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Area: Panhandle

Map of Caprock Canyons Trailway

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Caprock Canyons Trailway

Caprock Canyon Trailway Texas map area

Caprock Canyons Trailway

LENGTH:

64 miles

SURFACE:

unpaved

COMMUNITIES:

South Plains, Quitaque, Turkey, Estelline

HIGHLIGHTS:

rail trail, Caprock Escarpment, Clarity Tunnel, Quitaque Canyon

The Caprocks Canyons Trailway is a 64-mile unpaved pathway located in the Texas Panhandle area of North Texas. The trail was constructed along the abandoned railroad bed of the Fort Worth and South Plans Railway line. It extends across wide open countryside from the Caprock Escarpment to the Red River Valley. The trail is part of Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, but the actual trail is located south of the park.

The Caprock Escarpment is a long geologic formation that marks the transition between the High Plains and the Rolling Plains. It consists of dramatic thousand foot high red cliffs and deep rugged canyons. This region one of the most scenic areas of Texas. The trail gives you a sense of history and allows you to experience the landscape that the Native Americans and early settlers saw in their day.

The trail is divided into 6 sections and has 8 trailheads along the route. It also crosses multiple local roadways, has 46 bridges, goes through the Clarity Tunnel and through Quitaque Canyon. There is a grade of 7% where the trail goes over the Caprock Escarpment. The route of the trail goes through the towns of South Plains, Quitaque, Turkey and Estelline.

The Caprocks Canyon Trailway goes wide open farmland and rugged canyons, well away from civilization. Be sure you are well prepared for this trek, as there are few facilities along the trail. Bring plenty of water, watch the weather and be careful of snakes and stay away from wildlife. Bats live in the tunnel, and you are advised not to handle the bats, dead or alive. Temperatures in this area can get into the 100s in summer and flash floods could occur during rain events. This is a trail for mountain bikes as it is unpaved for the entire route, with some more improved stretches.

The west end of the Caprock Canyons Trailway is located on Highway 207 in the town of South Plains, about 23 miles east of Plainview, Texas. There is a parking area just east of Highway 207 for the trail. The first 3.5-miles of trail is grassy relatively flat. East of this stretch, you start seeing the beginning of the Quitaque Creek Canyon. The pathway of the trail goes alongside the dry riverbed of Quitaque Creek. After leaving the canyon, the trail takes a straight shot to the northeast towards the trailhead on County Road 689, near the intersection with County Road 293.

Continuing to the northeast, there is a long bridge over Los Lingos Creek. There is another trailhead located in the community of Quitaque, west of town on Main Street. Leaving Quitaque, the trail then veers a bit more to the east, then goes straight east to the town of Turkey. there is a trailhead in Turkey on 2nd Street on the north side of town. North of Turkey, the trail goes through more farmland and some natural scrub land. There is another trailhead on County Road 657 and another on County Road 20.

The east end of the Caprock Canyons Trailway is located on Highway 287, about 3/4 miles north of the community of Estelline.


Resources

Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Caprock Canyons Trailway in the Texas Panhandle.

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