|Sojourn in the snow swept woods and ridges of the Great Trinity Forest in Dallas|
|One of the limestone strewn gullies along the Devon Anderson section of the trail|
|Hiking across Renda Meadow east of Scyene Overlook|
The White Rock Valley known to many from headwaters in Frisco to the mouth in the Great Trinity Forest has lost much of the natural character which drew Dallas first settlers.
The creek's course has been confined for millennia by Austin Chalk limestone ridges that it traverses to the east.
To the west of said outcrop lies a magnificent tangle of oxbow tied meanders and sloughs replete with hawks, otters and beavers that will make even an untrained eye awe in wonder.
Here, in the Great Trinity Forest and the escarpments one can see in places what White Rock Creek and the woods it feeds might have looked like hundreds of years ago.
|Barred Owl in the snow on February 28, 2015|
Few venture places in Dallas during winter weather events. The combined effects of warm gulf air in variegated layers often turns a beautiful snow event one day into one of treacherous freezing rain the next. Such is the case here in Dallas on this last day of February 2015.
Pioneer Family Roots Run Deep
|Trail junction signs for the JJ Beeman Trail which traverses bottomland and the Scyene Overlook Trail which quickly gains elevation to a commanding view over the lower White Rock Creek Valley|
The extensive discourse one can provide on the local pioneer history would fill many a line of a blog. The conduit between contemporary Dallasites and that of the pioneers still runs through the bloodlines of their descendants that still call North Texas home. The original settlers to Dallas County were a strong people and that is still evident today.
|MC Toyer, his mother Lois Beeman Toyer, MC’s sister Cynthia Toyer Fusco|
|Sam Beeman,Margaret Beeman Bryan, John Neely Bryan Jr|
The two photos at the time taken, represent the matriarchs of the Beeman family, taken over one hundred twenty years apart. At upper left Margaret Beeman Bryan, wife of John Neely Bryan, founder of Dallas. At right in the 2015 photo is Lois Beeman Toyer, the oldest living member of the Beeman family.
|Lisa Dye Bentley and MC Toyer, descendants of Benjamin Dye lay a wreath at the gravemarker at Warren Ferris Cemetery near White Rock Lake in January 2015|
Some would like to think Dallas is a poor place for local history. That the depth of events happening on the soils of our county is thin. Simply not true. It is rich and features many of the romanticized touchstones of other Texas history events that make Dallas history a fascinating study.
What sets Dallas apart are the places of yesteryear. Where the first explorers clad in buckskin pants and coonskin caps wandered across Dallas for the first time. Many of those spots still stand intact. Places like the Beeman lands, at interesting places like Scyene Overlook.
|Bill Holston standing atop Scyene Overlook|
|Fresh rabbit tracks are the only footprints on the trail|
The best known overlook in this trail system is Scyene. Roughly one hundred yards south of the road bearing the same name the overlook gives one a commanding view of the Great Trinity Forest to the south.
|Below the overlook in a stand of cedar|
|Piedmont Ridge Trail and Devon Anderson Trail|
The Lower White Rock Creek Trails are comprised of a roughly 3-4 mile(depending on route) soft surface trail network spanning three different City of Dallas Parks. JJ Beeman/Scyene Overlook on Scyene Road, Grover Keeton Park which includes Piedmont Ridge Trail and Devon Anderson Park south of Bruton Road.
2300 Jim Miller Road Dallas TX
The JJ Beeman Trail starts near the corner of Glover Pass and Scyene and continues east to the Scyene Overlook. From there the trail roughly follows an Austin Chalk Escarpment high above the White Rock Creek Valley. One clear days can see the VA Hospital in South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Hutchins as well as Downtown Dallas. The trail continues through Grover Keeton Park, up Piedmont Ridge, across Bruton and into Devon Anderson Park.
The trails here are comprised of a random mix of trails with no clearly defined start or finish. Over the last couple years, trail maintenance has fallen off and as a result some of the sections might become an awkward adventure to find. The trails are all still there just more faint in appearance for a first-time visitor.
|Crossing an open field before hiking up Piedmont Ridge|
|Climbing up the short switchbacks that lead up the spine of Piedmont Ridge|
|Piedmont Ridge Overlook|
|Cactus covered in ice|
The cedar benches here have some of the most photogenic views of Dallas and Oak Cliff to the west. A real showstopper of a place to take in a sunset and only a ten minute walk from where one can park a car. The smell of this spot is that of the Texas Hill Country and even during below freezing conditions, the cedar pollen of this spot is thick.
Devon Anderson Trail
|Mexican Buckeye seed pod|
South of Bruton Road, the becomes nearly non-existent in many spots. Even in dry weather the trail is not much more than a faint trace of a path frequented more by that of a coyote, a couple rabbits and bounding squirrels. No human traffic as evidenced by the clean snow.
|Footbridge across a very deep gully in Devon Anderson Park|
|Down in one of the deeper gullies|
|Trout lilies partially encased in snow|
Above is a video clip of trout lilies growing on the banks of a small arroyo stream in Devon Anderson that is swollen with ice melt from a recent winter storm to hit Dallas.
White Trout Lilies are known to exist in the State of Texas in 15 counties. Trout Lilies, also called Dog-Tooth Violets or Adder's Tongues are a spring flowering woodland native to Texas. The flowers have 6 white tepals (inverted petals), 6 stamens and bright yellow anthers that hang downwards forming an inverted shape. Each plant is about 6 inches tall and roughly the diameter of a dinner plate. It takes 6 long growing seasons before a Trout Lily will produce a flower in year 7.