Routes and Trails

Cycling Routes & MTN Bike Trails

This section will lay out cycling routes and mountain bike trails in the Tyler area. When possible, you can click the title and it will link you to the appropriate Strava or MapMyRide segment. If you have a smartphone you can download either app for free and even join clubs like the Tyler Bicycle Club to compare your rides with friends in the area. To find a starting point or trail head, click the link and you can view a map via a bird’s eye view to find landmarks and parking areas. This will be much more reliable than what a person over the phone can attempt to describe to you.

Mountain Bike Trails

Faulkner Park – This trail features 6 miles of twisty single track. This is one of the tighter trails in Tyler with just enough room to get your handlebars through at some points. The trail is generally flat with only a couple of small climbs to deal with. Just over halfway into the trail there is a series of manageable switchbacks (when you see the water treatment plant you’ll be at the base of the climb that leads to the switchbacks). Trail conditions are generally dry even after a light rain shower. This trail is normally great for beginner mountain bike riders as it’s not overly technical. For advanced riders this trail will test handling more-so than fitness. Summer conditions favor smaller tread tires similar to the Specialized Fast Track and the Specialized Renegade. Winter conditions favor tires like the Specialized Ground Control.  Bikes recommended: Mountain Bikes (Full Suspension, Hardtail, Singlespeed) and Cyclocross Bikes for advanced riders. Tip from the crew: Singlespeed riders will fare well with a 32×17-18 gearing due to the flat terrain and fast corners.

Lindsey Park – The newest trail to the Tyler area. Quickly becoming the favorite for most riders. This trail features 10 miles of single track. Probably the best “flowing” trail in East Texas. You can ride most of the trail without ever needing to touch the brakes. The trail is much wider than Faulkner allowing for smoother passing opportunities with other riders. The trail was built wide enough to fit a 4 wheeler through although motorized vehicles are not permitted. This trail will test descending skills, climbing skills, high speed cornering, and sand riding skills. Trail conditions are generally dry although the B Loop gets soaked after a rain storm. There is a cut through to skip the wet section of the B Loop if it is too wet to ride. The cut through is just before the first field crossing that goes under the power lines. When taking the cut through make sure to go left. Conditions also tend to be sandy in several places including some tight corners. Take caution on the “35mph” downhill as there is sometimes sand at the bottom just at the fastest point of the decent. Summer tires: Specialized Fast Track, Specialized Renegade/ Winter Tires: Specialized Ground Control or Specialized Purgatory. Bikes recommended: Mountain Bikes – Full Suspension, Hardtail, Singlespeed. Cyclocross Bikes for advanced riders only due to the large amounts of sand. Singlespeed gearing recommendation: 32×19-20

*Editor’s Note on Lindsey Park: Strava only shows 7.7 miles in the link, but it’s 10 miles. Not sure why it shows that.*

**Update 11-3-15: Lindsey is now around 11-11.5 miles long and has several wooden berms and bridges. One berm is roughly 8 feet tall at the bottom of a downhill and is an absolute blast to hit at speed. The old ski jump has been removed because of the landing being deteriorated so much. With the new trail add ons the trail now goes up the hill the old ski jump used to land on.

Tyler State Park – The classic. Highly regarded as one of the best and toughest trails in Texas. This trail is 10 miles of single track that throws everything at you. There is sand, rocks, roots, technical climbs, crazy descents, and tricky switchbacks. Bring your A game when you ride here. The A and B loops are manageable for most riders. The C and D loops are still manageable for new riders but may require some walking in a few locations. Not much to say about this one other than give it a shot. Tires recommended Winter and Summer: Specialized Fast Track or Specialized Ground Control, one thing to focus on with tires here is to be mindful of your tire’s sidewalls while riding. The rocks can cut a sidewall fairly easily here.  Bikes Recommended: Mountain Bikes – Full Suspension highly recommended, Hardtail, Singlespeed. Singlespeed riders beware if running a fully rigid front fork, this trail will beat your hands and wrists up. Cyclocross bikes are not recommended here, your wheels will be damaged easily here. Singlespeed gearing recommendation: 32×20-21

UT Tyler – I’m going to call this one Fast & Furious. The UT Tyler trail can be a little confusing at times, but once you ride it a couple of times you’ll have it down. This trail is a quick trail with very short and steep climbs. This trail will have even the most advanced riders in an anaerobic state very quickly. Because of the steep climbs the trail can be a little daunting to newer riders. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ride the trail though. After riding this trail successfully you’ll be right on track to conquer TSP. Trail conditions typically favor a tire like the Specialized Ground Control or the Specialized Fast Track. Bikes recommended: Mountain Bikes – Full Suspension, Hardtail, Singlespeed. Cyclocross bikes use caution – Several roots and hard hits in high speed areas. Singlespeed recommendation: 32×19-20

First Baptist Church MTN Bike Trail – Coming soon. Currently in the works with about 3 miles nearly ready to ride. Completion goal is Spring 2015 with an estimated 5-6 miles of trail. Terrain will have a good amount of climbing.

*Update 11-3-15: This trail has seen a delay due to time restrictions with the volunteers working on it. There is plans for another push to get the trail going, but no time estimates are established at the moment.

 

 

Cycling Routes 

Rose Rudman Park – This is a paved pathway that casual riders and runners use in the heart of the city. This pathway is perfect for cruiser or townie bikes as well as kids as there are no cars to deal with and no off road sections to worry about. Always stay to the right and only pass runners on the left. Make sure to let your presence be knows when approaching runners so as to avoid collisions. High speed riding is not recommended here due to the amount of pedestrian traffic. This is a beautiful pathway with several areas to stop and have a picnic. Want to enjoy the sunshine at 6mph on a breezy Sunday afternoon, this is the place to be. A good place to park is the hotel on Grande just off of Broadway. You can even follow the pathway down Grande if you want to get some extra distance and speed, just keep in mind there are some pretty long hills.

Elite Bicycles > Old Noonday > HWY 155 > FM 344 & back – This is the Elite Bicycles Tuesday Night Ride long route. 32 miles. Getting out of town there are a few turns to learn but once you’re out of the city it turns into a very pleasant ride with not much traffic. On Old Noonday there are a few bumps and pot holes to look out for. 155 is brilliantly smooth but does have debris from time to time. There is a good amount of traffic, but the shoulder is very wide making it a comfortable place to ride. 344 has just been re surfaced with chip-seal although it doesn’t seem too rough. This is the toughest part of the ride in terms of traffic as the shoulder is pretty much non existent anymore. Coming back to Tyler from Teasleville is very smooth with low traffic. Coming back into town there are several turns to look out for once you’re inside of Hollytree. The full route is roughly 33 miles

Fresh Road Race Course in Whitehouse – Located a few miles southeast of Tyler is an 18 mile loop with a good amount of climbing and some very pretty scenery. Bascom road is chip seal with a small shoulder. Traffic is good although it depends on the time of day. Old Omen is worn in chip seal so it’s fairly smooth. East Side Rd is very smooth and has plenty of rollers to have fun on. 346 is rough chip seal. TXDOT took this section of road from being a 9/10 on a bike or in a car to about a 4/10. This is the worst part of the ride. Coming back into Whitehouse it’s very open and smooth. A loop is roughly 18 miles.

Lake Hawkins Loop Around The Lake – A great place for new and experienced riders to go for a good road riding experience. Traffic is low and speed limits are slow. The loop is very pretty and the pavement is generally smooth. If it weren’t for the drive to Lake Hawkins being so far from the shop I’d ride there at lunch every day. A loop is roughly 10 miles.

“Rollers” from Owens Elementary – This is the Sunday long route. A great ride with smooth roads and pretty scenery. There are a few sections crossing pasture type areas that the cross winds can be a challenge. Going up the rollers is a great workout, and coming back down the rollers is a ton of high speed fun. This is a great route for advanced and novice riders alike. There is not a “Rollers” Strava route… yet. Start at Owens Elementary on Saline Creek Rd in Gresham, Tx and head to Old Palestine Rd, ride to 346 and continue to Teasleville, Turn left on 344 and ride to 2137, before getting into Bullard at the bottom of a hill Turn right on 2137 and go to 855, this is the road that the “Rollers” are on, turn left on 855 and ride to hwy 69. Turn around and ride back. Full route is roughly 40 miles

Tri Tyler Half Course – Ouch. That’s all I can say. 56 miles of climbing, sun, more climbing, and pain. Steve Farris designed this course and uses it to punish athletes that enter his race. If you’re wanting a hard ride, here it is. Full route is 56 miles

Tri Tyler Olympic Course – This is a great ride for riders that still want some climbing, but don’t want to knock out a 56 mile ride. This is a very pretty course that takes you down the beautiful Yarbrough Lane south of Whitehouse. This route is 24 miles

“Wednesday Nighter” from Simpsons – This ride starts from Simpsons Fitness and Adventure Sports just outside of Whitehouse and rides just south of Whitehouse. This is a very pretty route with some fun climbing. One cool feature of this route is you can add on other routes to suit your distance goal. This route is roughly 28 miles

“BB12” – This is a 12 mile loop south of Tyler that makes you climb Killer Hill (aka The Beast). Generally covered in a Clockwise direction you’ll have a high average speed going down hwy 69. When you turn right onto 2493 next to KE Cellers you’ll get onto chip seal and continue for a few miles. Take 2493 to 177 and turn right and you’ll immediately get on smooth pavement. This road will have you climb the mini beast, let you recover, then throw you into climbing the real deal. You’ll T into hwy 69 where you can go for as many laps as you choose, or turn left and go to the gas station for some cookies. One loop is 12 miles

Beauty & The Beast Full Route – This is the full route for the 67 mile B&B tour/race. The Strava link ends at the top of Killer Hill as that is the finish line for the race group. At the top of Killer Hill you will turn right onto hwy 69 and finish the ride at KE Cellers. Total distance is 67 miles