Lake Arlington Paddling Trail

Lake Arlington Paddling Trail
All photos: Kelly Drawdy, City of Arlington
Parks and Recreation or TPWD

This 10.9-mile paddling trail is the first lake paddling trail and the first trail in the DFW metroplex. Enjoy paddling along the shores of a beautiful lake to enjoy a taste of nature in the middle of this urban center.


Getting There

Three access points:

Richard Simpson Park GPS coordinates 32° 42’ 45.9”, N 97° 12’ 07.7” W

Eugene McCray Park GPS coordinates 32° 42’ 53.5”, N 97° 13’ 08.5” W

Bowman Springs Park GPS coordinates 32° 41’ 24.9”, N 97° 13’ 03.4” W

Richard Simpson Park boat ramp (Arlington)
To get to Richard Simpson Park on Lake Arlington from I-30:

  • Take exit 24 and go south on Eastchase Parkway, which will turn into Green Oaks Boulevard
  • West on West Arkansas Lane
  • Slight right to stay on West Arkansas Lane into park

To get to Richard Simpson Park on Lake Arlington from I-20:

  • Take exit 445 and go north on Green Oaks Boulevard
  • West on West Arkansas Lane
  • Slight right to stay on West Arkansas Lane into park

To get to Richard Simpson Park on Lake Arlington from E Loop 820:

  • Take exit 30B and go east on Rosedale Street/TX-303-SPUR, which will turn into Pioneer Parkway
  • South on West Green Oaks Boulevard
  • West on West Arkansas Lane
  • Slight right to stay on West Arkansas Lane into park

Bowman Springs Park (Arlington)
To get to Bowman Springs Park on Lake Arlington from I-30:

  • Take exit 24 and go south on Eastchase Parkway
  • West on West Pleasant Ridge Road
  • West on West Poly Webb Road
  • Follow West Poly Webb Road straight into Bowman Springs Park

To get to Bowman Springs Park on Lake Arlington from I-20:

  • Take exit 445 and go north on Green Oaks Boulevard
  • West on West Pleasant Ridge Road
  • West on West Poly Webb Road
  • Follow West Poly Webb Road straight into Bowman Springs Park

To get to Bowman Springs Park on Lake Arlington from E Loop 820:

  • Take exit 30B and go east on Rosedale Street/TX-303-SPUR, which will turn into Pioneer Parkway
  • South on West Green Oaks Boulevard
  • West on West Pleasant Ridge Road
  • West on West Poly Webb Road
  • Follow West Poly Webb Road straight into Bowman Springs Park

Eugene McCray Park (Fort Worth)
To get to Eugene McCray Park on Lake Arlington from E Loop 820:

  • Take exit 30C and go east on Ramey Avenue
  • South on Quail and follow to the park

Note: Invasive zebra mussels threaten this area. To prevent further spread of this pest, paddlers in certain counties are required to drain all water from their boats before leaving the river. Get details.

Distance from nearest major cities:

  • Dallas - 19 miles
  • Fort Worth - 13 miles
  • Austin - 193 miles
  • Waco - 93 miles
  • Houston - 254 miles
  • San Antonio - 270 miles
  • Corpus Christi - 376 miles

Map

Trail Description and Landmarks

Trail Length: ~10.9 miles total
~3.9 miles from Richard Simpson Park to Eugene McCray Park
~7 miles from Eugene McCray Park to Bowman Springs Park
Float Time: ~3 - 6 hours (depending on water level, flow rate and wind speed)

Please note: Official trail does not connect between Bowman Springs Park and Richard Simpson Park on the eastern edge of the lake.

Lake Arlington Permit Fees

Daily $5
Annual $25
Senior $12 (65 yrs old and over)

For more information, contact the Lake Arlington Office at 817-451-6860.

Fishing

Lake Arlington offers 1,939 acres of fishing real estate, including several inlets away from the disturbance of speed boats and jet skis where you can find Florida Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Crappie, Sand Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass. Maximum depth of the lake reaches 51 feet. Largemouth bass anglers are successful year round, with the largest bass caught in the winter. Hybrid striped bass fishing picks up in the late spring and early summer months. Crappie fishing is best around any underwater structure during the spring and summer. White bass and catfish are good targets in summer months.

Wildlife and Ecology

The riparian corridor of Lake Arlington and Village Creek supports a great 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, Ring-billed Gull. Live Oak trees grow along the river. Common wildlife encountered include Fox Squirrels and Raccoons.

Private Property

Respect private property by not trespassing or littering and keeping noise levels down. This river is classified as navigable, which permits public use of the streambed and, if necessary, the banks to portage any hazard. Any other use of private river banks without permission of the landowner can be considered trespassing. Under Texas Penal Code (§30.05), criminal trespass occurs when one enters property after receiving notice not to enter. Notice includes verbal notice, a fence, sign(s), purple paint on posts or trees, or the visible presence of crops grown for human consumption.

Events & Attractions

For more information please see the Paddling Events calendar or the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department website at www.naturallyfun.org.

Arlington Parks

Visit one of the many parks in the city of Arlington. Locations and facilities information for each of the 80 local parks can be found at www.arlingtontx.gov

Lake Arlington Dam

Lake Arlington Dam is on Village Creek in Tarrant County. Construction of the dam began on May 15, 1956, and was completed on July 19, 1957. It has a normal surface area of 3.6 square miles and is owned by the City of Arlington.

Lake Arlington Dam is of earthen construction. Its height is 89 feet with a length of 6,482 feet. Maximum discharge is 70,032 cubic feet per second. Its capacity is 103,500 acre feet, normal storage is 38,785 acre feet, and it drains an area of 143 square miles.

Exelon Power Plant

Handley Generating Station is a five-unit 1,441-megawatt (MW) station located in Fort Worth, Texas. Site generation dates back to 1902, when the Northern Texas Traction Company built a generating plant, the largest in the area, along the adjacent Lake Erie. Now known as Lake Arlington, the lake serves as a popular recreation and amusement area for the local community. When Unit 1 was built, it was the first outdoor steam electric generating station of its type in the industry.

Partnership

This trail was made possible through a partnership between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, City of Arlington Parks and Recreation and City of Fort Worth Parks and Recreation.

Shuttles & Rentals

Flatwater Kayak

Daren and Kristi Payne, 817-451-9230
www.flatwaterkayak.com
Services offered: Rental of Victory Blast Kayaks, Life Vests, and Paddles

Paddle Bound River Outfitters

Jimmy and Edie Gray, 817-282-3135
Colleyville, TX 76034
www.paddlebound.com
Services offered: Canoe/Kayak Sales, Rentals (canoes/kayaks, trailers, life jackets, paddles), Guided Trips & Instruction

Trinity River Expeditions

214-941-1757
www.canoedallas.com
Services offered for groups of 10 or more paddlers: Guided trips, rental of canoes & kayaks, shuttle service, trailer rental

Cutter Aquatics

Phone 817-354-6853
www.CutterAquatics.com
Provider of Quality Instruction in Kayaking and Canoeing
ACA & USCA Certified Instruction
American Red Cross Authorized Provider

Mountain Sports

2025 W. Pioneer Pkwy
Arlington, TX 76013-6005
1-800-805-9139 or 817-461-4503
http://www.mountainsports.com
Services offered: canoe and kayak sales

Austin Canoe and Kayak

Rent kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards by the day to take anywhere you want, when you want. Locations in Austin, Houston and the San Marcos/New Braunfels area. For more information, visit http://www.austinkayak.com/rentals.php

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.)

Rent kayaks, canoes, paddles, and PFDs (personal flotation devices) 7 days a week at your nearest REI co-op.
For the closest Texas store, visit http://www.rei.com/FindStores?state=TX&radius=900

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