Chaparral Rail Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

Chaparral Rail Trail, connecting four counties northeast of Dallas, has been developing since it was first envisioned in 1995. The 35-mile route is the westernmost leg of the regional Northeast Texas Trail system, which will one day span more than 130 miles and 19 communities.

The rail-trail begins in Farmersville, where its first 2.5 miles are paved. The trailhead is located a block from downtown at the Onion Shed, a restored building from the 1930s that was once used as a loading dock for the onion industry.

When the pavement ends, expect a crushed-stone surface suitable for hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Outside the city, the route feels remote and forested.

The trail continues through the communities of Merit, Celeste, Ladonia, and Wolfe City with several miles between each. Though these are small towns, most have a grocery store and restaurants that make helpful and much-needed stopping points to rest and refuel.

The trail peters out at Crawford Street on the outskirts of Pecan Gap. 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. Trail de Paris begins just a couple of blocks from Paris’ Main Street and heads east, connecting directly with the Reno Rail-Trail, which continues through Reno to Blossom. Together, they encompass 11 miles of trail.

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.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the trail's western end at the historical Onion Shed (151 S. Main Street) and at the J.W. Spain Athletic Complex (400 Merit Street).

Reviews

First Time on the Trail...

   December, 2016 by jshasteen

My kids and I did most of the first part of the trail today. We had planned to go from Farmersville to Merit and back, but 4 miles into it, we turned back because of dogs-for which we were not prepared. I recommend taking a can of mace for dogs-which ...read more

Definitely an experience. Needs A LOT of work!!

   July, 2016 by janamize

I started off in Pecan Gap with every intention of riding from there to Farmersville. First off we had to take a road around the initial entry as it was not rideable. We picked up the trail after about half a mile and began our ride. The trail looks like ...read more

osborn 2 ride

   May, 2016 by laretha

I did a eightteen mile loop from Farmersville past Merit this past week. I am from Wilmington De and do a tone of trails in the North East. The people of Farmersville should be very proud of the five miles that has been paved or fine limestone. The next ...read more