Shiloh Springs and Big
Springs Nature Trails
A Secret Oasis Up for
Our favorite and most precious wilderness area
is up for sale! Because much of the Big Springs area lies on private land
along side a major highway, the city has zoned it commercial and for sale
signs are popping up all along the highway. The Dallas Central Appraisal
District maps show that the very best of this acreage belongs to major Dallas
developers who are bound to destroy this area strip it of it's trees.
Shiloh Springs and Big Springs Nature Trails are
located in the area formerly known as Big Springs on Big Springs Rd. renamed
and redirected after
the construction of the George Bush toll road/Highway 190. The road has been
renamed and redirected since then.
Shiloh Springs is the park area that adjoins
Spring Creek as it cuts a path southeast while the trail area is called Big
Springs. The land is made up of Austin Chalk
and springs that contribute to Spring Creek's steady volume of ice cold water.
The small park area features a paved jogging trail and a pond with pier along
side the creek.
The biggest secret is the maze of unmarked
pioneer trails that are hidden beyond the tree line. As a warning, this forest
is mostly confined to vacant, commercially held private property so to venture
within is considered trespassing. At the most, two residences are located on
the perimeter about a mile from the park close to Hwy. 190. The trails
are quiet and mostly traveled by mountain bikers and people walking their
dogs. The trails immediately inside the tree line along a spring tributary are
the ones primarily used since this is the border line of the park's public
property. While people do occasionally venture further into this wilderness,
it is not advised. Children specifically should not go here because this
primitive area naturally is home to many wild creatures such as snakes and
coyotes. There are also several abandoned wells built by the original pioneer
owners of this land that can be dangerous if not deadly were a child to fall
The Big Springs Trails meander through the
wilderness along the creek and then into the evergreen forest. The forest is
comprised of mostly
which is a variety of Juniper. They resemble 20-foot tall Christmas Trees and
blanket most of this land. Junipers require lots of water so they do well in
this land of springs.
This 500-plus acres are the most intriguing and unique in all of
D-FW. Our biggest fear is that soon this area will be plowed under and leveled
since there are a couple for sale signs posted near the highway.
On the trail next to the creek you can view the
creek's 30-foot limestone bluffs,
expansive rocky beaches, a secret mountain bike gymnasium built by "elves", a
paintball hideaway plus small
crystal clear spring pools bubbling up from the ground. Wherever you see mossy green rocks
in a creek bed, this is the tip off that springs are keeping the area moist as
they bubble up from the aquifer below. The trails crisscross each
other over the limerock and undulating ground. This is the rolling
terrain that once existed over all of Dallas, before developers got their
hands and their bulldozers on it, making it a flat, cement prairie. The trails are too
numerous to count and many times you have to walk off trail to find your
way around tributaries and other obstacles. In the fall, native Shumard Red Oaks dot the area with brilliant reds.
We are preserving this area in photos for that time when it is all gone.
Please check out the
Dog Blog to see what our members are saying about this trail.