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The Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway is a North Texas treasure, connecting the communities of Mineral Wells and Weatherford just west of Fort Worth. Beginning in downtown Mineral Wells, the trail is paved for 2 miles. For its remaining 18 miles, the pathway is surfaced in finely crushed limestone suitable for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians.
After five miles of riding from the trail’s west end, you’ll hit one of the highlights of the journey: a 500-foot bridge, adorned with 104 Lone Stars, across US Highway 180. Shortly after the bridge, travelers will have access to Lake Mineral Wells State Park, where additional trails (including equestrian paths) are available, as well as campsites, a rock-climbing area, and a lake in which to swim, boat, or fish.
As you pedal through the countryside and wind through sections of woodland, keep an out for wildlife, including turtles, cottontail rabbits, deer, foxes, coyotes, and even bobcats. You may also see horses and cows in the pastures you pass.
The rail-trail traces the corridor of the former Weatherford, Mineral Wells & Northwestern Railroad, a passenger line which was popular in the late 1890s due to the area’s mineral baths that were believed to provide healing properties. The line was later owned by the Texas & Pacific Railway Company and then the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad provided freight service for its last few years of operation until it was no longer economically viable; the corridor opened as a trail in 1998.
Four trailheads provide amenities, including parking, drinking water, and restrooms; from west to east, they’re located in:
Self-pay stations are located at each trailhead, or fees can be paid at the Lake Mineral Wells State Park headquarters. The daily entrance fee is $7 (children 12 and younger are free), or you can purchase an annual pass for $70 that grants you access to all Texas state parks.
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