Review: Campion Trail connects Las Colinas in the south, up through Valley Ranch, and ending in Coppell to the North. The trail follows the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, winding through wooded areas and wide open spaces. Give the proximity to the river, you will likely encounter all kinds of birds, including ducks, herons and other water fowl. The trail can flood during rainy periods, so if the river is high, it may not be a good time to visit.
Distance: About 8.6 miles one way
Area of Town: Las Colinas to Coppell
Facilities: Benches along the trail, picnic areas in some of the parks along the trail
Suitable for: Walking / Jogging
Type of Trail: Concrete with a few opportunities to explore off-trail
Shade: Mainly sunny, although quite a few parts of the trail are under the trees
Where to Park: There are a few places to access the trail, most noticeably there is a parking area on Riverside just north of Northwest Highway. You can also park at Sam Houston Park near 190 and LBJ.
Official Site: Campion Trail
Nearby Trails: Northshore
The Campion trail in Irving actually has two sections, a north section that extends from Las Colinas up through Coppell, and a southern section that starts near Trinity View Park in Irving, and extends down to Verizon Center off I-30. The two are planned to connect at some point in the future (2025 per the official site), but at present they are separate. This review is for the northern branch of the trail.
The north branch of the trail starts near Riverside and Northwest Highway. There is a park just north of that intersection where you can park. The main trail goes to the north, but the trail does extend to the south under NorthWest Highway. If you hear guns, don’t panic, there is a gun range just across the river!
The Campion North section winds along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, through open fields and under tree canopy, through parks along the trail, and the backs of several housing developments. Along the way you’ll find some exercise stations, and benches near viewing areas where you can take a break and look over the river. Due to the close proximity to the river, the trail can flood. If we’ve had a very rainy few weeks, this may not be the right time to visit. Most of the trail is flat, but there is one section that dips down and frequently floods (you can easily avoid by walking up to Riverside and across the bridge), but during very wet periods, the trail can be unusable as much of it is underwater.
As the trail winds it’s way north, you’ll pass by the intersection of 190 and LBJ highways. Past that you’ll meander through Sam Houston Park, which gives access to the river (or out of the River, if you’ve ever gone on one of the Trinity River Kayak Adventure trips!). The trail continues north through Valley Ranch, and now recently has been extended through Valley Ranch and up towards Coppell.
Beyond the views of the river, this is a great spot to see birds. All kinds of water fowl can be seen along the river banks, and in the marshy areas off the side of the trail. When birds are migrating, there is a larger body of water off the west of the trail (right before it divides, just north of Sam Houston Park) where birds congregate. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy this trail so much.
One day I hope they connect the North and South Campion trails, supposedly to allow a 22 mile one way trail from north to south (By 2025, per the Irving official site). Until then, the north side of the trail is a great place to get up close to the river, see bird, and encounter a trail that isn’t as over-crowded as some others in the area can be (White Rock Lake,. Katy Trail).