The Circle Trail in Wichita Falls, Texas should be on the top of your bucket list of rides in the U.S. Although two sections are still under construction to complete the circle trail as of December 2021 (Lucy Park to Loop 11 – 1 mile and Barnette Road to Lakeshore Drive), much of the 24 mile trail is open and worth the journey to experience all or part of the trail. The completed portions offer a clean 10-foot-wide cement pathway with benches, gazebos, picnic tables, and other spots to stop and rest along the trail. My husband and I have had the privilege of riding this trail and watching it expand over the last twenty years. Our favorite part is along the Wichita River and Holiday Creek. Along the way, you pass some of the friendliest people on foot, bicycles, scooters, and skates taking advantage of the trail, but it is usually not too busy. The scenery along the Circle Train is some of the most beautiful in Wichita Falls. You must experience it to believe it. It is full of nature’s bounty – Trees, natural landscape, and a variety of wildlife. We often see groups of deer near early evening by Lake Wichita. While riding through Lucy Park and along Holiday Creek, the birds sing as we roll through their habitat. Squirrels run out in front of us and even jump from tree to tree. We often see rabbits nestled in the brush or hear them jump through the dried leaves and brush. If you are interested in riding the full trail including the unfinished portion from Lucy Park to Loop 11 (1 mile), you can access the finished portion of the trail by riding a mile on Seymour Highway which offers a wide safe shoulder until you reach loop 11 entrance of the trail. The other unfinished portion of the trail is by Barnett Road. You can ride Lakeshore Road to the entrance at Fairway/Wichita Lake. That portion of the road is old, bumpy, curvy and full of potholes. Stay to your right and you will be fine.
Two of the best places to hop on the trail is Lucy Park (100 Sunset Drive, Wichita Falls, TX 76302) and Wichita Lake (5205 Fairway Blvd., Wichita Falls, TX 76308). There are bike repair stands with tools attached available at both places. You don’t have to ride the entire trail all at once. If you begin at Lucy Park, you can ride the circle within the park that is a little over a mile and a half. You ride under a covered bridge, through the park and pass colorful floral gardens that are scattered throughout the park. You can take a break and stroll the brick walk to the top of the water fall to experience the marvelous creek view. Often you will see people fishing from the banks. There are several places to stop for a snack break around the park – picnic tables, gazebos, and park benches that are scattered throughout the park. Occasionally, snakes will cross the walkway, but they will not bother you if you do not bother them.
A bit down the trail past Lucy Park, you can exit the trail and ride to the Wichita Falls downtown area which is about a mile from the trail. There you can find a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, wineries, pubs, and antique and art stores and clothing boutiques. We often carry a light weight foldable backpack when we plan to ride our bikes down town because we like to pick up fresh veggies or wine from the local farmers market for dinner or grab a bite to eat at one of our many local restaurants. A few of our favorite downtown eateries are: Eight Street Coffee Shop (710 8th Street) that serves delicious breakfast and lunch options. Two of my favorites are their Breakfast Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich and The Buffalo Chicken Salad and my hubby likes The Philly. The Gypsy Kit (801 Indiana Ave.) has a variety of unique dishes, but I like their Thai Salad with Shrimp or any of their fun taco flavors. When we are in the mood for authentic Mexican food, El Norteno #1 (110 N Burnett St.) is our go to spot for their Street Tacos and my husband loves their Horchata too. Karat Bar Bistro (800 Ohio Ave) offers a great brunch on Saturdays. Hook and ladder 616 7th Street) is a great place to refuel. Their charcuterie board, The Vollie flatbread pizza with brie, bacon, walnuts and arugula and In the Fog wine are our favorites. 9th Street Burrito Shop (907 9th Street) has great breakfast burritos. Our favorite is the supreme. We split it in half because it is so big. If you want to carb up in the morning, The Duck Coffee Company has a delicious Power Oatmeal, and their coffee is fabulous too. My hubby likes their dark roast with half and half. I like their cold Nitro with Lavender and cream. If you are into local brew, Half Pint Tap House is a great place to pick up a personal pizza and some of Wichita Falls finest local brew. Although I shared our favorite items to order, I have not had one bad thing from any of the eateries I listed.
Although the two unfinished portions of the trail are currently under construction as of December 2021, I highly recommend a roundtrip to the great city of Wichita Falls to ride the Circle Trail and take advantage of our quaint downtown. Hopefully by the time you visit, the city-wide trail will be completed. Winter, spring, summer and fall there are sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that will make your visit to ride the Circle Trail memorable and worth while. This is not a paid advertisement. My husband and I travel around riding bike trails together as a hobby and we truly are thankful for Wichita Falls Circle Trail and the development that has happened downtown. Come to Wichita Falls and play!