Manifest Destiny For Walkers, Runners, Cyclists

The city of Dallas has grand plans for Northaven Trail, which runs east-west through Preston Hollow.

(ABOVE: After opening a new section of Northaven Trail, city planners will focus on a connection to Central. Courtesy Northhaven Trail Connection)

Already connecting Northaven Road and Royal Lane, a master plan has it eventually connecting Central Expressway to Denton Drive and Harry Hines Boulevard, as well as intersecting with White Rock Creek Trail to the east and Irving’s Campion Trail to the west.

With proposals for connections to DART’s Forest Lane station and the Walnut Hill-Denton station, Northaven Trail could potentially help users travel from just south of Farmers Branch to east of U.S. 75.

Phase 2B and 2C of the expansion project included the recent completion of a small bridge over Joe’s Creek, near Sleepy Lane and Rosser Road between Marsh Lane and Midway Road.

Jeff Kitner, president of Friends of Northaven Trail, said the bridge brings together neighbors who otherwise would be disconnected from each other.

“I think the neighborhood will love it,” Kitner said. “Where I live, near Royal and St. Michaels, the trail has been a tremendous asset for connecting neighbors to each other, as well as giving us a recreation option that we wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s also enhanced property values for us, and I anticipate it will do the same for the homes along the western expansion.”

“Where I live, near Royal and St. Michaels, the trail has been a tremendous asset for connecting neighbors to each other, as well as giving us a recreation option that we wouldn’t otherwise have.” -Jeff Kitner

The trail has been a talking point since the early 2000s when former Dallas City Council member Lois Finkelman broached the idea of an east-west bicycle and running path in north Dallas after seeing the success of the Katy and White Rock trails.

Now, the trail is more than 4 miles long.

The trail was added in 2008 to the Dallas Integrated Trail Network, a project that aims to connect as many local trails as possible.

The Dallas Department of Parks and Recreation considers Northaven a pivotal branch.

The department’s website said the trail network “will bring connectivity to the majority of the city’s trails” and will “provide for access to much of the city’s parks, minor trails, and Dallas [proper].”

Starting in Farmers Branch, two DART stations stopping at Royal Lane and Walnut Hill mark one end of the network. There’s an area to rent bicycles at the Royal Lane stop and a pedestrian trail beginning at the Walnut Hill stop. Bikers can travel south from the Royal Lane stop to the trail, which eventually intersects with the pedestrian trail and the beginning of the 2B – 2C phases.

Recently re-elected City Council member Jennifer Staubach-Gates said the trail is a gem of District 13.

“We are thrilled that phase 2B and 2C of the Northaven trail are almost complete and look forward to the completion of 2A in the near future,” Gates said. “I’m extremely excited to have a trail connecting District 13 to the greater trail system in Dallas for our residents to enjoy for years to come.”

Besides the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, trail expansion now falls under the umbrella of several other entities: Dallas County, Oncor, and the Texas Department of Transportation.

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