See North Texas on the Trails Less Traveled

There are more sources than ever about trail riding locations and contacts for firsthand information from fellow riders. (Photo by Michelle Ellis)

By Jessica Crabtree & Michelle Ellis

Do you like the outdoors? Do you love riding horses? Are you needing to de-stress or find an outlet from chaos of the everyday grind? Combine them all and see the trails and roads less traveled in North Texas from the seat of a saddle while horseback along some of the best trails North Texas has to offer. When it became aware to avid trail riders that trails across the great state were becoming sparse, it propelled a movement in informing, educating and maintaining trails throughout the state. As a result, more avenues for information emerged, clearer more detailed information about specific trails transpired as well as maps and readily available resources for the beginner to the devoted trail riders.

While every rider rides for different reasons, every trail is different. Fortunately, there are enough in the North Texas area to keep all riding the path they so choose. Every trail varies on degree of difficulty, entrance fees, distance, camp site availability, amenities and more.

Michelle Ellis of Denton, Texas, has been trail riding since childhood, but bought her first horse at age 34. As a proponent of trail riding and advocate to keep trails maintained, she is a great source of trail riding info.

Why do people trail ride?
“People trail ride for a variety of reasons, but for the majority it is to escape and relax, getting an opportunity to connect with the nature around you.”

As an experienced trail rider, what do you look for in a good trail?
“Different levels of riders want different things. Some prefer serene and quiet 10-foot wide trails of flat unchallenging grade footing. Some prefer technical trails that challenge the skills and abilities of both mount and rider. Technical trails are made up of changing inclines, obstacles to maneuver through, water to cross and such. Some riders are conditioning for endurance and prefer to have long stretches of sandy footing to really get their mounts in peak fitness.”

Are there some trails that allow for overnight stay?
“Yes, many trails allow overnight stay. Some have primitive camping only while others have pens, restrooms and showers. The information can be found on the websites and Facebook group pages provided.”

Are trails marked with level of difficulty? If so how do you discern your ability?
“Trails are marked by mileage in most cases. Levels of difficulty can be researched in advance on the websites and Facebook group pages provided, with many good people to mentor you along the way. Asking questions on the public forum of Facebook has brought a large community of riders together that might not have ever met though they travel the same trails.”

To read more pick up a copy of the August 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.