Nice, Long Hike & Bike Trail
By Lone_Star on 3/6/2013
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours
The Southbelt Hike & Bike Trail is a nice, long, paved trail along a flood control channel. The trail starts at Blackhawk Blvd (near the intersection of Hall Road) and ends in a large loop around a flood control reservoir at near Dixie Farm Road. The trail is in the shape of a backward "Z", with the bottom segment of the "Z" being an oval loop.
Parking is available at the trailhead as well as at Dixie Farm Road Park at the far end. You can also park your car at two of the community parks along the middle section of the trail - Clear Brook City Park and Bishop Park.
The Southbelt Hike & Bike Trail is well-maintained and popular with cyclists, joggers and walkers. It has long straightaways and gives you a chance to stretch out your legs.
I have one major gripe, though. There are NO RESTROOMS on the trail, with the exception of some portapotties at Dixie Farm Road Park. But if you start at the trailhead and have to "go" anywhere along the trail, you're out of luck. This can cause a lot of stress and discomfort. For such a long trail, I think this is a major oversight by the Parks & Recreation folks. Surely, they could afford to put a portapotty at the trailhead, anothr at Clear Brook City Park, and another at Bishop Park. So, my advice is to make sure your bladder is completely empty and to start this hike only after you've done your morning business.
There are distance markers on the trail, but only every mile. It would be helpful if they were posted every 1/4 or 1/2 mile.
The flood reservoir near Dixie Farm Road is MASSIVE. It must be close to a mile all the way around. The scenery is a bit monotonous, so when you reach Dixie Farm Road Park, I suggest you detour and take that park's trail. It's a scenic trail that leads through the woods and later rejoins the Southbelt Hike & Bike Trail further up the reservoir so you don't backtrack. You get a change of scenery and an extra 1/3 mile of distance.