White Rock Creek runs south from Dallas' best-known land form, White Rock Lake. But for all the popularity of the old city reservoir, the creek that first had the name remains scarcely recognized. Once the water of the creek leaves the White Rock Lake Spillway in dramatic fashion it begins a slow and methodical march towards the Trinity River.
|Texas Horned Lizard in Dallas at Devon Anderson Park|
|Piedmont Ridge Trail Lower White Rock Creek|
Lower White Rock Creek, on its way to the vast hardwood bottoms of the Great Trinity Forest, runs nearly unknown through some of the city's best natural areas and most historic neighborhoods. This is the land that the Caddo and Comanche consider sacred ground. This is the land that sustained the first pioneers that settled Dallas. This is the land where Sam Houston and his men camped on the way to work a peace treaty. You do not have to look in a book or read accounts of the sites to imagine what it must have been like. Using these trails you can stand on the ancient sacred ground of the Comanche, wander across the old pioneer Beeman and Bryan homesteads, stand at the spring where President Sam Houston camped. All of it is still there, untouched. Dallas over the last century and a half grew up around it, oddly leaving it in it's original condition.
|Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae) in Lower White Rock Creek meadow|
The Lower White Rock Creek Trails are comprised of an ever expanding 4 mile 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. The JJ Beeman Trail starts near the corner of Lawnview and Scyene near the DART Lawnview Station 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 can see the VA Hospital in South Dallas, Duncanville, Hutchins as well as Downtown Dallas. The trail continues through Grover Keeton Park, up Piedmont Ridge, across Bruton and into Devon Anderson Park.
|Scyene Overlook with view of Great Trinity Forest|
|JJ Beeman Trail Scyene Overlook Trail Junction|
|Piedmont Ridge Trailhead Grover Keeton Park|
Access to the trails are easiest from the Grover Keeton Parking Lot on Jim Miller Road; Devon Anderson Park on Umphress Road or via DART on the Green Line to Lawnview. Scyene Overlook is also just a quick 15 minute or less ride from White Rock Lake.
North Trailhead for Scyene Overlook:
2800 Renda Street Dallas
Grover Keeton and Gateway Park:
2300 Jim Miller Road
Devon Anderson Park:
|White Rock Creek Trails Map --green dot notes Lawnview DART Rail Station on Scyene. Yellow dots mark formal trailheads for Scyene Overlook, Piedmont Ridge Trail and Devon Anderson.|
Some sections of the trails feature steep switchbacks, loose rocks and off camber surfaces. Caution should be taken when hiking or mountain biking these areas. Technical climbs and descents along with some steep dropoffs warrant diligence if you are riding a mountain bike. Some sections will require dismounts by even experienced riders.
|Devon Anderson Park sign noting distances to Comanche Storytelling Place .2 mile and one of the overlooks .4 mile.|
|Piedmont Ridge Overlook|
|Comanche Storytelling Place Devon Anderson Park Dallas, Texas|
The Comanche Story Telling Place at Devon Anderson Park has been identified by the Comanche Nation as a sacred holy ground and has been identified as a candidate for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The natural limestone shaped amphitheatre was believed to have been used by Native Americans in the area prior to European settlement. Gateway Park was also the site of an Indian Marker tree, over 300 years old that served as a guide to Native Americans in the area. This tree was lost in 1998 during a thunderstorm.