February 23, 2015
I really liked this trail. If you start at the Texas Visitor center, you have two options. Start at the base of the hill just below the parking area and go LEFT. Stay on the right side of any split. Another way to know if you are on the right side is to keep the orange flags hanging from tree branches every so often on your right. As well as the signs. There will be plenty of signs to inform you of the right direction of travel. i don't know if it is a hard rule on this trail as I have only riden it twice so far and once I was going the wrong way on this particular trail. Anyway.... Go left from the visitor center, the trail breaks at an RV park, so just ride along the grass for about 50 meters and you will see where the trail picks back up. This trail will take you along the river and may be peppered with walkers as it gets closer to the actual falls. just on the other side of the river from where you are riding on the dirt single track, there is a fully paved walkway that travels parallel to the path. Eventually you will go under a major overpass and past several hotels and buildings, sort of an urban trail feel. Once you start seeing some older railroad type bridges and statues you are closing in on the end of the trail. Look for the metal building with cylos (it is a rock climbing facility). If you pop up on that road, that is where the actual trailhead is located. There is a nice bike shop there called RIVERSIDE CYCLING CENTER, owned by Bo Williamson: 502 Wichita St. (940) 257-6210. The staff was really helpful and willing to assist in some on the spot maintenance. Pick up a cold water or soda and get back on the trail. Your ride back is a little more fun. remember to keep the trail markes on your right and you will travel a very different trail just a few meters from the previously traveled trail.
Now that you have made it back to the visitor center, it is time to have some fun! you can either leave the family and new rider behind or take them along. Some have said this is a challenging trail but I think that it is easily managed and can be enjoyed by several experience levels. 6 miles of fun await you on the trail to the right of the visitors center. you can either start on the trail at the bottom of the hill under the parking or ride the sidewalk along the one way road about 150 meters to the gate with a small entrance. there are some chains that may signify the closed trail if there has been some rain. I was told the local trail club will shut itdown for a week if it is wet.
Again, keep the signs where you can read them and the orange flags on your right. The first section gets a litle tricky as it crosses over an overflow paved ditch a couple of times and your internal gps gets the feeling that you are going backwards and you are turned around. It does feel that way, but just keep moving along with the flags and look for the spray painted arrows on the ground to help you as well. This trail has alot of fun obsticles. Bridges, over/under passes, quick rocky climbs, fast drops, moguls, ridgelines, banked turns, small jumps, tetter totter obsticle, high bridges, etc...! The cool thing about this trail is that there are signs just before any "technical" section that keys the inexperienced rider to take an alternate path. These paths are short work arounds and always meet back up to the main trail a few meters away. This trail is alot of fun, you will have the opportunity to see other riders just a few feet from you on another trail, but actually they are either pretty far or behind you. A few spots get to be confusing as the trail crosses over itself several times and switches back on itself as well. It also crosses several maintenance roads, just keep an eye out for the signs and the flags and arrows. Be on the look out for some walkers, they do have the tendancy to wander into this trail as they are unwittingly led to this side as part of a family hike. There are some chances to see some families on bikes on this side as well.
Overall, this is the better side of the trail for those wanting to challenge thier pace and skills at managing tight turns and some small obsticles.
Hard packed red dirt that will leave your ride needing some attention afterwards. But a great ride. I highly recommend you arrive early enough to ride this side several times if you can. I recently rode it three times in a row, each time racing my previous time. it may be six miles but it ends quick and leaving you wanting more each time.