OverviewRiver Legacy Bike Trail is located in River Legacy Park in the northern portion of Arlington, TX along the banks of the West Fork of the Trinity River. This single track loop bike trail has evolved over the last few years into one of the better bike trails in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. The trail is heavily wooded and mostly flat, although about 10% of the trail has many very entertaining up and down sections. There are some roots that make for some good obstacles but not rocks. Most of the trail is clay (the rest is sand or hard packed sand) which means it can be cracked during periods of drought or sticky and muddy during raining periods. Most of the time the trail is very nice. A light rain makes the trail very fast. If there has been some significant rain, don't bother as sticky mud will fly everywhere.
The Dallas Off Road Biking Association through a huge amount of volunteer work has increased the mileage of the trail from 3 miles to almost 9 miles and has included the addition of the up and down section and another section (Funtown) which has some small jumps. Although 90% of the trail is beginner, intermediate riders or speed riders will enjoy the beginner sections with all its twists and turns through heavily forested areas and tight sections in between trees. At a fast pace the entire section can be completed in about 40 minutes, although most will want to take about an hour to complete the trail. Although the trail is overall one big loop, there are several smaller loops within the larger loop that can be bypassed to make the trail shorter or for beginners to bypass the more difficult sections.
Trail DescriptionThere are 4 named main loops marked with signs on the trail and several smaller unnamed loops. A brief description of the named loops will be provided here.
This is the most difficult section of the trail. There numerous up and down sections on this loop with some roots and bridges which make it even more interesting. The crux of the entire bike trail is a steep uphill section followed by a 90 degree turn around two trees with 2 roots to navigate over followed by a drop.
There are several variations of this loop, the GPS map provided was tracked by making all left turns. The entrance and exits of this loop are very close by each other so the loop can be repeated as many times as you want.
This is a fairly easy loop but has been lengthened and improved in recent years to include a few small hills and dips. This is a loop you can test your speed skills on.
This loop is the second most difficult section of the trail. Most of it is easy, but the Funtown Section contains some steep dips and an area that has some small jumps. Funtown is located near an old bridge that is no longer in use (see Screaming Bridge Section) and gives you the only views of the West Fork of the Trinity River. The Village Creek Sewage Plant borders Funtown and sometimes you can smell it, although it is usually not that bad.
This loop is mostly flat but heavily wooded. It contains many turns and some tight squeezes in between trees. This is a fun section to test your speed skills.
Getting ThereGetting to the Park
From Highway 360 take the Green Oaks exit and drive west past Cooper Street. River Legacy Parks will be on your right.
From I-30 take the Cooper Street exit. Drive north until it dead ends at Green Oaks. Make a left turn. River Legacy Parks will be on your right.
From Highway 183 take the S. Industrial Blvd. exit and drive south. It will change names to N. Collins Street once you enter into Arlington city limits. Take a right turn on Green Oaks Blvd. and drive past Cooper Street. River Legacy Parks will be on your right.
Getting to the Trail
After driving a short distance into the park, make the first left turn. Drive a ways past a large grassy field and make the first left into the parking lot. The trailhead is located at the southwest side of this small parking lot.
When to BikeAny time of the year is possible, but in the summer it is best to ride only in the early morning hours as the heat can be brutal.
The Legend of Screaming BridgeThe far western end of the bike trail in the Funtown section of the West Loop brings you to an old abandoned one-lane bridge over the West Fork of the Trinity River that is now gated and locked. This bridge was built to replace another bridge over the Trinity River that had been washed out. It is commonly mistaken for the original Screaming Bridge.
As it turns out, neither the old washed out bridge nor this bridge was the location of the tragic accident where the legend of Screaming Bridge was born. The actual location of the accident was about a mile north over a ravine just before the road crossed some railroad tracks. The original burned out bridge was replaced with some large drainage pipes. The old road is now abandoned, but not before 2 more people were killed in 1994 at the same location trying to beat an oncoming train.
Pic of the actual location of Screaming Bridge and a pic of the fake Screaming Bridge in River Legacy Park
Original newspaper article, pictures, and maps of Screaming Bridge
Attached here is a newpaper article from 1980 which described the tragic deaths of some Arlington High School students that drove off the washed out bridge when the "bridge out" sign was removed by vandals. The local legend not mentioned in the newspaper article which gave the bridge its name is that one can still hear the girls screaming if you visit the old washed out bridge in the middle of the night. I wanted to post this article here to keep history, the legend, and the memories of these young girls alive. The acticle is for the most part factually correct except for the actual location of the bridge. The bridge pictured in the article is the original washed out bridge over the Trinity River which is not the location of the actual Screaming Bridge.