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The Waco Riverwalk winds for 5 miles along both banks of the Brazos River, connecting several downtown attractions. At its north end is the sprawling 400-acre Cameron Park with many natural features to enjoy, including limestone cliffs, woodlands, scenic overlooks, and natural springs, as well as recreational facilities, such as playgrounds, walking paths, a disc golf course, and the Cameron Park Zoo. With plentiful parking, restrooms, and picnic tables, it's a good place to start your journey.
Tucked between the Washington and Franklin Avenue bridges, you'll find the centerpiece of the Riverwalk: the camera-worthy Waco Suspension Bridge. The pedestrian bridge dates back to 1870, when wagons and cattle rumbled across it, and spans 475 feet. About a half-mile from the bridge and trail lies another of the city's icons that's worth a side trip: the Dr. Pepper Museum (300 South 5th Street). The 1906 building was the first to the manufacture the popular soda.
Continuing south on the paved pathway, you'll arrive at the Baylor University campus, where the trail ends. This end of the trail has no shortage of attractions either. Here, you'll find the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Mayborn Museum Complex.
Parking is available in Cameron Park on the trail's north end, and a bit farther south in Doris D. Miller Park (300 North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), and at the Waco Tourist Information Center (106 Texas Ranger Trail) near Baylor University.
On our quest to ride our bikes in all fifty states, the Waco Riverwalk became the first trail for us in the Lone Star State and allowed us to check off state number twenty-one!
On a sunny October afternoon, the parts Waco allowed us to see and ride were sensational! Fantastic views of the mighty Brazos River, historic bridges, magnificent sculptures, and waterfowl were thoroughly enjoyed as we rode the loop. The trail is perfectly maintained, flat for the most part, attractive, and not especially busy on a hot, weekday afternoon.
Unfortunately, several portions and views were off limits and/or obstructed due to renovations, construction, and some urban renewal at and around the historic Waco Suspension Bridge. The suspension bridge was off limits, the trail that goes south under the suspension bridge barricaded, and even parts of the towering Chisolm Trail sculpture, Branding the Brazos, was hidden behind construction tarps. To continue our ride south on the Riverwalk Trail toward Lake Brazos Park and Baylor University, we went up and around the suspension bridge and down some stairs at Indian Spring Park. That put us back on the Riverwalk and headed south UNTIL another barricade a couple hundred yards or so down the trail thwarted our plans and sightseeing! Dang!
Regrettably, the gods of Waco bike riding really let us down. We traveled thousands of miles from Southern California to experience this awesome trail (and so the wife could visit Magnolia and her sister too), but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
On the bright side, we absolutely loved what we were able to experience! Once Waco gets its riverfront renovations wrapped up, it will truly be a five star trail and even more so worth your time. Don't forget your camera!
The Waco Riverwalk Trail is a delightful trip near the beautiful Brazos River and Cameron Park, and into historic Downtown Waco. The Waco Suspension Bridge (of Roebling BEFORE the Brooklyn Bridge) is not to be missed. Many food truck and restaurant options on the East end of the trail. The marvelous Cameron Park Zoo and the Park itself with its spectacular topography is on the West end.
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