Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The Cyclist’s Best Kept Secret in East Texas
There is a great place to ride here in East Texas that not too many people know about.
As time goes by and progress keeps rollin’, it seems harder and harder for road cyclists to find a place to ride. Every week there’s news about a bicyclist and a motor vehicle accident, with the bicyclist receiving the brunt of the damage. Paved pedestrian trails are not really an answer as they are usually busy with walkers, runners, inline skaters and baby strollers.
There is a great place to ride here in East Texas, that evidently not too many people know about -- The Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
The Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located in Karnack, and the site was formerly used as the Longhorn Ammunition Plant, from 1941 to 1997. The site produced almost 400,000,000 pounds of TNT during World War II. When the United States signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987 the plant was then kept busy destroying Pershing Missiles.
In 1997 the plant was closed for good and in October of 2000 the US Fish and Wildlife Service designated the site as the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge. There are many paved roads throughout the 8,500 acre site and a cyclist can ride for hours, meeting only the occasional deer.
There are other wildlife to see in the refuge, such as raccoons, rabbits and squirrels. While riding, there are numerous opportunities to view the remnants and ruins of the old ammunition plant. The pine trees, cypress trees and Spanish moss also add to the scenic environment.
I have ridden there many times and in that time I have met only two cars and a few cyclists. For the hiker, there are also numerous dirt trails to explore, but keep in mind that these are off limits to mountain bikes. If you are looking for a safe, scenic place to ride your road bike I strongly recommend the Caddo Lake Wildlife Refuge.
The entrance is located in Karnack on Hwy FM 134. Turn at the post office and you are in the refuge.
Pegasus News Content partner - Jeff's BBQ Joint & Bike Shop