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Anyone Ride the North East Texas Trail?

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Anyone Ride the North East Texas Trail?

Old 02-14-19, 01:07 PM
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Anyone Ride the North East Texas Trail?

I should just go check it out since I'm not far from Farmersville. From poking around on the web it looks like there are several sections that are bypassed with local state highways. And it looks like some portions are dirt, which are obviously going to turn to mud when it rains. I'm just wondering how extensive those dirt/mud sections are likely to be.

Edited to mention this is a 130 mile rails-to-trail route from Farmersville, TX to New Boston, TX. More info here: NETT.

-Matt

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Old 02-14-19, 05:58 PM
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A couple of years ago the Spinistry.com promoter organized a ride along this route. Check their website for information.
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Old 02-14-19, 07:13 PM
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I attempted to ride it in July 2017. It's about 10-20% rideable, unless you have a fat bike and a machete/chainsaw. A lot of it is right next to highway, so you get all the noise of highway without the benefit of pavement.

The only worthwhile parts are the first 10 km, the last 10 km, and the 10 km in and on either side of Paris. That's it.
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Old 02-14-19, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer
I attempted to ride it in July 2017. It's about 10-20% rideable, unless you have a fat bike and a machete/chainsaw. A lot of it is right next to highway, so you get all the noise of highway without the benefit of pavement.

The only worthwhile parts are the first 10 km, the last 10 km, and the 10 km in and on either side of Paris. That's it.
Well, thatís a shame.

-Matt
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Old 02-14-19, 11:02 PM
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On the netexastrail Facebook page several posters report riding end-to-end in dry conditions, bypassing only the collapsed bridge over the Sulfur River, on mountain (seems to work best) and gravel bikes.

You've probably seen the Visitor's Guide.

There is a resolution introduced in the Texas House (HCR24) to 'study' turning this 130mile trail into a state park and a Senate bill (SB739) to instruct the state parks department to buy or lease the land and take the necessary steps to turn the entire trail into a state park, with state funding to bring the trail up to 'graded, drained, crushed granite surface' standard. Given the results of the State Parks' stewardship over the Caprock Canyons Trailway during the last couple of decades, I have mixed feelings about this.

Last edited by tcs; 02-15-19 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 02-15-19, 08:52 AM
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Many of these trails are never completed or how low to zero maintenance or any support. I’m glad The Katy is embraced that is a great ride. GAP in Pennsylvania is awesome and in great shape. It is fun to ride a bicycle interstate.
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Old 02-15-19, 10:11 AM
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There are a number of long trails in the USA that are surfaced and maintained, and even a few that are hard paved (the Paul Bunyan network in MN, the Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga in GA & AL). Can it happen in Texas?

IMHO the biggest driver the NETT has going for making it into a nice facility is the seventeen towns it passes through, some sixteen of which seem very enthusiastic about the future potential. B&Bs, guest cabins, cafes and campgrounds are already opening along the NETT despite some locally sketchy conditions.

It's a straightforward 58 mile ride from the Amtrak station in Dallas to the NETT trailhead in Farmersville, and a quiet 36 miles from the New Boston trailhead to the Amtrak station in Texarkana. Someday...
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Old 02-16-19, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
.... It's a straightforward 58 mile ride from the Amtrak station in Dallas to the NETT trailhead in Farmersville....
Can you describe the route? Since Dallas is such a busy metro area, I would like to know as I tour in Texas occasionally. You can PM if you prefer. Thanks, John
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Old 02-17-19, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn
Can you describe the route? Since Dallas is such a busy metro area, I would like to know as I tour in Texas occasionally. You can PM if you prefer. Thanks, John
I know HIghway 78 runs not far from just northeast of downtown directly to Farmersville, less than a mile from where the trail starts. I would personally hate to ride a bicycle on most of Highway 78, though, as itís often quite busy.

-Matt
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Old 02-17-19, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat
I know HIghway 78 runs not far from just northeast of downtown directly to Farmersville, less than a mile from where the trail starts. I would personally hate to ride a bicycle on most of Highway 78, though, as itís often quite busy.

Thanks. I was hoping for something a little more bike friendly but understand. Best, John
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Old 02-18-19, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn
Can you describe the route?
You might not like my route. I know cyclists who would rather take the lane on MattTheHats' busy, shoulderless 40~70 mph Highway 78 route than cruise bike paths and residential streets. Like Brother Dave said, everybody's got their own kick goin'.

Here's Dallas to Plano:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29348425

Two notes: 1) all but 3~4 miles of this is on bike paths. 2) Sometimes the mapping software has a hard time with path/street interface, but if you're astride your bike you can see you're supposed to 'go over there'.

Here's Plano to the NETT trailhead in Farmersville:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29326972

Note: it's all either suburban residential streets or quiet country lanes except for the crossing of Lake Lavon on Highway 380. 380 has wide concrete-paved shoulders.

Last edited by tcs; 02-18-19 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 02-18-19, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
You might not like my route. I know cyclists who would rather take the lane on MattTheHats' busy, shoulderless 40~70 mph Highway 78 route than cruise bike paths and residential streets. Like Brother Dave said, everybody's got their own kick goin'.

Here's Dallas to Plano:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29348425

Two notes: 1) all but 3~4 miles of this is on bike paths. 2) Sometimes the mapping software has a hard time with path/street interface, but if you're astride your bike you can see you're supposed to 'go over there'.

Here's Plano to the NETT trailhead in Farmersville:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29326972

Note: it's all either suburban residential streets or quiet country lanes except for the crossing of Lake Lavon on Highway 380. 380 has wide concrete-paved shoulders.
I have no desire to ride on Highway 78...at all. The Dallas to Plano route looks good. I'd do it a little differently in east Plano to Allen, but the route would work perfectly well.

However...I would strongly caution against riding on Highway 380. I've personally known two people who have been killed in auto accidents on 380. Traffic is moving 60 MPH on that stretch. This has been my dilemma in riding that direction...I don't want to touch 380 or 78. There is a route that will avoid both, going north out of Princeton and then turning east. It overshoots Farmersville, so you'd have to come back into Farmersville from the north possibly on Hwy 78 for a short distance. That part of 78 has much, much less traffic, though. I rode this route a few times on a motorcycle, but don't remember which exact roads were used. I'll try to go make a route and post it.

-Matt
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Old 02-18-19, 12:36 PM
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It adds about 5.5 miles to the route, which may not be worth it for some, but here's the route edited to avoid Highway 380. There is about 1/4 mile on Highway 78, but I believe there is a decent shoulder in this section and it's much less busy than most other parts of Highway 78 south of Highway 380.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29349848

-Matt

Last edited by MattTheHat; 02-18-19 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 02-18-19, 05:31 PM
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Yeah, you know, you pay your money and make your choice.

Most of 1377 and 2756 have no shoulder, and what's provided on 78 isn't overly generous.



I dunno. For my money a shorter journey across the lake on 380 doesn't seem so awful in comparison.


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Old 02-19-19, 07:43 AM
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Thanks to all for offering route suggestions! Tailwinds,John
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Old 02-19-19, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Yeah, you know, you pay your money and make your choice.

Most of 1377 and 2756 have no shoulder, and what's provided on 78 isn't overly generous.



I dunno. For my money a shorter journey across the lake on 380 doesn't seem so awful in comparison.

I didn't realize the speed limit on 1377 was 65 MPH. I should have, but didn't even think of it. There's a lot less shoulder too. The difference in my mind is how many times you're going to get passed on the two routes. I've ridden the north route a few times on a motorcycle and only passed a few cars from either direction (though that was several years ago...probably twice as much traffic now). On 380, and especially depending on the time of day and day of the week, you're going to be passed by many, many dozens more vehicles.

Personally, I don't like the idea of either route.

-Matt
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Old 01-27-23, 08:38 AM
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Bump! Y'all ever find out a better route from Dallas to Farmersville?

My iphone map has a route with about 1.6 miles on Hwy 78.
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Old 01-27-23, 08:48 AM
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48:47 looks rough

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Old 01-27-23, 10:18 AM
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The NETT is moving forward; reports from 2015 or even 2019 are obsolete. There's ~$20 mil up for grant proposals, and an estimate that total should complete the trail over the next few years in crushed stone, deck the remaining undecked tressels and install a prefab bridge over the Sulfur River.

This past year a trail festival was hosted by the towns on the 50 miles from Roxton to Clarksville and hundreds came out to ride some or all of it. Several teams of cycletourists have posted on Facebook this past season they rode the trail complete short a farm road detour around the Sulfur River.

Y'all ever find out a better route from Dallas to Farmersville?


The route I offered compares favorably in safety and scenery with the many cycle tour routes in other locales I see posted here regularly, and in fact with the Adventure Cycling route network and routes I see used by commercial tours. But no, there is no secret shaded, concrete, cycle-only path with lemonade stands every three miles between Dallas and Farmersville. BTW, the NETT uses a couple of miles of town streets in Paris (Texas!), and that will almost certainly remain the case even when the trail is 'complete'. If one just can not ride on any road with cars (and I know this is the case with some rail trail aficionados), that will be an issue.
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