Dallas, TX: Dead Woman - Haller's Haven Nature Trail

Spot abundant wildlife and wide open vistas from the shores of Lake Texoma on this easy, 3.2-mile lollipop loop in the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge just 90 minutes north of Dallas.
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Spot abundant wildlife and wide open vistas from the shores of Lake Texoma on this easy, 3.2-mile lollipop loop in the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge just 90 minutes north of Dallas.

Despite its proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, traffic and concrete jungles give way to lakes, ponds, and wind-rustling trees at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. This 3.2-mile lollipop loop through the heart of the refuge skirts Dead Woman Pond and climbs a small hill before detouring south to the shores of Lake Texoma. You'll finish the 1-mile loop by tracing a fence line at the edge of the refuge before backtracking 0.8 mile to the trailhead.
Dead Woman Pond offers some of the area's most reliable wildlife viewing, and you'll likely see spotted herons, turtles, deer, coyotes, or wild pigs near its marshy edges. The area is a major stop for migratory birds so consider packing binoculars and a field guide to make the most of seasonal influxes. Look for Canada geese, which peak in the fall, winter, and spring with populations approaching 7,500; the smaller Ross' geese; mallard, pintail, ringneck, and scaup in the fall; and pelicans in April and September.
Note: Though the pond name remains the same, in April 2009 the trail name was changed from Dead Women's Loop to Haller's Haven Nature Trail in an effort to shake the morbid moniker spawned from a local legend.
-Mapped by Casey Lyons

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.2

Waypoints

DWL001

Location: 33.7524325, -96.7629728

Just before the picnic area
loop, a sign for the Goode Foot Access Area and gate mark the trailhead. Follow the wide, gravel path northeast toward the pond.

DWL002

Location: 33.7555025, -96.7615579

You'll descend a small hill toward the western edge of Dead Woman Pond. This is one of the few places in the refuge you're almost guaranteed to see wildlife, so it is also a convenient turn-around point for folks who want a quick-fix of bird and animal viewing.

DWL003

Location: 33.7622199, -96.7650354

A 40-foot climb from the pond leads to this route's highpoint at mile 0.8 and the beginning of the loop. Though you could go either direction, this route turns left at the Y-junction, heading west.

DWL004

Location: 33.7634151, -96.7691016

Turn left at this T-junction for a southbound detour offering a view of Lake Texoma's Big Mineral Arm. After the 0.5-mile out-and-back, continue north from this junction to continue on this route's 1-mile loop.

DWL005

Location: 33.7598936, -96.7693412

Admire the view of Lake Texoma from the trail's dead-end detour. The 89,000-acre lake draws boaters, hunters, and both resident and migratory birds.

DWL006

Location: 33.7659424, -96.7689809

Bear right onto the mowed trail and jog northeast to follow the fence line at the refuge's border. Add mileage: Turn left to add another 0.5-mile out-and-back to the lake.

DWL007

Location: 33.7644225, -96.7636154

At this corner of the fence, bear right and look for upland birds as you head southwest to close the loop and backtrack toward Dead Woman's Pond.

Lake View

Location: 33.7598741, -96.7693967

The sandy shores of Lake Texoma.

Trailhead

Location: 33.7524348, -96.7629406

This sign and a gate mark the trailhead.

Trail

Location: 33.7537371, -96.7615378

Walking on the wide, open path is a breeze but stay alert for snakes on the trail in the summer months.

Pond

Location: 33.7554543, -96.7615324

Dead Woman Pond gets its name from a local legend about an unhappy couple. Though nobody knows for sure why the moniker is so morbid.