River Legacy Park is near the geographic center of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It is a multi-use park; part nature preserve, part playfield, part picnic place, part wedding pavilion, part jogging, walking, biking and blading park, with miles of trails, both paved and unpaved. And mountain bike trails.

When River Legacy Park opened in 1990 the park covered 376 acres. Over the years River Legacy Park has grown to its current size of 1,300 acres, on both sides of the Trinity River.

The following is a photo trip into River Legacy Park where, if you explore long enough, you will enter an Oz-like Enchanted Forest. But you need not worry about Lions, Tigers or Bears. At River Legacy Park you need only concern yourself with Bobcats, Turtles, Tarantulas, Squirrels and Snakes. And maybe a Black Panther or two. Armadillos. And a herd of Wild Boars.

And a lot of people having fun in what may be the best park in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

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River Legacy Park Playground
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Summer of 2012 River Legacy Park updated its kid's playground to an imaginative, unique, fun-looking new attraction.
Photo of the campout of the 3 Day March
The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk cancer awareness event took place over the October 27-29, 2006 weekend, headquartered at River Legacy Park. A huge event covering the entire main playfields with a blue sea of tents housing the thousands of walkers. It was an impressive sight. Here we are looking through the trees at just one small section of the sea of tents.
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Trinity River Trail Bridge in River Legacy Park

A new bridge has been built across the Trinity River to give access to miles of new trails and a wildlife area. And the Enchanted Forest of Dallas/Fort Worth.

The view of the Trinity River from the River Legacy Trail bridge Looking down on the Trinity River from the Golden Gate-like colored new bridge.
Another view of the Trinity River Bridge in River Legacy Park This may be one of the most attractive bridges in North Texas.

Eyes on Texas has captured one of the River Legacy Bobcats.
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An armadillo on the trail in River Legacy Park in Arlington Texas A short distance from the above bridge we come upon a family of young Armadillos, oblivious to humans, busy eating bugs with their anteater-like snouts.
4 armadillo babies looking for food beside the River Legacy Park Trail Here we see the above Armadillo's 4 siblings digging for ants at the side of the trail. It is not known if any other states have a state mammal. But in Texas the Armadillo is the State Mammal of Texas. The Armadillo may also be the State Roadkill of Texas, too, but that may not be an official designation.
The wide open space of River Legacy Park Following the yellow-striped road (trail) it looks like flat West Texas. You'd never guess you are in the heart of one of America's most populated metropolitan areas.
River Legacy Park wildflowers blooming in May It is early May, wildflower season. The new River Legacy Trinity Trails follow the river on the right, with a series of lakes on the left.
Near the Enchanted Forest of River Legacy Park As we near the entry to the Enchanted Forest we see a lone old sentinel guarding the trail, surrounded by wildflowers.
Another River Legacy wildflower view Another view.
Gnarled trees guard the entry to River Legacy's Enchanted Forest Long dead, gnarled, vine-covered trees appear menacing as we enter the Enchanted Forest.

There have been many reports of Bobcat sightings in River Legacy Park. And a couple Cougar/Black Panther sightings. We came upon a group who believed they saw the Black Panther. They described it as a Black Mountain Lion. A mother with baby was so panicked she armed herself with a stick. Others minimized the danger. However, there is a rather long record of Mountain Lion/Cougar attacks in North America. There is also much documentation claiming that Black Panthers do not exist. However, Black Panthers have a long history in Texas as evidenced by this interesting account.
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A bobcat in River Legacy Park in Arlington Texas Biking into the part of the trail described above as the Enchanted Forest, Eyes on Texas captured a River Legacy Bobcat. We were able to take 7 digital photos before the Bobcat disappeared into the jungle. The Bobcat was a very cooperative model. At first it stared. And then walked towards us for just a couple feet. But then personal grooming was more important, so the Bobcat ignored us and took a quick tongue bath. After that it walked slowly across the trail, glancing back a couple times and then leaping into the grass, not to be seen again.
Click to see a slideshow of our 7 River Legacy Bobcat photos.
bobcat2.jpg (55771 bytes) On the morning of a day which was to end with the worst storm to hit north Texas in many years, initiating floods which continue halfway to the start of summer, with hurricane force winds causing the most massive power outage in Texas history, we came upon the same Bobcat we saw a week before. This time between milepost 3 and 4. We were on roller blades and got much closer before we stopped. And we were able to take way more photos. The Bobcat led us down the trail for about 100 feet before it leapt into the brush.

Click to see a slideshow of 11 of the 23 River Legacy Bobcat photos we were able to take during this latest sighting of the cooperative Bobcat model we have named Bertha the Bobcat.
A bobcat information sign in River Legacy Park River Legacy Park has added signs along side the new section of trail, pointing out the wildlife you may see, ranging from raccoons to foxes to beaversto hawks to tarantulas and many others. There seems to be one animal missing, that being a sign for the armadillos.
A sign with a map of the River Legacy Mountain Bike Trail The sign near the trailhead of the mountain bike trail in River Legacy Park. If you find this sign, you've found the mountain bike trail. It was on these trails that Eyes on Texas had our first encounter with a River Legacy Bobcat. Unfortunately, we did not have the camera on the bike that time. A mistake we would not make again..
Map showing directions to the River Legacy Mountain Bike Trail.
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Entering the Enchanted Forest of River Legacy Park The jungle grows lush. The cacophony of birds singing becomes ever louder as we enter the Enchanted Forest of River Legacy Park.
Hurricane Creek Bridge on the River Legacy Park Trail We come upon the Hurricane Creek Bridge in the Enchanted Forest. Looking down from the bridge we see what appear to be either cougar, black panther or bobcat pawprints.
Under Hurricane Creek Bridge We climb down to investigate the paw prints. You can see them on the left side of the dried up creek. Tracking experts claim the paw prints look like raccoon prints.
A River Legacy Park Turtle The trail briefly leaves the heavily jungled area where we come upon this fearsome reptile.You don't want to meet up with one of these when you are swimming in a Texas lake. Ones first impression upon meeting a turtle head eye to eye when swimming is not that you are being chased by a turtle, instead it looks like a snake head is coming right at you.

A turtle profile view
A sign telling you about tarantulas in River Legacy Park The sign telling you to look for Texas Brown Tarantulas. We have not seen one of these in River Legacy Park. We have seen on in Cedar Hills State Park south of Dallas.
Back into the jungle.
A long snake on the River Legacy Park Trail Where we come upon another reptile. This time of the snake variety.

[You'll probably need to use the scroll bars to see all of the snake below]

Boyd Branch Bridge near the end of the River Legacy Trail Boyd Branch is the last bridge to cross before the end of the trail.
The eastern end of the River Legacy Park Trail And here we see the end of the trail, within a short distance of Highway 360, the road that divides the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The paved trail will soon connect with Trinity Trails coming from Dallas. The completion of a few more miles of trails in the Fort Worth section of the Trinity will enable bikers, hikers, bladers and walkers to travel between Dallas and Fort Worth free of dealing with cars. The paved trail ends but there are unpaved trails that continue.

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 River Legacy Park
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