Located within McInnish Park
2335 Sandy Lake Road
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Take Sandy Lake Road west from IH-35 approximately one mile to the McInnish Sports Complex entrance. Turn left into the complex and follow the road behind the sports fields to the Elm Fork Nature Preserve entrance on your right. Parking is approximately 100 yards to the left.
Trail Hours and Map
Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee to use the trails. Trail Map.
Safety - Venomous Snakes
Produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife, this information is good to know if you're walking around any place that is in a natural state such as rocky or grassy. Please click on this link to read the full article and view a short video.
The Elm Fork Nature Preserve was purchased as a woodright in 1861 by the Bramblitt Family. The land was never clear-cut and in 1986 the 40 acres were given to the City of Carrollton as a self-contained ecosystem, virtually undisturbed. Trails are open for hikes 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.
Nature Hike Tips
Dress according to the weather in comfortable clothing and long pants. No open-toed shoes. Bring insect repellent and bottled water to class. It is suggested that very young children bring a spare change of clothing.
A nature preserve is a place where flora and fauna are protected. So, please, take only pictures and leave only footprints. Please stay on designated trails. Do not disturb any wildlife or pick any leaves, flowers or flora from the Preserve. Abide by rules and regulations posted at the entrance.
City ordinance prohibits bicycles, dogs, horses and motorized vehicles inside the Preserve.
If you find what you feel is an abandoned, injured or orphaned wild animal, please contact the City of Carrollton Animal Services at 972-466-3420 or access the DFW Wildlife Coalition.
Commonly seen animals and tracks at the Preserve are raccoons, fox squirrels, opossums, beavers, nine-banded armadillos, eastern cottontails and striped skunks. Commonly seen birds in the area are great blue herons, snowy egrets, white-throated sparrows, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, screech owls, woodpeckers, cardinals and much more.
Elm Fork Nature Preserve Biodiversity Inventory
Information documented by Wild Vision.
- Inventory principal submitters
- Plant populations
Photos from the Preserve
Click on each photo for larger view.
The Dimension Tract is a secluded thirty-eight acre parcel of undeveloped land along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The natural parkland features a 14-acre pond, 3.5 acres of wetlands, 9 acres of river bottom timber and a blanket of native vegetation on the remaining 11.5 acres. This property has a canoe and kayak launch on-site on the Trinity River.
This City-owned land has suffered through years of nuisance activities including illegal dumping, abandoned cars, and damage from four-wheelers that threatened the property. Now, through the City and regional government support and community involvement, it’s becoming a welcome haven for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts.
Volunteers and the City began by cleaning debris, and once secured, the potential for appropriate outdoor recreational uses emerged. In fall 2002, the City and North Central TX Council of Governments selected the site for Carrollton’s annual Trash Bash cleanup event. On this day, approximately 150 volunteers collected 13 tons of illegally-dumped debris. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, local church volunteers and area residents logged more than 1,000 hours.
In October 2003, the City received a $2,500 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to benefit the Dimension Tract. REI employees also contributed hours during the REI Coop/Employee Volunteer Day in October 2003 to install steps donated by Keystone Retaining Wall Systems at the river’s edge.
ST Microelectronics, another local business, contributed $3,000 and their employees at the November 2003 Volunteer Day at the tract to cast wildflower seeds and plant trees, and create a bark-chip trail to the river.
In 2004, benches and informational signs were installed along the trail and entryway. Annual volunteer day we planted additional trees in the entryway, planted native aquatic plants in the wetland area, picked up trash, and mulched the access trail. ST Microelectronic donated $1,000 toward the event and property projects.
A few projects enhancements planned for the future include internal trails, benches and additional drainage work on the canoe launch itself.
The Dimension Tract is becoming a point of pride for the Carrollton community, and a valued site for regional recreation and environmental activities.
The Dimension Tract is located at 1199 Elm Park Drive.
For additional information contact, 972-466-3080.
Click on each photo below for a larger view.