Almost a mile in length, Tonkawa Trail provides easy access to the various components of Buffalo Creek Wetland. It is named for a tribe of native Americans that inhabited this part of Texas many years ago. A four to six inch layer of crushed granite provides a firm, all-weather, universally accessible surface for persons to see many of the plants and animals that were so essential to the native Americans, pioneers and early settlers that previously occupied the region. Plenty of parking space is provided near the trail entrance on the north side of Bardwell Dam Road very near the east bank of Waxahachie Creek. Four observation shelters, strategically placed along the trail, provide an excellent opportunity to observe or photograph some of the plants and/or animals that live at Buffalo Creek Wetland or they may simply serve as a nice shady place to sit, relax and rest before finishing the hike.
A dense upper canopy of bottomland hardwood trees covers most of the journey along the short nature trail in Waxahachie Creek Park, with a small segment skirting the edge of an adjacent open range site. The three tiers or layers of forest vegetation are easily observed in this relatively undisturbed bottomland hardwood forest and local schools have used the trail extensively to illustrate the function and benefits of this type of ecosystem. Many species of native plants and animals may be viewed while walking quietly along the trail. The trail entrance is conveniently located near the picnic area for persons wanting to go for a relaxing walk after enjoying a meal at Waxahachie Creek Park.
Equestrian and Multi-Use Trail
WAXAHACHIE CREEK PARK at Bardwell Lake, Ellis County, Texas only 30 minutes south of Dallas off I-45.
The Bardwell Lake Equestrian and multiuse trail is on a two thousand acre tract of land at the north end of Waxahachie Creek Park at Bardwell Lake. Waxahachie Creek Park is 7/10 of a mile west of the Bardwell Lake Bridge on Highway 34 east of Bardwell and west of Ennis.
Currently, there are over 8 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, or bicycling. The trailhead is located near the northernmost boat ramp at Waxahachie Creek Park. The system features one broad flat main trail traversing the area with numerous loops into the surrounding upland wooded thickets, meadows, croplands, and bottomland hardwood forest along Waxahachie Creek. These trails are designated with color coded signs and international symbols. One unique feature is a white arrow prominently displayed that marks the return trail for new users who might become disoriented. Other features include a secure trailer length parking lot inside the park, trailhead with bulletin board and maps, entrance gates, and hitching posts. Additional improvements are planned.
TRAIL USERS BE ADVISED THAT THE TRAIL IS LOCATED WITHIN A HUNTING AREA. HUNTERS ARE ALLOWED TO UTILIZE THE AREA FOR HUNTING GAME FROM 01 September to 31 March AS PUBLISHED IN THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE OUTDOOR ANNUAL.
Trails extend over flat grasslands, wooded hillsides and ravines, and along the scenic banks of Waxahachie Creek.
Address: One mile So of Ennis on TXHwy 34
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