Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Katie Jackson

I've ridden almost everything on the east side of Dallas, or at least almost everything on, and a bunch of random stuff that I just found via google maps,, or by just driving/riding around. It's getting to where I'd need to drive an hour or more out, and an hour or more back, to ride a system with 5 miles or fewer of trail. I've got to be in the right mood to do that, but I was apparently in that mood a few days ago, so I drove out to Katie Jackson Park.

It was like an hour and change out there, and there were alleged to be just over 5 miles of trail.

It was a little confusing at first because the Dorba site didn't have a map, just descriptions - Blue Trail, Red Trail, Jumps, etc. I didn't see any of that when I got there - just a paved trail meandering around an open field.

I trusted that there would be dirt though, and the presence of mountain bikers coming in and heading out, seemed to validate this trust, so I kitted up and got to it.

Yep, plenty of dirt. About halfway around the paved trail, there was a kiosk, and trails beyond. Bikes to the right, hikers to the left.

The main loop is the Blue Loop. Inside of that loop is a Red Loop, and stacked onto that is a Black Loop.

Red Trail - Blue Trail

The trails are classic Dallas shred:

Katie Jackson Shred

Mostly flat, with occasional drops to cross gulleys, and the occasional quick switchback. You wind through trees (mostly cedar) then pop out into a field, then back into the trees. Though, this trail had more trees and less field.

There were bridges and skinnies too:

Katie Jackson Skinny

Fun to ride!

It also had some fairly scenic natural features, that it seemed to be the right time of year to be able to get a good look at.

Some little feeder creek:

Some Feeder Creek

...of nearby Whiterock Creek.

Whiterock Creek

There are South and North sections of the trail, as it turns out. The Blue/Red/Black trails compose the South section. The North is mainly a Yellow loop, with various features branching off of it.

The main feature is a jump park.

Katie Jackson Jumps

It looked amazing when I first saw it, and I spun a quick loop around it. There was what appeared to be a novice line, that I felt like I could ride most of, if I'd gone out there and made an effort to learn it, but I didn't have that kind of time, and I had little interest in getting hurt or breaking something, so... maybe next time.

There was a hill toward the end of the Yellow Loop called Howard Hill...

Howard Hill

...with 4 drops going to the left, each named after a Texas sports team: Ranger, Cowboy, Maverick, and Star. Each drop was successively taller and gnarlier, and each trail after it was successively shorter. They all came back together and a shortcut trail (just backwards on the Yellow Loop) allowed you to ride back up and hit another one. After watching my dad get injured so badly on a much smaller drop earlier this year, I still get nervous approaching one. This doesn't happen in Georgia though, only in Dallas. The I ride up to the edge, and I'm like: "Oh... Ha! I can ride this." And then it's fine. But, I wonder if that apprehension will ever fade.

In addition to the Yellow Loop and the various drop loops, there's also the Mongo Trail which cuts across the Yellow Loop. It's flagged green.

One more thing thats really notable at Katie Jackson is the kitch. Just relentless kitch.

"Git yer used cars at dorba"

Katie Jackson Kitch

Area 51

Area 51

And just up the trail, Area 52, for the really secret stuff.

Area 52

There wasn't anything exceptional about the trail behind the Area 51 and Area 52 signs. It seemed that the only purpose of Area 51 was to set you up for the Area 52 joke, and the only purpose of Area 52 was to be a joke. As groanworthy as it was, I did chuckle, and I'm chuckling again now, so damnit Katie Jackson trail steward, your kitch worked, and continues to work.

There's more too, but I'd have had to stop way too often to get pictures of it all.

So, there are only 5 miles of trail, but I ended up riding so many loops, exploring everything that I got in like 12 miles of riding, so it's not that bad checking out these shorter trails, if you don't know them very well. And, there's the fun of discovery. So, yeah, a pretty good time, all in all.

I also managed to get off the trail and in the car right as it began to rain, so ha! I even beat the rain.

Fortuantely, it stopped raining before I got back, and it wasn't much more than a drizzle. One good rain in Dallas, and the trails are closed for a week or more, especially in winter.

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