The Rose Capital of America is becoming a destination for outdoor enthusiasts who want to bike, hike and walk on local trails.
Tyler is now home to the Four Pedals of the Rose, a series of four trails that stretch more than 33 miles and showcase both the city’s urban landscape and its natural beauty. Trails in Faulkner Park, Tyler State Park, the University of Texas-Tyler, and Lindsey Park attract locals and visitors alike. The 10-mile Lindsey Park trail, designed by professional cyclist Nevada Thompson, was completed in 2013 as the newest addition to the network, and was developed as a joint project between the city and many volunteers.
“Hundreds of people put in a lot of hours removing trees and root balls, working on erosion control and building bridges,” says Stephanie Rollings, director of Tyler Parks and Recreation Department. “With the help of volunteers, we were able to put a lot of miles on the ground without a big expense to the city. We couldn’t have created such a great trail without these volunteers.”
Volunteers Build Trails
The Lindsey Park project involved a partnership between the Tyler Bicycle Club, the City of Tyler Parks and Recreation Department, students from All Saints Episcopal School and the Smith County Justice System, which provided inmates who helped while completing community service hours. The Lindsey Park project garnered the “Great Texas Two Step Award” for the City of Tyler from the Texas Trails Network in 2014, which recognizes special partnerships among various entities of the community in creating and using trails.
“It’s rewarding to see how well we all worked together,” says Tyler Simpson, a member of Tyler Bicycle Club’s Trails and Paths committee.
Four Pedals of the Rose
Each of the Four Pedals of the Rose trails is designed for runners, walkers and bicyclists of all ability levels.
“We’re fortunate here in Tyler because we have four really nice trails, and each is different,” says Simpson, owner of Simpson’s Fitness and Adventure Sports.
Thompson says beginners can ride parts of each trail and work their way up to the more challenging sections, adding that Lindsey has more open spaces, and Faulkner has more twists and turns, Tyler State Park offers many challenging elevation changes and has been called one of the best trails in Texas. The UT trail is “shorter, but fun.”
“Having trails in your community is a huge asset,” Thompson says. “Just getting out in the woods, in nature, is therapeutic.”
Trails Worth the Travel
Now with the four trails completed, Rollings says marketing them together as the Four Pedals of the Rose is proving to be popular with locals, visitors and people relocating here. Brochures describing each of the four trails are distributed throughout the city, and Simpson says riders regularly come here from Dallas and Shreveport. People who ride, run, or walk all four trails are encouraged to fill out a form, and receive a letter and a decal from Tyler’s Parks and Recreation Department proclaiming their accomplishment.
“People in the community are excited about our trails system,” Rollings says. “These unique quality-of-life opportunities are what make Tyler stand out.”