Celebrate with DCTA: The A-train Rail Trail is Complete

In The Know
Photos of the A-train Rail Trail in a collage
January 21, 2020 / By / 10 Comments

Our A-train Rail Trail construction crossed the finish line in December 2019, and it’s time to celebrate! The trail runs alongside our commuter rail line and was designed to complement its surroundings and adjacent facilities in Denton County. With construction now complete, our passengers and residents who utilize the trail can now walk, bike or run across the full 19-mile trail from Denton to Lewisville that has many amenities, scenic views, connecting city trails and easy transfers to our A-train commuter rail line!

Construction through the Years

Phase one of the Rail Trail project was completed in 2011 and is known as the Denton Branch Trail. It is a nine-mile stretch from the Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC) to Swisher Road in Lake Dallas. It was funded with local money in conjunction with the construction of the A-train commuter rail line.

The four miles of phase two from the Hebron station to Mill and Jones in downtown Lewisville was completed in 2016, and the portion of the trail from the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake station to downtown Lewisville was completed at the end of December 2019. Phase two was funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grants administered by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Denton County, the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and DCTA.

Phase three was the final stretch connecting the Denton Branch Trail at Swisher Road to the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station, which crosses over Lewisville Lake, and was completed in summer 2018. These phases were funded by local money, Interstate 35E project funds, FHWA grants, Denton County, NCTCOG and DCTA. The final construction cost for the trail was approximately $14 million.

Take a peek at our A-trail Rail Trail through the years of construction:

A-train Rail Trail Amenities

Our Rail Trail connects Denton County residents to approximately 19 miles of accessible paths spanning from Denton to Lewisville. The pristine concrete paths mixed with scenic views allow residents the ability to walk, run, bike and more with ease. The trail begins at our Downtown Denton Transit Center (DDTC) and ends at our Hebron Station in Lewisville.

In fact, the trail’s scenic views are so popular that the Lewisville Hike and Bike and Denton Branch Rail Trails (both a part of our A-train Rail Trail) were listed in the top five scenic trails Dallas-Fort Worth by Only in Your State, a blog dedicated to highlighting hidden gems across the county. Denton and residents have a top-ranked scenic trail right in their backyard to enjoy without having to travel to the big city!

While on our rail trail, there are rest stops with benches and trash cans as well as safety features like the Z crossing fence. The Z crossing fence is primarily for cyclists to dismount, look both ways and cross the street, but it’s encouraged for all of those using the trail to stop and look both ways too.

Parking and Rail Trail Access

Access to the rail trail is available from our five A-train stations (from north to south):

Bikes are allowed on the A-train. For more information about bringing your bike on the A-train visit our Bikes and Transit page on our website.

Fun Destinations along the A-train Rail Trail

You don’t have to go far to have a good time, there are so many fun places to visit in Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village that are accessible from the A-train Rail Trail! Downtown Denton, the Shops at Highland Village, Old Town Lewisville and many city parks are all easily accessible through our A-train Rail Trail in conjunction with our bus and rail services, making our rail trail a healthy and fun way to get some fresh air and visit all the fun things Denton County has to offer.

Other trails connecting to the A-train Rail Trail are the Denton Branch Rail Trail, Lewisville and Highland Village trails. With these connectivity options, it’s easy to take a trip on the A-train Rail Trail from your city!

Lewisville

Highland Village

Denton

We hope everyone has a chance to get out on our completed rail trail and check it out for themselves! What is your favorite activity to do on our A-train Rail Trail? Comment below!

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10 Comments

  1. Bob says:

    I think its a shame that the trail was paved. Crushed limestone is such a better trail surface and is far kess costly. Lets hope that the current trend of cementing bike paths ends soon and we as a community get back to creating suitable trails for riders.

    • RideDCTA says:

      Thank you for the feedback, Bob! I will pass it along.

    • Jeff says:

      San Antonio has a great northern loop trail system with both paved and natural surface parallel trails. I have ridden there about a dozen times on both street and mountain bikes. From my observations paved riders exceed natural surface riders by at least 20 to 1. The HV connector trail in Double Tree Park is all paved except for 100 yards between the bridges on the lake. Unless I am on my mountain bike I am annoyed by this section and wish we would pave it. Aren’t we interesting with our differing opinions. I hope to meet you one day on the trail. Have fun riding!

  2. Dennis Crapser says:

    I ride real curls in Pennsylvania that are crushed limestone. When I go to Florida I love riding the paved trails. The difference of course is in Pennsylvania have too much temperature change that would break up the trail results and costly maintenance. My only other comment on the above article is I wish that at the beginning of the article you point out what state it’s in. I’m starting to read the article and you mentioned between the two towns my first question is where what state?

  3. Jeff Carr says:

    I have been cycling in the metroplex since we moved to Highland Village in 1993. I have ridden most of the trails in the area and many of the more bike friendly streets in Southern Denton County averaging about 100 miles/wk. I was part of the planning and fundraising for HV trails and for the last 8 or 9 years I have ridden the A-Train Rail Trail and all of the expansions as soon as they open up. This has become one of my favorite trails in North Texas and where I ride nearly 100% of the time now that Highland Village trails connect thru Double Tree Park. Thanks for this wonderful cycling venue! Note that there is still not safe passage between Mill St at Valley Ridge Blvd and the North end of Railroad St. in Lewisville, so in my opinion the trail is not yet completed to Hebron station.

    • RideDCTA says:

      Hi Jeff, we’re glad you are enjoying the A-train Rail Trail! I will also pass along your feedback on the Mill St intersection.

  4. Mark Solow says:

    Pathfinders Fun Cycling will be leading a (free) ride on the new trail section this Saturday, 1-25-20 with a lunch stop at Twisted Root in Lewisville. There are 3 different distance options. See details here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/178919949848241/
    Mark Solow

  5. Jeff Carr says:

    DCTA Moderator. You don’t need to post this comment but thought this interesting. One of the first two photos posted at the top of this article is a place that I know very well. It is at the east end of Garden Ridge very near the HV train station. The photo shows a cyclist riding in the wrong direction out in the road. I can’t speak to the wrong side of the street that he is on, but I know why he is using the road. To get from the trail at the top of the bridge traveling from the new trail section that connects to the train station, riders either have to navigate a narrow sidewalk with sharp switchbacks or take the toad. Neither are great solutions. You might want to replace this photo. I am happy to send you others to use.

    Also, hopefully when the Tower Bay apartment complex is finished at this same location, there will be safe passage to the park/trail along the lake on the east side of the tracks. Thanks.

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