Dallas, TX: Cleburne State Park Loop

Surprise sights--such as a masonry spillway and an elusive armadillo--await on this 5.5-mile loop that encircles Cleburne State Park's Cedar Lake.

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Winding between the shores of Cedar Lake and the edge of Cleburne State Park, this trail starts at the Coyote Run Nature Trailhead and heads northeast through small fir trees and scrub brush toward the highest corner of the park.

One mile from the trailhead, the route turns south and begins a series of climbs along hills and ravines between the park boundary and the lake. Moving into a forest of oak and mesquite, there are several sharp descents that make the dirt trail past the southern lakeshore more challenging.

In its southern reaches, there are many spurs off the main trail that lead to the park road and signage can be confusing as the trail turns north to join the Spillway Hiking Trail. Along the Spillway Trail the terrain turns to typical Texas Hill Country—hard rock creek beds and shadeless ridges—and offers the first views of Cedar Lake and its beautiful, 30’s-era masonry spillway. The trail joins the Coyote Run Nature Trail east of the lake and just one mile south of the trailhead.

-Mapped by John Hancock


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.8



Location: 32.2717209, -97.5573273

The trail begins at the Coyote Run Nature Trailhead near the Poplar Point Camping Area. There are restrooms and plenty of parking.


Location: 32.2731781, -97.556778

Turn left @ Y-junction to take the unmarked Whispering Meadow Trail.


Location: 32.2714958, -97.5604553

Turn tight to follow the trail and the park boundary north.


Location: 32.2754402, -97.5634232

Take the sharp left at the park’s northern boundary.


Location: 32.2745132, -97.5650406

The trail joins the main park road for 30 yards. Re-enter the woods along the road’s right-hand side.


Location: 32.2726212, -97.567688

Turn left to head south along the park’s western boundary.


Location: 32.2711678, -97.5665207

A fenced cement slab marks a Y-junction. Stay to the right.


Location: 32.2686958, -97.5649033

Cross a wooden footbridge.


Location: 32.2678108, -97.5642471

Turn left @ Y-junction.


Location: 32.2679176, -97.5637512

Along the park’s western edge several spur trails lead left to the main road. Stay right to continue along this route to the park’s southern boundary.


Location: 32.2491608, -97.5485001

Turn left @ Y-junction. Watch your footing on the dirt trail’s steep descents.


Location: 32.2510948, -97.5497055

Turn right @ Y-junction.


Location: 32.2553635, -97.5519485

Go straight @ 4-way junction where the trail crosses Park Road 21. Join the Spillway Hiking Trail.


Location: 32.2590485, -97.5526047

Turn right @ 4-way junction. Cross Spillway Creek and follow the trail uphill.


Location: 32.2592926, -97.5518341

Turn left @ Y-junction to follow this route along the spillway.


Location: 32.2613716, -97.5523529

Veer left to follow the ridge trail.


Location: 32.2648354, -97.5514755

Turn right @ Y-junction to head north along the well-marked Coyote Run Trail. The trailhead is 1 mile away.


Location: 32.2712517, -97.5544128

Stay left @ Y-junction.

Coyote Run Nature Trailhead

Location: 32.2717247, -97.5573349

This route shares a trailhead with the 2-mile Coyote Run Nature Trail.


Location: 32.2742157, -97.5625458

In the spring wildflowers color open areas throughout the park.


Location: 32.2686958, -97.5649185

Use this footbridge to cross a creek bed dividing the trail.


Location: 32.2683258, -97.5646667

This wandering armadillo is at home in the park. Other local wildlife includs white-tailed deer, skunk bobcat, coyote and others.

Spillway Creek

Location: 32.2590561, -97.552597

Looking south along the Spillway Creek.

Confusing Sign

Location: 32.2592888, -97.5518417

Although the signs can be confusing, both trails lead to the spillway.

Ridge View

Location: 32.2613716, -97.5523605

A view of the masonry spillway and the lake from the ridge.

Cedar Lake

Location: 32.2629395, -97.5525208

View of Cedar Lake.

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