Tuesday, February 15, 2011

William Blair Park(Rochester Park)and Texas Buckeye Trails

Pirate Island at Rochester Park now known as William Blair Park

William Blair Park in the Bonton neighborhood of Dallas has an ever growing number of soft surface trails to compliment the paved trail built in 2008-2009. Previously known as Rochester Park it hosts three trail components. The Texas Buckeye Trail, the soft surface trails that lead to and from the Trinity River Overlook and a third set of trails east of the Buckeye Trails that are located near the "Bart Simpson Lake".

Location:  7000 Bexar Street Dallas Texas 75215

Map of Rochester Park and Texas Buckeye Trail System

The Buckeye Trail was originally a soft surface nature trail in 2003-2005. In late 2008 construction started to pave a good portion of it from the Rochester Park Levee south to the bank of the Trinity Overlook. This paved trail is the most widely used path by groups and individuals in the Great Trinity Forest. Easy access and defined parking at the cul de sac on Bexar make this more inviting to less adventurous.

The concrete path intersects with soft surface trails at a number of points. From these, one can travel the half mile to an alternate Trinity Overlook downstream from the concrete plaza built at the end of the concrete portion of the Buckeye Trail.

Follow the trail signs, survey tape and blazes on trees heading east by south to make your way to the lake in Rochester Park nicknamed "Bart Simpson Lake". The lake holds this nickname because it resembles Bart Simpson's head. The lake features an island in the middle which can be accessed during dry weather via the south shoreline. At the present time you can only walk or mountain bike around 90% of the lake. The creek that drains the lake towards White Rock Creek prevents a complete circumnavigation. It's a swampy gooey mess if you try and cross the creek. Not recommended.

The trails in this area are meandering loops through oak, elm and smaller trees. If you include the Buckeye Trails and the newly built trails near the Bart Simpson Lake, they total about 5 miles without double backing.

Lower Rochester Park Trail cut in 2010

These trails are well suited for dogs and small children compared with others inside the Great Trinity Forest. Very little poison ivy and no cactus. Some other sections of the Trinity Forest hold quite a bit of prickly pear cactus and could injure a dog. I have not seen any feral pigs or feral pig activity in this area either.


  1. If anyone is interested or is a Geocacher (geocaching.com) I have recently placed 5 caches in this park. I was shocked there were none.

    1. Good for you Vince! One of my friends who goes by the geocache handle MMACH5 noticed the same thing a couple years ago and placed three on the other side of the Trinity in Joppa. He looked at placing some in Rochester Park but we have yet to get back there. I think he wanted to place one out on the island somewhere in the lake. MMACH5 saw that the area was vastly unrepresented by caches.

  2. Pig activity has definitely picked up since 2012. Today I saw 2 sows with 10 piglets west of the lake, near the water pipeline that leads to White Rock Creek.

    Later I saw 3 juvenile pigs at Big Spring. Traps are set there to abate pig activity.

    There is also a lot of windfall across the soft surface trail that leads from the concrete path to the Buckeye Loop. Furthermore, on the loop trail, pig trails are often more evident than the actual trail, especially around fallen trees. As of January 2018, this is by far the "wildest" and most unused (by humans) trail system I've encountered!