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Although unpaved, the trail has a gentle grade for hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. From South Plains to the Clarity Tunnel about 13 miles , the trail is quite rocky, but the tunnel is spectacular and home to thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats. Other animals you may see on the route include badgers, deer, hawks, turkeys, snakes, lizards, and rabbits. Parking lots and trail access locations are from west to east: Note that there is a nominal daily entrance fee for the park.
Camping is allowed anywhere along the Trailway for a small additional fee. Backpacked the entire trail, This is an awesome trail for hiking with an easy grade. Even the sections that are minimally maintained were easy walking. The trail winds through canyon breaks and up the Caprock Escarpment.
Along the way the trail passed through range land, as wild today as it was when the bison roamed here, with long, deep gashes of red sandstone contrasting with the dark green of juniper trees.
It ambled past fields of white fluffy cotton ready for stripping, bright green fields of newly emerged winter wheat, and red fields of tilled dirt resting until next spring's planting. There was always something new to see and discover. There is no reliable water along the route but there are plenty of places to cache water along the way with the exception of the stretch from Monk's Crossing to South Plains.
This is a I applied lessons I learned on the Appalachian Trail and took advantage of the amenities available in Turkey and Quitaque contact the Caprock Hardware store for shuttle services. The next day I ate lunch and resupplied at the Allsup's in Quitaque This saved me from having to carry all my food for five days.
If you are looking for an easy 3 - 5 day backpacking trip through beautiful country this trail wont disappoint. Finally got back to the trail after an earlier "shakedown" hike on the trailway with my son this summer. This time me, my wife and 12 pound dog thru-hiked the entire We started in South Plains and finished in Estelline. We camped at Clarity Tunnel, next to the trail in Quitaque, in Turkey the local Church of Christ preacher had rooms for rent in downtown, and the last night halfway between Turkey and Estelline.
John Ferris station was out of water, but Clarity Tunnel water station had water. Water is the biggest challenge along this trail. Being October there weren't many creeks that had ANY water in them this time of year. We got lucky and found a small pound of water that we filtered from between John Ferris Station and Clarity Tunnel.
We cached water between Turkey and Estelline. There are several farmers metal watering tanks between and feet from the trail, but you had better have a filter. We didn't use them and it's probably best not to unless you have to.
You see houses in this section as well within a few hundred yards of the trail, but again Hikers really need to cache water along the way between Turkey and Estelline. It's hard to tell which section was the prettiest.
Each had it's high points. Cell phone reception is decent to good on most of the trail. Do not count on the watering stations having water unless you call and check with the Rangers ahead of time.
We carried at least 3 liters of water each and from Turkey to Estelline we carried about liters each for periods of time after we got to each of our water caches. The 46 trestles were awesome to stop and take breaks on because the breeze was better, there was no dirt and the insects didn't seem to be there. Carry lots of mosquito spray. They were horrible on some of these sections. This is not a trail for beginners to thru-hike.
The rail road ballast will wear you out in after a days hike. It's like stepping on rocks half the size of your fist in certain sections. Overall it was an awesome experience. I plan on thru-hiking it again next spring or early summer. Happy trails and see you down the road. We started at the western terminus, South Plains, and did about 18 miles in two days.
We saw deer, snakes, hawks, lizards, frogs, and other wildlife along the way. It was my sons first overnight backpacking trip and he had a blast. We camped on the east side of Clarity Tunnell at the water station. The bats at the Tunnell were pretty cool to see. Hopefully I will be back in September to do the entire 64 mile trail with my wife. This trail is nice and flat. There are more views of the canyon than you'd expect. Camping at Caprock Canyon State Park and we were looking for something beginner friendly as most of the trails at the State Park are more technical.
We drove over to Monks Crossing and rode out mountain bikes down to Clarity Tunnel. Trail was well maintained with nice crushed granite or gypsum or something similar. The ride down to see the bats at the tunnel was definitely beginner friend,y and well worth the trip. We had such a good time, we looked at continuing from Monks Crossing up to Quitaque Depot. Trail was not maintained and it was like riding thru someone's pasture. Take heed to precious reviews about thorns and trail conditions, we found them all to be true.
My son and daughter-in-law accompanied my husband and me both in our 60s in April for what we thought was going to be a really fun experience. We planned to ride from South Plains to Turkey the first day 32 miles , spend the night at the Turkey Hotel, and on from Turkey to Estelline the next day for the last 32 miles of the trail. As they say - "best laid plans" and all that! The others said they could handle it, but either my bike didn't fit my "contours" or I have been totally spoiled by riding my recumbent bike!
I turned back and pushed my bike back to the truck, which was not exactly easy over that terrain and against the mph wind! I drove the truck to Monk's Crossing and met them there. Unfortunately, I missed going thru the tunnel, but they got video of it, so I feel like I was there. The trail from Monk's Crossing to the Clarity Tunnel is great, with what looked like a caliche base with a very fine gravel surface. Even a road bike could handle that without a problem.
However, that is the only section of the trail that is maintained like that - the rest is the red cinder bed with some areas with larger rocks, and that first 2 miles is a killer!
My husband joined me in the truck at Monk's Crossing, but the two "youngsters" in our group rode on 5 more miles to the Quitaque Depot. When they arrived there, we were waiting for them, wondering if they had run into many goathead stickers, as we could see quite a few of them at the trailhead.
When they pulled in, they had 4 or 5 in each tire, but since we had put heavy duty slime tubes in, they sealed off when we pulled them out. Our son decided to take a "test run" on the next section, which would have been another 9 miles on into Turkey.
Even those slime tubes couldn't hold up to that many. Thus ended our trail ride, and it was a good thing I had turned around at the beginning and we had the truck available. Otherwise, we would have been calling Albert at the Turkey Hotel to come and get us!!
If the entire trail could be more like the 4. The rangers at the State Park told us that the trail from Turkey to Estelline was not maintained at all, and they would recommend that NO ONE attempt it, but we felt sure we could at least make it to Turkey.
Even with our heavy duty slime tubes, when that many goatheads are embedded in a tire, they don't stand a chance! Hopefully, other trails have not been affected as badly as this one has, as we would love to experience some of them. But we will definitely be checking them out closely before we commit to another disappointing ride. The drainage ditches are steep, so angle a long trailer to avoid catching when turning in the parking area.
The house to the north has noisy, yet friendly dogs that kept their distance and did not bother the horses. If you ride with a dog, you might need to keep it up until time to hit the trail. The initial section of the trail is rocky, so unshod or tender footed horses may need a bit of guidance to find a path along the trail. The first couple of miles are along cotton fields and near some buildings, with gates and a single file walkway to cross two caliche roads.
The trail bed is raised and steep in some areas with wooden bridges that have high railings. Our group of five riders enjoyed the calling of the migrating cranes as we walked along the trailway. Signs of wild hogs were present all along the trail, and the herd of 12 plus scampered up the hills as we progressed towards John Farris.
We did not find any water on the trail and had come prepared with water for both horses and riders. The vistas were well worth the trip - with cedar clumps and a variety of grasses on the dry hills. One bridge crosses a very high gorge - neat view in all directions! Animal trails criss cross the hills, and the footing improves along the trail after about 1. All of the bridges were easily crossed single file, some have broken boards, but the bad areas are small and are easily avoided.
We did not find the John Farris marker or any out buildings, but may not have gone far enough before breaking for lunch and then returning back to the trail head. Our group plans to try more of the trails - and we would go back to this one!
Excellent day ride starting at Monk's Crossing through the Clarity Tunnel for lunch and then back. The parking at Monk's Crossing was in great shape, easy for unloading and tacking up.
The initial section of the trail is rocky, so unshod or tender footed horses may need a bit of guidance to find a path along the trail. The first couple of miles are along cotton fields and near some buildings, with gates and a single file walkway to cross two caliche roads. The trail bed is raised and steep in some areas with wooden bridges that have high railings. Our group of five riders enjoyed the calling of the migrating cranes as we walked along the trailway. Signs of wild hogs were present all along the trail, and the herd of 12 plus scampered up the hills as we progressed towards John Farris.
We did not find any water on the trail and had come prepared with water for both horses and riders. The vistas were well worth the trip - with cedar clumps and a variety of grasses on the dry hills.
One bridge crosses a very high gorge - neat view in all directions! Animal trails criss cross the hills, and the footing improves along the trail after about 1.
All of the bridges were easily crossed single file, some have broken boards, but the bad areas are small and are easily avoided. We did not find the John Farris marker or any out buildings, but may not have gone far enough before breaking for lunch and then returning back to the trail head.
Our group plans to try more of the trails - and we would go back to this one! Excellent day ride starting at Monk's Crossing through the Clarity Tunnel for lunch and then back.
The parking at Monk's Crossing was in great shape, easy for unloading and tacking up. The rest room at the trail head was clean.
The trail itself was easy on barefoot horses. The bridges had nice high rails and even the inexperienced horses crossed them with ease. The scenery varied from high walled rail beds to sweeping vistas. The tunnel curves with filtered light half-way through. We enjoyed watching what we think was a great horned owl hunting on the tunnel entrance.
Water was not in any of the tanks along the trail. We had come prepared with our own for the horses, along with a portable bucket. There are benches and another restroom after the tunnel that made a nice spot to rest and have lunch. The trail footing changed after the tunnel to what appears to be lava rocks - a bit rough on the barefoot horses, but doable.
All in all, would highly recommend the trail for a day ride - we are pretty pokey on pace and enjoyed the views, company, and easy level going. Having bicycled many rails to trails over the years I would rate this one as not good for bicycling. It is fine for hiking and horse back riding but for bicycling I would pass. I drove up from central Texas to ride the trail and found it overgrown with prickly plants causing one to have flat tires within the first mile.
In my opinion it should not be labeled a trail for biking. I was very disappointed in this trail, especially after reading so many positive reviews of it. I ended up riding back roads in the area instead. If you do decide to ride this trail, have your bike tires replaced with puncture proof tires and take along a tire repair kit.
You will need it. My daughter and I just attempted the Caprock Canyons Trailway. The 5-mile segment from Monk's Crossing to the Clarity Tunnel has been resurfaced and is very nice. South of the tunnel looks decent, at least as far as we explored.
Unfortunately, we attempted to start from Quitake and were completely flatted by Goathead thorns within a few hundred feet. This section of the trail has not been maintained and was full of thorns. Maybe there are steel-belted mountain bike tires that can survive Goatheads! Lacking those, we ended up backpacking from Monk's Crossing instead of riding the mountain bikes.
The area is beautiful and it was a wonderful hike; we camped by the tunnel and watched the bats fly off in the evening. Very scenic and quiet. Also be aware that there is no longer water on the trail. The pumps at Clarity Tunnel and John Farris Station are no longer maintained, so you must carry what you need. All in all a beautiful place, but I think state budget cuts have taken a heavy toll.
The segment from South Plains to Monks Crossing is very scenic as it drops off the caprock and into the rolling plains, canyon breaks, and creek crossings. We have camped overnight at the Clarity Tunnel after an hour of 3 tornadoes, wind, rain, hail and intense close-in lightning; a typical West Texas weather sampler.
The segment from Monks Crossing to Quitaque is slightly uphill and feels deceptively long. The segments from Quitaque to Estelline are varied, but mostly cut through red dirt farmland.
We encountered very difficult red mud in places after the storm up at Clarity. The segment from Tampico Siding to Parnell station is fairly pretty, but Parks and Wildlife needs to mow it as of May 5, ; the dead sunflower stalks were too hard to pedal thru. Cactus and mesquite are growing up on the trail, so mowing is badly needed for that too.
It was very special to see a large pound bass in a creek pool under one of the crossing bridges on the Tampico-Parnell segment; also a very large mud turtle. The Parnell to Estelline segment was prettier than expected, with Grundy Canyon making a beautiful view down to the Red River.
Also several tree "tunnels" over the trail were welcome shade and wind brakes. A baby rattlesnake along this segment made it known that the trail was his, not ours: All in all, this trail is a workout on the crushed rock rail bed.
Once you git the hang of "surfing" the ruts it's not too bad. We figger we burn 4x calories over riding on a concrete path, so that's good. The state park people are great, and even sent out a rescue ranger to git us after the tornado storm, just in case we were in trouble We were fine; just hunkered down with our bike helmets protecting us from flying rocks and small hail.
A true West Texas experience!!! As noted in another review, the first few miles are pretty rough. In fact, the first 2. After those first three miles, however, it becomes pretty much a dirt road still with quite a bit of rock that appears to be used fairly frequently.
Here, it also begins to parallel the canyon, providing regular views from right along the side of the canyon. From South Plains, it is about Here you find a toilet and water supply. Although the printed literature for the trailway says not to count on finding water here, it was available when I went through. There is an additional toilet at Clarity Tunnel.
On this hike, I did not encounter any other person. My total distance was Do not expect to find any trash containers on the trail. I picked up some trash others had left, but found no place to dispose of it. The path here is very well maintained, with a crushed rock type surface. The bridges have recently been redone as well, though I'd be careful on a bike since some of the screws used are not completely flush with the surface of the boards.
Although we saw a water container at this end of Clarity Tunnel, it did not have water in it. I intend to continue hiking the Trailway to Estelline if possible, and will update my findings in later posts. When I arrived, I learned that instead of the 64 miles listed on Websites, only 32 miles were available, as the 32 miles from Estelline to Turkey is not maintained.
At the Turkey end it appears completely overgrown with grass. The surface--large chunks of cinders and slag and tufts of grass--was all but unridable, even on my tough, fat-tired touring bike.
It was like riding over RR ties. Later I was told at the Hotel Turkey a great place that other riders have complained about the trail being too rough. After I bailed, I had a great ride to Turkey on the rural roads--all paved, good shoulders, light traffic, and courteous drivers.
But the trail itself was a bummer. Worth and Denver railroad ran freight trains from Lubbock to Childress via this line for years. My favorite steam engine ran this line regularly carrying freight and cotton from the Plains Co-op Oil Mill in Lubbock.
The caprock scenery was beautiful with an awesome blue sky, the weather very pleasant, and the trail condition good. The trail is a 90 min. We rode about 30 miles of the trail, one way, in the Quitaque and Turkey area.
I remember riding thru a tunnel with a bend in the tunnel. With the full moon, the tunnel was the only place we really needed lights. It was one of the most enjoyable rides I can recall.
Fat tires are probably still the recommendation to do this ride. Anyone interested in hiking this trail should seriously evaluate the times listed on length of completion.
Based upon that information I planned a three day hike from South Plains to Quitaque. Information can provide for some logistical errors. Trail has some great scenery and wildlife along with a few interesting facts. I saw more rabbits than I could count, several mule deer, biggest bull snake I've ever seen, lizards, numerous hawks, bats.
Three animal highlights were: Flew off with it after about 5 minutes. Guess he didn't want to share ; 2 Had the crap startled out of me by a mule deer that was 20 yards away that blended into Canyon wall so well that I didn't notice him while I was enamored with how squash covering the same incline got there. After gathering my wits I got to watch him bound up the 45 degree incline and cough on his dust 3 the bats in the Clarity tunnel.
A portion of the trail between Clarity Tunnel and John Farris provided a surprise that is not mentioned in any of the material in the internet. I'll let you discover it for yourself. If you're able to appreciate it ; Although it was June, there was a constant breeze. The breeze could mislead some to not realize the amount of water that is actually being evaporated via perspiration. Water is very important. Ended up terminating the trip early due to injury at Monk's Crossing. The folks in the area are incredibly friendly and helpul.
Two older couples out for a drive after dinner took me back into town and then onto the home of the folks that run the Caprock Home Center. The owner drove me back into town to open up the gated area to get my truck. You strongly recommend for shuttle service. Feel free to contact for any suggestions on hiking the trail or information. My husband and I biked 30 miles on this trailway. I hope more people will go there and understand what I mean. The first day, we traveled the 32 miles from South Plains to Turkey.
The next morning we biked on to Estelline while the women slept in and then enjoyed the antique stores. This is a great trail -- it's rougher than most. The Turkey to Estelline portion is not well traveled, but well worth the effort.
We've seen badgers, deer, bats, turkeys. Watch out for the rattle snakes. I've run over more than one. My wife and I rode this trail in mid-October and thoroughly enjoyed it -- even in a light mist. The scenery is great and it was a relatively easy ride for us. We are in our early 60's and have just started biking.
Carry a spare tube or a patch kits; there are some thorns along the trail. This is an excellent trail. I rode from Quitaque to mile marker just pass the tunnel and the next day from S.
Plains to the Tunnel. Make sure you put the Slime in your tubes before you leave. An excellent place to stay is Hotel Turkey. The rooms are great and the price is excellent. I will be back to do the entire trailway.
We rode our bikes south from the Monk's Crossing access station to the Quitaque Tunnel 9 miles round trip one morning and north from Monk's Crossing to the Los Lingos Creek bridge 3.
We found the trailw in both directions to be well maintained and the crushed rock riding surface more than adequate for easy travel. We were concerned about the endurance level of our 6-year-old son, but he did superbly on a inch, 6-speed mountain bike. It was pretty hot, however, so I carried a small rope in my backpack and I did have to pull him the last few miles of each ride.
But even that was fun, for he fancied that his bike was a caboose and mine was a locomotive. After all, we were riding on a former railroad line. I would recommend this rail-trail to any outdoor enthusiast, especially those with an interest in railroad history. I appreciated the interpretive panels that included historic photos.
I only wished there were more. Concerning wildlife, we didn't see any sheep, but we did see quite a few hawks and road runners, as well as a variety of lizards. We also saw an occasional stray cow. It was a great family outing. We hope to return again in the future when we will perhaps be able to do more of the trail. This set-up was adequate, but I really could have used a recumbent or MTB with full suspension.
The trail surface is mostly this dark red gravel, and it is quite large in places 3 to 5 inch rocks! This large gravel looks like the original railroad bed stuff, and is found especially around approaches and departures from the bridges. A few places had washboards, but mostly the surface wasn't too bad if you stay in one of the two main tracks.
The grading of this rail trail is near-perfect. From Quitaque to South Plains you gain about feet in altitude, but the climb is so gradual, you hardly feel it. Capitol Records , for instance, used a reverse-phasing that prevented anything recorded by The Beatles to be played, unless it was monaural.
The reverse phasing simply blanked out the audio tracks to a distorted muffle. The project was huge, involving musicians, singers, and recording engineers who taped every minute on the hour clock in at least two versions, to be played by the station at the appropriate minute.
The sequential clock was synchronized to the individual tape segments. The pronunciation of "KVIL" as "Kayville" is probably the best-known example of a station's call letters actually being sung or spoken as a word. The KVIL logo consisted of a picture of a feminine hand with a bracelet. That logo was plastered all over Dallas on billboards, matchbooks, and most any imaginable media.
Worth area to broadcast Top 40 on FM and in stereo. The initial attempt in April was bold, offering good personalities and some interesting programming including the first Dallas broadcast of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, played in its entirety on the evening of its release. The to attempt to take on the then very popular KLIF failed because FM was still a relatively new format and only a small percentage of people owned FM radios.
FM was not even a "standard" feature in original equipment car radios until the lates even though it had been an option since the earlys. The failing station suffered in several ways, including employees running off with the records possibly in place of the pay they were likely not receiving. Hanna and John Ryman.
In early , KVIL starting broadcasting under the new management and spent several weeks broadcasting only music, no commercials except brief announcements by Ron Chapman, telling listeners what was in store. And this time it happened as planned. Ron's expertise in broadcasting and his popularity, along with the increasing popularity of FM stereo, brought the station to prominence. This dynamic lineup along with programming insights from consultant George Johns and upper management direction from Jim Hilliard and Chapman's panache for marketing and promotion started KVIL's steady climb in the ratings.
For many years during the s and s, it was the top station in the market. It even put 90 minutes of its morning show on KXTX-TV for a week in May every year, to show extravagant stunts such as a camel race in the African desert.
During the s, it spent several years as the flagship station for the Dallas Cowboys. With the format repositioning in May , the all-Christmas format has moved to classic hits sister station KLUV , which started on November 15, In early January , the show was dropped with no public announcement of the change until January 21, when Blake Powers took over as the evening DJ for the station.
They also dropped the "90s, 2K and Today" slogan, along with the "Throwback Thursday" program that allows listeners to vote for their favorite "throwbacks", which included a few songs from the late s. Louis shared identical logos. On January 18, , at 7 a.
June Bryan Collier Named Director of ,Inmate TX Prison Agency. Second-in-command Bryan Collier will be the next director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, taking the reins at an agency that oversees more than prisons and nearly 40, employees, the Texas Tribune reports. Rios. Soledad "Charlene" Rios, 47, of Eagle Lake, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7. She was born April 8, in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico to . Caldwell, Naomi - The Jacksboro Gazette Thursday, November 9, The little nine-year-old daughter [Naomi Caldwell] of Mr.