Cotton Belt Trail


21 Reviews

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Cotton Belt Trail Facts

States: Texas
Counties: Tarrant
Length: 19.84 miles
Trail end points: Latham Dr. (N. Richland Hills) and Keller Springs Park, 2146 Kelly Blvd (Carrollton)
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017331

Cotton Belt Trail Description


 The Cotton Belt Trail, located northwest of Dallas is planned to one day be a regional trail corridor connecting the region. The trail currently stretches 19.84 miles, most of which stretches between North Richland Hills and Grapevine, with two additional sections in North Richland Hills and Carrollton, also referred to as the Joann Johnson Trail and the Hutton Branch Trail respectively.

About the Route

The trail's southernmost endpoint is located along Latham Dr. in North Richland Hills and the trail heads north from here along a winding concrete corridor. There is a brief gap in the trail corridor between Glenview Dr. and Blvd. 26, where the trail resumes and heads east until reaching Suncrest Ct. This section is also referred to as the Joann Johnson Trail.

The main section of the trail picks up just on the other side of North Richland Hills on the other side of Rte. 820. This section of the trail heads northeast along an active rail corridor, which is separated from the trail by a small metal fence. The route passes a number of greenspaces including Dick Faram Park, LD Lockett Park, and Pleasant Run Park.

In Grapevine, the trail leaves the rail corridor briefly to follow a sidewalk route and then picks back up as a rail-with-trail along S Dooley St. The eastern end of the trail comes to a close at the Texan Trail Highway.

The final section of trail, also called the Hutton Branch Trail, picks up along N. Denton Dr. and heads northeast along two greenway corridors. The trail here passes through the Josey Ranch Athletic Complex and then the trail splits in two, with a northern route heading through Mill Valley Park and the southern spur heading through the Josey Ranch Greenbelt. 


At Dick Faram Park in North Richland Hills, the Cotton Belt Trail intersects with the Walker's Creek Trail.

In Colleyville, the trail connects to the Pool Road Trail.

The Cotton Belt Regional Trail Corridor includes the Cotton Belt Trail, The Joann Johnson Trail and the Hutton Branch Trail.

Trail History

The Cotton Belt Trail follows the former St. Louis Southwestern Railway, nicknamed the Cotton Belt Line, which began running in the late 1800s and was discontinued in the 1970s. 


Parking and Trail Access

The Cotton Belt Trail runs between Latham Dr. (N. Richland Hills) and Keller Springs Park, 2146 Kelly Blvd (Carrollton), where parking is available.

Parking is also available at:

  • Pleasant Run Park, 6517-6543 Pleasant Run Rd (Colleyville)
  • Josey Ranch Athletic Complex, 1440 Keller Springs Rd (Carrollton)

See TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Cotton Belt Trail Reviews

Colleyville city- Cotton Belt Trail Review

I walked along the Cotton Belt trail with my sister and father on a nice Thursday night. The trail happens to go through our neighborhood and area (as well as Hurst, Grapevine, and North Richland Hills.) and thought it would be a wonderful experience to go on. The Cotton Belt trail is home to many attractions and gentle scenery along its paths. From what I can see from the Colleyville portion of the path, most of the trail is kept clean by the community, and the people who live along the trail enjoy the walks they get; However, I did see trash in the brush around the path. A thing I believe that could be improved is possibly wider paths for more people to walk on at once, but also keep a distance from others. The trail provides trash cans along the path, as well as bags for dog poop. The Colleyville trail still has a lot of wildlife, while also being in an urban area. I believe this trail is a great place to go and see nature outside while enjoying it thoroughly. It's great for children of all ages, and even for a quiet walk away from the troubles of life. It's a wonderful place to go and I thoroughly enjoyed the gift and creation from God, and I felt more connected with him and the community as I enjoyed the amazing experience they had given me.

Inline Skate Here All The Time

I love inline skating here. The path is never too crowded, there are nice views, and up and down inclines come and go with some nice shade from time to time. Be very careful, however. There are wooden bridges and frequent intersections you have to cross. You need to know how to slow down, stop, and jump with relative ease on skates in order to enhance your experience here. All in all, this is a great workout. Bring plenty of water and wear protective gear.

A great ride.

We just rode this trail today. The description says it ends at the Highway, but Grapevine has completed the trail all the way to Main Street. We rode up, had a glass of wine and rode back. Be careful of some tricky intersections.

Not Great for Inline Skating

This path is not the greatest for inline skating but is suitable for cycling. There are many intersections with multi-lane streets, many of which do not have protected crosswalks. The intersections also have tactile paving, which makes it very difficult for inline skates, especially if you do not have protection when crossing. There are also wooden plank bridges that are very rough and bumpy which is very hard to maneuver on inline skates.


Nice ride, a lot of waiting on intersection crossings

Lovely. Long stretches of smooth cement that goes for a long way at at time. Few, if any, seams to give you a bumpy ride or intermittent vibrations every time you hit a seam. Its nice cement. Still, there are several intersections that require an extended stop while traffic sorts until your turn. Not a ride for the intermediate or advanced who is hammering miles, just too many stops. However if you are out for some fun and riding it is above average in most respects.

I find this to be a very wonderful Trail its not overly crowded, however, as some other reviews have suggested that this could be dangerous as people try to cross busy intersection

I find this to be a very wonderful Trail its not overly crowded, however, as some other reviews have suggested that this could be dangerous as people try to cross busy intersection

Trail Safely/Maintenance

I love this trail but I see a huge safety concern where it intersects Main St in NRH. Three posts are difficult to navigate between while simultaneously looking both ways for auto traffic. Removing the middle post would be the best solution and still would prevent autos from crossing there. Tried to drop a photo in here, couldn’t get that to work.

Commute on this trail

I commute on this trail. It has undergone some recent re-construction...but that is all complete. I start in North Richland Hills on the John Barfield trail and link to the Cotton Belt trail. I have seen many bunnies while riding this trail, as well as coyotes. I ride all the way into Grapevine on the trail and then, from Grapevine, on to Coppell where I work.

Development and Many Road Crossings

Just a scant couple years ago this was a much more enjoyable ride. It still suffered from a lot of road crossings that broke it up, but at least most of it was still open and pretty. Sadly, rampant development has caught up with it. I was sad to see what had been pretty groves of live oak, and a very vital marsh were all gone, plowed under for housing. I suspect we won't be riding this one again.

Very Urban Feeling

It's good to have a trail, but couldn't it have been set amongst a few more trees or further from the road? I suppose not with the way the area is developed. One other thing, it doesn't seem to have very distinct access points with designated parking.


6/23/18- Headed toward NRH, the trail was shutdown at mile 9 for construction. Nicely kept, clean trails. Moderate incline from grapevine to NRH, but mostly flat terrain. We enjoyed the ride despite killer winds there and back.

Gaylord TX and Great Wolf access

I only ran a brief 1.5 miles on this Trail from the Ball Street (northern) end point, but I did want to mention that there is a relatively new (2-3 year old) sidewalk from up Route 26 going past Gaylord Resort, Great Wolf Lodge and the Embassy Suite/Bass Pro that makes this trail very accessible and great for a long run or ride from any of those properties. The sidewalk is very wide and goes along 114 into downtown Grapevine (Main Street is very cool), and then along Ira E Wood Ave along a commercial strip and then transitions into the Cotton Belt trail.
At the Ball Street entrance there are several businesses where you can probably park and access the trail with little difficulty (chiropractor office, etc).
I didn't have a chance to go too far on the actual Cotton Belt so I can't vouch for the scenery. I stopped when I was about to run under an interstate.

Great Trail!

Love this trail! Highly recommend for any who loves a challenge.

Construction complete

The other reviews do a good job describing the trail. I just wanted to update and say the section from John McCain Rd to the Grapevine section is no longer under construction. It just follows 26 and isn't too scenic here as it is mostly industrial, but its done.

Very Nice!

I love having this trail in the middle of the metroplex. You pass the marsh behind Lockett Park and are able to observe Herons and all types of wildlife. Continue past Pleasant Run Road and you are in a tree-lined area where the leaves shroud the path. On one side are the tracks for the Tarantula train, and on the other are a series of ponds that you pass by where abundant turtles and other interesting wildlife can be seen. It is secluded and quiet on this section. Go west, and the path takes one all the way to I-820. The only negative of this path that I see is that it does cross several roads, but it is a very pleasant journey from John McCain to I-820, and I feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy this path. In the near future when construction is complete on Highway 26 (Colleyville Blvd), the section between John McCain and Pool Rd. is scheduled to be extended to join the sections at those roads.

Great Trail!

This is a great trail with some nice scenery. The best views are in the area draped with trees near John McCain where you see turtles and fountains. Further west there's always a group of interesting birds in the marsh behind Lockett Park. And if you're lucky, your ride, run or walk will coincide with the Tatatula TrIn. Happy Trails!

Better than nothing.

There are numerous road crossings (not just a couple as claimed by someone else). Some crossings are quick and easy but several cross 6 lanes of traffic and can entail quite a long wait to get across. The paved trail is in good shape and is okay in width. You travel along roads for a while and stay close to the Cottonbelt rail line most of the way. You pass suburban backyards and industrial buildings along with a park or two thrown in. With all the road & train noise, a quiet, peaceful ride it isn't. However, the trail is better than having no trail at all.

Enjoyable ride!

I enjoyed riding this trail over the weekend. The pavement is very well-done and wide. It's safe with only a small number of street crossings that are all clearly marked and with traffic signals. It wasn't very crowded at all but no completely abandoned either.

Some parts of it are reasonably scenic as you get further northeast to the more residential parts but the southwestern end is much more industrial and warehousey. There are a good number of long inclines that gave me some trouble after a while but that was more of function of my tires needing air than of the hills being all that awful (I need to remember to check that before I leave the house). As you're coming down they look a lot more significant than they are. At first I thought, "My god, this is going to KILL me on the way back!" But it didn't.

My only disappointment was that the longer NRH to Coleyville leg leg does not connect to the Grapevine in any way. There should at least be a sidewalk or even a shoulder on the adjacent road you can work with to get there but instead there is NOTHING. If you want to continue to Grapevine it's just you and the 'Gone In 60 Seconds' auditions we call DFW traffic.

Love this trail

This is a great stretch of trail, I am training for a full marathon and lucky to run out my door and run on this trail and run back. It's clean and some areas are wooded and not crowded. There are a few intersections but nothing compared to running on the street!

Part of trail closed/gone

The section of the trail from Pool St to Ball St in Grapevine is no longer there due to the construction in the area.

Good and Pleasant Ride

The completion of the Hurst portion has made the trail a real nice run from North Richland Hills to Colleyville.
Some of the trail has a rural feel to it. There is a small swamp along the way. Numerous nice houses, with well landscaped yards, back up to a good portion of the trail.

The trail is not very hilly and is close to help if you need it. There is lots of shade and the surface is smooth concrete. Very little traffic on the trail the 3 years I have been riding; but always some traffic, which is good to have.

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