After running across a brief story on a new rail-trail in northeast Texas, I had to investigate. The 130-mile trail—open to cyclists, runners, walkers, and even equestrians—extends from Farmersville in eastern Collin County to New Boston just west of Texarkana. It travels through seven counties and 19 rural towns. Some sections are paved, some are gravel, and some are the original rough railroad bed. As someone who has written a Texas hiking guide and taken photographs all over the state, I wondered why I’d never heard of it.
A 64-mile trail system that runs between Estelline and South Plains, the Caprock Canyons Trailway is divided into six trail sections from five to 17 miles in length, as shown below. There are eight trailheads, or beginning points, accessible from farm-to-market roads and state highways. (For a detailed map of the Trailway, see the website below.)
Travelers on the Caprock Canyons Trailway sometimes feel they’ve tipped time’s arrow on its head. Following the path of an abandoned rail line, the 64-mile trail system takes hikers, cyclists, and equestrians across the region’s halcyon backyard, into the agrarian plains and broken rangeland of caprock country, and out of this century completely.