• Soccer and baseball/softball fields
Gateway Park is not a
difficult trail by any means, but offers a flowing singletrack opportunity
for both beginner and experienced riders, alike. As you follow the sidewalk
down from the parking lot you’ll see that the trail starts up on your
left (there’s a sign letting you know) and leads you into the trees.
Not too long after you start out, you will come out into the open to
a sidewalk. There aren’t any signs to this effect, but if you simply
follow along the sidewalk it will lead you right to where the trail
picks back up. There is part of the trail off to your right, as well,
that many choose to jump on turn the loop into a figure 8.
Although most of the trail is well shaded, there are a few stretches that put you out in the open, so if it’s a hot, sunny day you’ll have to pedal faster. One such open bit of really tight singletrack brings you by the fence of one of the ball fields, and then leads you back into the trees. There is a wood beam to cross over in case the ground is muddy there, which is a nice touch in case the trails are still soft from rain (see photo). Also, there is a split in the trail immediately after the beam. I went left, so I’m not sure what followed had I gone to the right (straight).
Even though Gateway Park is perfectly suitable for beginners, the quick descents and climbs to match keep the ride entertaining for all levels. Other than the aforementioned sidewalk, the entire trail is purpose built singletrack; singletrack that in a couple instances puts you within a few feet of taking a plunge into the Trinity River below. Shortly after the scenic views of the river you will cross the sidewalk, but not before a steep descent into some slightly off-camber singletrack, followed by a quick little up to put you back on level ground. That steep descent is the sign that things are about to become even more fun. Once you cross the sidewalk you will find the best of Gateway Park’s elevation changes. Although not drastic by any means, the quick ups and downs keep things interesting and add a little more thrill and challenge for those new to riding.
Unfortunately, the last 2 minutes (give or take depending on your pace) of the trail aren’t as exciting. After crossing the sidewalk one last time, the singletrack runs parallel to the sidewalk all the way back to the trailhead. I suppose this does provide an opportunity for beginners to reflect upon the fun they just had and for the more experienced to either cool down or turn things up and fly.
There is talk of expanding Gateway Park’s trails, so perhaps some of the sidewalk shadowing will be rerouted. We shall see.
~ MountainBikeTx.com(Aug 2010)