Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway

I drove out to Weatherford today to spend a couple of hours riding the Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway. Weatherford is about 25 miles west of Fort Worth. The trail runs 20 miles from Weatherford to the town of Mineral Wells. I wasn't planning to do a 40 mile out and back ride today so I determined that I'd turn around after I hit the 10 mile mark. It was nice to get out of the city for a change.

This is how I haul my bike. It's a 1992 Toyota Landcruiser that I bought used in 1998. I believe the 1992 model year was the last year that the vehicle was more of a truck than a luxury vehicle. There is no wood accented dash or leather upholstery anywhere in this truck. It's very reliable and built like a tank although it is way underpowered.

This is how you haul a horse. That's not a cheap setup. I don't know if there's a cabin in the front of the trailer or if the air conditioning unit is for the horse.

The Weatherford trailhead.

I couldn't have asked for better weather. It was warm enough that I didn't need a jacket but cool enough to keep sweating to a minimum.

This photo gives you a good idea of what the majority of the eastern half of the trail looks like.

Be alert for signs of altitude sickness.

Just past the 10 mile mark I found myself at a trailhead in Garner, Texas, population of about 100.

I rode across the street from the trailhead and decided to grab a bite to eat. a chicken fried steak. It ranks right up there with Tex-Mex as a state favorite. I'll rank this particular CFS as one of the top 5 that I've ever had, and I've had them from one end of the state to the other. It came with mashed potatoes (including the skin), covered with cream gravy. Awesome! Did I say Awesome? Yes, it's awesome.

Here's an undercover photo of your typical small town Texas lunch crowd. I think the lady on the right was on to me.

I waddled out the door stuffed to the gills.

The Garner trailhead as I headed back west towards my truck.

An interesting old stone building near the trailhead. This style of building is fairly common in this area.

Horses grazing peacefully in what was once Comanche territory. More on that in another post.

As I was leaving town I managed to snap a photo of the Parker County Courthouse, built in 1885.


  1. That settles it!
    I'm having some chicken cutlets for dinner!
    Though mashataters are sort of difficult to find round these parts.
    Nice lookin' trail.
    Did you need oxygen at the summit?

  2. Oh man, you picked a perfect day for a ride out there. I always enjoy cruising that trail.

    I thought about you today. I came into Fort Worth to visit Trinity Bicycles and pick up some new lights. I'm finally moving into the LED age.

  3. @Myles,
    Great place to ride! I am glad you got out and enjoyed the great weather we have had recently.
    Peace :)

  4. Thanks for the tour. We haven't yet ridden a rail-to-trail in Texas but have planned on riding this one. Need to do it in the winter I suppose.

  5. Great looking ride! Do you know if the Mineral Wells Trail is a rail-trail? Looks like it could be.

    Since I write from Portland, I do not know where one can find regular chicken fried steak in this town. However, I can tell you where to find vegan chicken fried steak!

  6. WOW! That CFS looks mighty tasty!!! Looks like some great trails too.

  7. Great looking ride. I balk at the price of bike carriers for my car - can't imagine what that horse trailer must have cost.

    I've heard of chicken fried steak, but I've never seen one. Now it's on my to-do list.

  8. CFS looks like excellent bicycle fuel. Miles and miles in each plate.

  9. I'm envious: I'm stuck in a place where the streets are tunnels in snowbanks and are covered with ice.

    That store alone looks like it would make the ride interesting!

  10. Nice bike, Nice ride. I take a pass on the CFS with white gravy. That's tough ridin' food.

  11. I live in Tucson, Arizona and I'd kill for a chicken fried steak as good as the one you described and photographed. You can't get a good chicken fried steak anywhere outside of Texas or some areas in Eastern New Mexico (which is where I grew up). You just have to make them yourself!!

  12. Actually, I think the lady on the right was trying to remember whether her concealed carry permit allowed her to take out a scofflaw at a diner because "he shot me first."

  13. Your post motivated us to take a long weekend and a road trip to ride this trail. We weren't disappointed.
    As good as that Chicken fry looked I had to force myself to get salad otherwise I wouldn't have been able to pedal myself back.
    Our ride here.