Big Cedar Wilderness Trails

Downhill on Man Bites Dog trail.

Big Cedar Wilderness DORBA Trail

A few hikers on the Northshore Trails in Grapevine Lake, TX saw me try to climb a technical beast four times without success. Poor them. They suggested I check out the Big Cedar Wilderness trails a few miles away if technical climbs and mountain bike specific features is what I was looking for. So on a Friday, a few hours before my flight back to San Diego, I gave it a go. Glad I did.

Big Cedar trail use and park access is managed by Mountain Creek Church. Before riding, visitors must fill out a waiver on their website. For those reading this and thinking that is too much work or too much of an inconvenience, agreed. Though, the alternative is to lose access because too many abuse the privilege for private trail use. Also, filling out the form has users’ best interest in mind ensuring emergency data is on file should the worst happen. Nicely done Mountain Creek Church!

How’d they do that?

“How’d.” Strange word. Perhaps Texas is rubbing off on me. While I investigate the bizarre word choice, I was curious how the land managers packed so much into a small space. I had similar questions at Frisco’s Northwest Community Park trails.

In the Dallas metro area, mountain bike parks share one common theme; dense trail networks packed in tiny areas. This is wholly different than riding in Washington, California or Utah. Though the terrain is different between the three, trails and loops cover huge amounts of land. The irony here, California excluded, is that Texas is the second largest state by area. Does anyone else find this strange?


There is a lot to like about Big Cedar. It has something for every type of mountain biker. For the XC geeks; yes. The gravity folks; got you covered. Singlespeeders; yup. The enduro gang, also called “everyone who rides a mountain bike”, absolutely. The climbs are short and punchy. Terrain varies between smooth, dry, and arid sections to exposed root and loose rock technical sections wedged between cedar groves. There are even man-made trail features capable of measuring the resolve of the most skilled among us. Big Cedar truly has it all.

The upcoming flight was a distraction during the 7 miles I tinkered on the trail. I didn’t get a chance to explore more loops. Bummer. Perhaps there will be another chance to get back to the Dallas area for work. If so, I will certainly explore Big Cedar again. Visit the DORBA site for current trail conditions and more information.