Caprock Trailway, Quitaque, Texas

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It’s always fun to find these section of railways that have been converted to trails. I have found them all over the world and they are all different offering a wide variety of experiences. This particular section is about 74 miles long and connects lower elevations of the Texas prairie to higher elevation mesas.

Did I mention that it starts on the Texas Prarie? What you can’t see in this image is the block headwind. I think that I figured out why there are wind turbines sprinkled around this area.

Luckily, the wind today was quite tame by North Texas standards yet the uphill headwind slog seemed a little endless on this dead straight section.

About 5 miles into the ride, I crossed a road and another trailhead where the trail surface improved dramatically. The highlight of this trail is an old tunnel which is located another 5 miles beyond this point. Turns out that most people skip the first headwind section and drive directly to this one, Hard to believe that this terrain requires a tunnel but on the horizon I do see some hills.

This section of trail is definitely more interesting than the last.

Off in the distance and midway up the hill, you can just make out the trail and probable tunnel location.

This hill cut reminded me of another I found if France. (See the blog here.). However, you will notice that this cut has a much more “Texas” feel to it!


As it turns out, this was my turn around spot. The bottom of the trail inside the tunnel was basically quicksand and impassible by bike. I didn’t want a couple shoes filled with sand and guano so I turned back without piercing the tunnel. A couple fact about this tunnel: It is called the Clarity Tunnel and was built in 1927. It was originally 790 feet long but in 1972 was shortened to 520 after a derailment and partial collapse.

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