Waterloo Park in Denison features six miles of flowing singletrack with some challenging sections. The main Waterloo trail is considered beginner-friendly, but can still be daunting for those new to the sport and offers enough challenges for seasoned riders to make the trail worth visiting over and over.
From trail steward Jim Hall:
Waterloo Park in Denison has approximately 6 miles of fun, flowy, and sometimes challenging mountain bike and hiking trails. Bikers are encouraged to ride counterclockwise and hikers go clockwise.
The Trailhead starts at the boat ramp parking lot.
There is a Main Loop which circles the scenic lake, and there are attached loops which add in extra features and miles: Bluffs Run, Creek Trail, Cave Trail, and the Woodlands Loop. More trails and features are also coming soon!
Waterloo Trail is considered beginner to intermediate. Bypasses take you to the easier route, so note the signage.
Starting at the boat ramp parking lot look north for the Trailhead, it is marked by a small, white plastic arrow. A quick up and down roller and you’ll enter the woods. You’ll be riding a loop directly behind the small Trout pond. Follow this trail until you pop out on the big main trail adjacent to the lake which will be in the open but heading back into the woods shortly. Head into the woods and cross the bridge.
Just after the bridge there is a blue pipe crossing the trail you can turn right (optional), then another right to ride the CREEK TRAIL. (This option is skipped by many.) It is a challenging, 2-mile out-and-back trail which has many features such as sand pits, creek crossings, strenuous short climbs, and fairly technical trail. Ride through the cemetery for extra coolness. Once at the road, double back to MAIN TRAIL.
Stay on this main trail until you encounter your first challenging uphill rocky climb or simply take the bypass to the right. You should see a bypass sign. (Only real mountain bikers can make that climb.)
Back on the MAIN TRAIL you’ll soon encounter the BLUFFS LOOP to the right. This is a fast, fun flow trail, and at one point you’ll cross straight over an old gravel path coming from a neighborhood to the right. Stay straight to finish the BLUFFS LOOP. Turn right when the trail ends, then turn right again to continue on the MAIN TRAIL until you pop out of the woods at the levy. Hit the Wall Ride and cross a couple of bridges on your way. Turn right and pedal up the levy.
At the top of the levy, follow the trail going right into the Woods. Follow this loop until it pops you back out into the field with two fun downhill runs! Control your speed on the second one, there is a fun, tricky berm at the bottom! (You might want session the berm as it gets better with experience.) Stay left to continue on the MAIN TRAIL to the cave—stop for a photo op, the cave is pretty cool! As you continue, you need to note that the left trail is a rocky, challenging, Expert Level downhill run. Stay right for an easier bypass. Now, continue on MAIN TRAIL and you’ll pop up onto an old railroad bed. Look ahead to the left and pass the big rock. You’ll cross Waterloo Road to access the WOODLANDS LOOP.
The WOODLANDS LOOP is another fast, fun, non-technical flow trail. (Many Strava races are performed here.) At the end you’ll cross back over Waterloo Road again to re-enter the trail. (To the right, past the big rock again.) Continue onward and follow the signs until you pop out onto the asphalt walking track. Go left and ride over the big Red Iron Bridge. Turn left at the end to pick back up the singletrack trail.
This Ledge Run is short but fun. You’ll leave the woods at the end, turn left, and follow the trail at the bottom of the levy. The trail re-enters the woods for a short switchback climb OR real men and ladies take the challenge and climb straight up the concrete draw! Your legs will hate you.
At the top, follow the levy trail back to the parking lot Trailhead! I hope you’ve enjoyed your ride!
Repeat as needed.
In addition, if you do choose to take the Creek Trail extension, you can also find another loop if you head across Lillis Ln and take Crawford St under US 75. On the right-hand side of the road, just where the curb disappears, you’ll find the entrance to Ansley Loop. Make a right at the split and ride this loop counterclockwise. The portion paralleling US 75 is tight singletrack, while the return run southward is a fast downhill course back to Crawford St. Adding the Creek Trail and Ansley Loop add about 3.5 miles to your Waterloo experience.
UPDATE: As of November 14, 2018, the lot where the Ansley loop is located began to experience some development and construction. The future of the Ansley loop is unknown, but it is certain it will never be as long or as awesome as it once was.
Waterloo Trail is maintained by the North Texas Area Mountain Bike Group—NTX MTB.