This post is the next in our series, Hidden Gems, where we visit places hidden in plain view, in and around Dallas, that we have explored this summer and in the past. You can access that series of posts here.
This morning Mr. JJ and I set out to explore Northwest Community Park in Frisco. Well-known for its off-road biking trails, the park is on the City of Frisco land, built entirely by a community of DORBA volunteers and opened to the public in 2012. DORBA volunteer crews help maintain the trail, but all City of Frisco Parks rules and regulations apply within.
According to posted information, the trail is dirt and single track. Watch for open “tree roots, small bunches of rocks or pavers, short dips or drops, some climbing/elevation, manmade structures and obstacles, bridges, tree gates, benches, and other various materials. Watch out for thorns on trees, spray for tick protection and report any wasp nests.”
The park is located across the street from Sue Wilson Stafford Middle School on the east side of Teel Parkway and located between Panther Creek Parkway and Little Ranch Road. A parking lot is located right at the trailhead. Signs are marked.
While the trails are mostly used for biking, hiking and running are also allowed. Bikers use the path in a counter-clockwise manner while hikers walk in a clockwise fashion. Since the trail is oft visited by bikers, we had to stop and make way for them frequently.
There are three trail loops in this park. The outermost is Ranger (2.8 miles) which connects to two inner loops, Coyote and Wolverine (2 miles and 0.8 miles, respectively). All the trails together are about 5.5 miles. The inner lopp entry and exit points are located near each other so that the hiker/biker doesn’t miss much of the Ranger loop. Bikers enter and exit the inner loops from the left, whereas hikers enter and exit from the right. For bikers, short connector loops allow the Wolverine and Coyote loops to be repeated before getting back on the longer Ranger loop.
The weather this morning was most pleasant as we set out. There were many cars in the parking lot with a couple of cyclists resting near the trailhead. Throughout the walk, the majority of people we came across were bikers. There was one runner, a couple, and a family of five that were hiking other than us.
The first time, we started on the Ranger but soon enough, joined the Wolverine route and reached the exit in about 20 mins. So we returned to the Ranger trail a second time, following it from start to finish. The path was the right mix of meadow and shade. We walked single file since the dirt track is just enough for a single rider. The one leading had to watch for and call out whenever a rider emerged into view. We saw a rider almost every 3 to 4 minutes.
We also had to watch for the many open tree roots. But other than that, the trails were delightful. We could hear the chirping of birds, saw many flying overhead or between the trees. We did not see any animals this morning. The walk was easy, even though there were a few dips and slight drops. There were some short bridges we navigated in certain areas. But nothing akin to our hike at Lion’s Head.
I recommend a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, water, snack bars, sunscreen, masks, insect repellent, and a phone. One of the bikers we passed twice, seemed to be in pain the second time we saw him. We asked him if he was okay or needed any help. He replied that he had fallen but would be alright. We felt its best to hike/ bike with a buddy here. While not an extensive trail, it still needs navigating an off-road course, and having someone with you helps, should there be any mishaps.
We walked a total of 3.6 miles (Ranger and Wolverine), and it took us about an hour and a half or so. Ninety minutes of clean air, sunny weather, good exercise. Great for the heart and soul!
Have you walked the Northwest Community Park trails?