airlines Center in the south, the mile marker says zero. The next marker you see says 1/4, and so on every quarter of a mile until you get to the other end of the Trail, when you reach the 3.5-mile marker. When you turn around, you're at zero again.
In case you're asking about the signs on poles along the Trail, those are 911 markers for DPD and DFD. They are labeled KT-100 through KT-125 and are tied to the City's GPS because the 3.5-mile Katy Trail is too long to have one official address. They are approximately 1/8 of a mile apart, but they are not mileage markers.
If you've lost something on the Trail, there are several things you can try:
1. The Reverchon Park Rec Center has a lost-and-found, and your item may have been delivered there;
2. The DPD bicycle patrols on the Katy Trail often recover lost items, so check with them;
3. Sometimes, but not often, items are dropped off at the Friends of the Katy Trail’s office on McKinney Avenue. Give them a call at 214-303-1180 to describe and claim your item.
The Dasani Blue Bike Program was started in summer 2005. At the time, it was envisioned as a Friends of the Katy Trail membership perk to provide an incentive for people who love the Trail to give back. The program lasted about 10 months, which is how long it took for all the bicycles to be stolen. We currently don't have any rented bike program on the trail.
Because the Katy Trail is a City of Dallas park, it is technically open the same times that other City parks are open - 5 a.m. to midnight. Lights are on from 5 a.m. to sunrise, and sunset to 9 p.m. during the late fall, winter, and early spring. As summer approaches, the lights stay on later, turning off at 11 p.m. from July through September.
Directions to the Katy Trail
Directions from the South to the Victory Park Trail Head
-- Take your best route to I35 North
-- Exit High Line Drive
-- Take a Right on High Line Drive (High Line turns into Victory
-- Park as close as you can to the corner of Houston St. and Lyle.
The Trail begins just North of the corner of Houston and Lyle St.
Directions to Reverchon Park
-- Take your best route to I75
-- Exit I75 North of Downtown onto Woodall Rogers Freeway
-- Exit Woodall Rogers on the North Pearl Street
-- Go North on Pearl to Maple Ave
-- Follow Maple to 3535 Maple Ave. (Dallas, TX, 75219)
-- Go left (South) into the Reverchon Park parking lot
Directions to David's Way Plaza
-- Take your best route to I75
-- Exit Knox/Henderson and travel West on Knox St.
-- Go left on Travis St.
-- Follow Travis to Armstrong Ave.
-- Go Right onto Armstrong Ave.
-- Follow Armstrong to Buena Vista St.
-- Go Right on Buena Vista to its end at the parking lot on the left
Directions to Dallas Theater Center
-- Take your best route to I75
-- Exit I75 on to Lemon Avenue
-- Go West on Lemon Avenue to Sylvan (you will see signs for the Dallas Theater Center)
-- Go Right on Sylvan and Park in the Theater Center Lots
This section has links to some of our community partners and other helpful Trail-related links.
American Trails is the national trail organization that works to connect all types of trail and trail users in all 50 states. Their bi-annual conference, the National Trail Symposium, is a must-attend for all advocates.
Arlington Hall at Lee Park
This outstanding nonprofit maintains and improves the grounds of Lee Park, which is located on both sides of Turtle Creek Boulevard and features Arlington Hall a replica of Robert E. Lee's famous Virginia home.
Bike Friendly Oak Cliff
A bunch of cool bicycle advocates in the Cliff who are trying to make Dallas a better place to ride bikes, one neighborhood at a time.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
DART helps Dallas-area residents from 13 North Texas cities get where they need to go while saving a little money and being a little more green. Take DART to work, or the game, and watch your gas bill drop.
Downtown Dallas is working to improve the city's central urban core in all areas. The nonprofit organization covers anything from creating a "culturally inclusive urban center" through events to improving infrastructure.
Federal Highway Administration's guide to Safe and Walkable Communities
The FHWA makes roadways safer for all to use. The Federal Highway Administration loves Katy because she's moving pedestrians and cyclists of the roads and onto a safe trail, therefore creating a safe and walkable community in the heart of Dallas. Check out their guide to Safe and Walkable Communities.
City of Dallas Park & Recreation Department
Maintaining over 21,000 park acres, the City of Dallas Park & Recreation Department helps keep our wonderful city green and reminds us why Dallas is so great. But why isn't is "Parks?"
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
A wonderful clearinghouse of information that we rely on to increase safe walking and biking for both transportation or and recreation. A great website to look into if you want to help make Dallas a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly city.
Preston Ridge Trail
Located in Far North Dallas, the Preston Ridge Trail, like the Katy Trail, is a safe haven for walkers, runners, bikers and skaters.
Rails to Trails Conservancy
The RTC helps create trails from unused rail corridors. Hmmm, sound familiar? The nonprofit org also works with elected officials to craft legislation that funds alternative transportation, such as bicycles and public transit. Their mission is to build "healthier places for healthier people." Their bi-annual conference is called TrailLink, and really rocks!
Texas Bicycle Coalition
TBC works to increase interest in cycling and safety. The nonprofit is based is Austin. Check them out.
We think they put it best when they say they are "Your guide to the outdoors."
Transportation Action Network
They believe that safer and smarter transportation helps improve a community's economy, health and environment. And their mission is to do just that.
Trinity Strand Trail
The Strand runs along the original Trinity River meanders and will eventually connect to the Katy Trail where the old Baby Doe's restaurant use to be to give Dallas trail lovers even more trail options. The Trinity Strand will lead to the Trinity River levee trails and the Medical District.
Turtle Creek Association
Our Friends at Turtle Creek help keep Turtle Creek a green and beautiful area that reminds us why we love this city so much.
Formerly known as the Uptown Public Improvement District, Uptown Dallas works to create and maintain the Uptown area in order to make it a pretty, safe and clean neighborhood. Uptown partners with the Friends to the Katy Trail to fund the off-duty DPD bike patrols of the Katy Trail. Their annual street festival is a must-see.
White Rock Lake Conservancy
Through the improvement of trails and safety, the White Rock Lake Conservancy is working to make White Rock Lake one of Dallas' signature parks. We think it already is.