City and State to Open New Paddling Trail on Aug. 14 10.9-Mile Trail is A First in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metoplex
City and state officials will dedicate the new 10.9 mile Lake Arlington Paddling Trail at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008 at Richard W. Simpson Park in Arlington, marking the first Texas Paddling Trail on a lake and the first in Dallas/Fort Worth or any other urban area. Richard Simpson Park is located at 6300 W. Arkansas Lane.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, all other paddling trails to date in the state have involved sections of rivers or bays, and all have been located outside of major metropolitan areas. Speakers at Thursday’s dedication will include TPWD Commissioner Ralph Duggins of Fort Worth, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, Arlington City Council member Kathryn Wilemon and Fort Worth City Council member Frank Moss. Following the dedication, kayaks will be provided for the first paddle.
Since 2006, the TPWD has been partnering with cities, counties, river authorities and other partners to create Texas Paddling Trails. The program develops inland and coastal paddling trails for public use. Including the new Arlington trail, there are now seven coastal paddling trails and seven inland paddling trails in Texas, with several communities with applications to create trails.
The corridor of Lake Arlington and Village Creek supports a diversity of plant and animal life along the river and beyond the banks. Birds spotted here include the great blue heron, great egret, American white pelican, osprey, belted kingfisher, double-crested cormorant and the ring-billed gull. Live oak trees grow along the lake and wildlife in the area includes fox squirrels and raccoons.
Paddlers can put in and take out water craft at the following three points along the shore: Eugene McCray Park, Richard Simpson Park and Bowman Springs Park. Simpson and Bowman Springs parks are located on the lake’s eastern shore, accessible from Green Oaks Boulevard between I-20 and Pioneer Parkway. Between these points, the paddling trail hugs the lake shoreline north, west and south.
The Lake Arlington Paddling Trail will be open to the public from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. A lake pass is $5 per day or $25 per year and $12 per year for seniors. Paddle time on the trail will range from three to six hours.
For more information about the Aug. 14 dedication, contact Parks Marketing Manager Kelly Drawdy at 817-459-6931 or email Kelly [dot] Drawdy [at] arlingontx [dot] gov For more information about Texas Paddling Trails visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us or call TPDW News/Information Director Tom Harvey at 512-389-4453.