Fort Richardson State Park is mostly known for its historic site from the 1800s. But the park also maintains Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway, a 10-mile trail that follows Lost Creek and makes its way around Lake Jacksboro and Lost Creek Reservoir.
The Trailway is a multi-use trail for hiking, mountain biking, and riding horses. It’s flat and wide (around 8 to 10 feet in most places) with a gravel surface, making it easy to walk or ride on.
There are two trailheads to access the Trailway. The first one is found inside Fort Richardson State Park. The second one is located near Lost Creek Reservoir on the north side of Jacksboro.
During my day trip to Jacksboro, I had already spent most of the day at Fort Richardson. To see the lake and explore more of the area, I decided to take a short hike along the Trailway near Lost Creek Reservoir. I hiked for a few miles down the
Lost Creek Reservoir Trailway is located between Fort Worth and Wichita Falls, about 60 miles in either direction. The trailhead is located a mile outside of Jacksboro on Highway 59. You should see the road sign for the Trailway when you get close to the turn-off. A short road will lead you to the parking lot where you pay a $3.00 entrance fee.
Lake Jacksboro and Lost Creek Reservoir are not part of Fort Richardson State Park. But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department maintains the Trailway that circles around them. So if you already paid the entrance fee at Fort Richardson, you won’t have to pay the fee again at the trailhead.
You might get confused when you arrive at the Trailway parking lot. Everything looked like a normal trailhead at first; But the trail does not start here, you have to continue driving down the one-way road out of the parking lot.
The road will take you down closer to the lake, you’ll pass a small fishing pier and a beach used for swimming during the summer. After about a mile, you’ll reach the official trailhead. Only hikers, mountain bikes, and equestrians are allowed beyond this point.
I found the Trailway to be in great condition. High grass on the sides of the trail had been shredded down, and the layer of crushed rock and gravel was easy to walk on.
During the first part of the like, trees and brush are on both sides of the trail. It’s like this for about a half-mile as you make your way around the first nook of the reservoir.
When you reach the northern border of Lost Creek Reservoir, you’ll see a barbed wire fence running on one side of the Trailway. The other side of the fence is private property. The trail will follow the fenceline for a while and then head due east.
The trail runs alongside Lost Creek Reservoir for most of the way. Sometimes it takes you really close to the lake, and other times it can be difficult to see.
You’ll come across this old road bridge. It seems really big for this trail; It’s wide enough to drive a car through. Maybe the Trailway was a road at one point, and the bridges still remain in place.
You might see bulls or other animals grazing in the pasture on the other side of the fence. And don’t be surprised if you come across whitetail deer or turkeys. The lake and nearby creeks are major water sources for wildlife in the area.
A good distance past the road bridge, the Trailway changes back to a windy path. The park staff did a great job designing the trail. This would be a great place to ride a mountain bike. The terrain is flat but changes direction often. It’s also wide-open and easy to see other people around the bends and other corners.
There’s plenty of ducks, geese, and other types of birds on the lake.
I was lucky enough to watch the sunset over the lake. The entire hike was quiet and peaceful. I wouldn’t mind coming back with a mountain bike to explore more of the Trailway and Lake Jacksboro.
After I reached my vehicle, I continued driving down the same one-way road that led me to the trailhead when I arrived. It only took a few minutes to get back to the parking lot and Highway 59.
More Information About the Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway
|Cost:||Free if under 13, $3.00 for 13 and over|
|Address:||134 Trailway Dr.|
Jacksboro, TX 76458