Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oh So Adventurous: Traversing the Trinity

Recently, I was invited by the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to experience Dallas with a group of travel and family writers brought in to explore Dallas attractions. I thought it would be interesting to see how the Dallas CVB presents Dallas to outsiders, so I tagged along for several of their outings.

Out of all of our adventures, the destination I was most excited about was the Trinity Audubon Center.  This place has 5 miles of trails to hike, offers great bird watching (they are on the migratory path for birds' spring and fall journey between Canada and Mexico, Central and South America. You'll see 60 resident species and over 200 migrants), conducts many education classes and offers a place to get in touch with nature.  I like that they have 6 colonies of bee hives - you can taste their local honey - relax in the butterfly garden and watch hummingbirds and butterflies busy at work.

Our group was there to participate in the new "river adventure" program which gives adventurous souls a chance to kayak down the Trinity River. While I love adventure, I hate to sweat. I haven't been to a gym in 15 years, so I was a little apprehensive about how physically rigorous this would be. I am happy to report that I lived to tell this tale with nary a scratch on me.

photo by Faizel Ismail

The TAC website states, "Forget what you think you know about this incredible river, and come float through our amazing home with the Trinity River Audubon Center! On our guided float trips, you will learn about the history of the river while you meander through the Great Trinity Forest down to our Center. See a side of Dallas very few folks get to enjoy all while cruising past herons, egrets, beavers, turtles, river otters, and more!"

Our guide had lectured us repeatedly about staying calm and not making any sudden movements which might tip the kayak over. Staring at the muddy brown water of the Trinity, the last thing I wanted was to end up in its waters. It had rained the night before so the river was moving at a pace much faster than normal. I was stoked because our guide said not only would we be moving faster due to the high waters, but we'd have to do less paddling. Yessssssss!  Our journey was very beautiful and peaceful.  We did see turtles and lots of birds. Some of my group saw a beaver, but I missed it. The one hour trip was the perfect amount of time for me, but for those who are more athletic or more adventurous, a 3-hour trek is also offered.

D Magazine took this same trip in June. They reported that "There is, of course, a lot of trash caught in the branches of the trees that line the Trinity...  (TAC Director) Ben Jones is quick to respond to criticism of his beloved river. "The truth is, if you drink water, and you live in North Texas, this river is flowing through you in some sort of way," he said. "It’s part of us." The Trinity is the longest river fully in the state of Texas and provides drinking water for 12 million people. "We wouldn’t be here without this river," Jones said. "I don’t think anything connects you to the river better than this. You can go out, you can look over it, you can see it, you can drive over it every day, but nothing builds a stronger emotional and intellectual connection than being on it.”

I couldn't have said it better myself.

I highly recommend this river adventure for families and outdoor enthusiasts.  Children need to be at least 8 years old to participate.  Members Price: $50.00 Non-Members Price: $65.00  Register online at