Five Ways to Fresh Air
Mar 01, 2018 09:20AM
● By Ashley Madonna
You don’t have to travel far to experience a great getaway. One of the Metroplex’s most beautiful “natural” amenities is in our own backyard. Grapevine Lake stretches 8,000 acres and has more than 19 miles of trails and 60 miles of shoreline, so you can say there’s plenty to explore. Whether you want to travel by foot, bike, horse, boat or kayak, there’s so much to see and do while out on the man-made lake.
Grapevine Lake provides some of the finest walking and hiking trails in the area. The best way to find your favorite is to get to stepping. Different park, lake and city views wait around each of the trail’s turns, giving visitors a diverse scenic experience while also offering varying terrain along the way. Like Oak Grove Trail that runs for 1.3 miles through the park with lake views throughout. It also connects with C. Shane Wilbanks Trail and Dove Loop Trails, so it’s easy to keep going while also checking out different aspects of the area’s landscape. There is also plenty of bird watching and wildlife viewing available in the area. Just jump on Lakeview Trail to see for yourself. To find a group to saunter through the area with, stop by the Lake Grapevine Runners and Walks (LGRAW) Clubhouse, located in the old Beer Bait Gro store. Hikers of all levels meet every weekend at 7 a.m. to navigate the trails together.
“There are so many trails,” LGRAW board member Ken Merte says. “Despite the fact that these trails are so close-in, they can, at times, feel very secluded.”
Get in some biking on the Northshore Trail. The bike friendly route runs for more than nine miles from Rockledge Park to Twin Coves Park. Every entrance to the trail, with one at each of the trail’s ends and another in Murrell Park, has a trailhead with designated parking and an easy start to warm up on. The trail itself has both smooth spaces and stretches of difficult terrain to challenge bikers of all levels. But with the area’s breathtaking sights from both lake cliffs and shores, it’s imperative to stop along the way to take in the view. Make sure you stop by MADD Shelter see who else is out on the trail. It’s been nicknamed “Biker Lot” because of all of the mountain bikes that continuously come in and out.
“We have an excellent and enthusiastic mountain biking community in Grapevine,” Grapevine Lake parks supervisor Peter Doyle says. “Grapevine has over 1,500 acres of property to explore around the lake. It is a rare gem to have such expansive wild space in this sprawling Metroplex.”
That’s right. Saddle up with the Widowmaker Trail Rides on Walnut Grove trail. The trail runs through woods, creeks, meadows, hills and beside the shoreline, so riders can look out and experience all of the area’s beauty while on the back of a strong horse. Southlake locals David Alexander and Jeff Cook lead small, private groups through a two-hour guided ride, giving each visitor the personal attention needed to walk away with a bit of knowledge about proper form. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to relax and take in the fresh air. Each ride is by appointment, so make sure to book in advance.
“I’d say 50 percent of our riders are tourists from all corners of the world. I get very few Southlake people,” Alexander says. “Most of them say the same thing when they find us, ‘I never knew I could go horseback riding here in my neighborhood.’”
Grapevine Lake makes for great boating on a warm Texas day. Bring out your poles to try your hand at catching a few largemouth bass, blue catfish or white bass – all of which are popular in the man-made lake. Or, leisurely steer around while the kids kneeboard behind the boat. To enhance your own skills, take a wakesurfing lesson with DFW Surf. If you don’t have a boat, charter the Black Watch for a romantic sail on the lake. After docking at Silver Lake Marina or Scott’s Landing Marina, make your way to one of the lakeside dining restaurants to enjoy great food while gazing out on the water.
“People come out to Grapevine Lake to enjoy its beauty, to go fishing, sailing, hiking, biking, kayaking and paddleboarding,” DFW Surf founder Tyler Marshall says. “The sports we teach are the fastest growing watersports in the world that anyone and everyone can do without any prior experience.”
For a quieter take on watersports the whole family can do together, rent kayaks at Lonestar Adventure Sports in Rockledge Park. With both single and double kayaks, visitors can either take control of their adventure on the water or team up to make a splash. Beginners can take a kayak lesson with Lonestar Adventure Sports to learn how to safely cruise around the area before paddling out. Stick close to the reservoir on Grapevine Lake Paddling Trail to enjoy a laidback day on the water. You’ll still have plenty of room to explore because the shoreline stretches for more than nine miles, depending on where you jump on. Whether you want to go out all day or try out a romantic sunset paddle ride, the athletic activity will have you coming back for more time and time again.