The Jewel That Joins:
Historic Old Alton Bridge is a jewel joining two popular trails. The Pilot Knoll and Elm Fork Trails let you explore the shoreline at the northern tip of Lake Lewisville. A variety of adventures in hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, birding or photography await you exploration.
Old Alton Bridge is a reminder that Denton was once part of the old Chisholm Trail and its colorful cattle drive history. In the 1870s this historic iron bridge over Hickory Creek was the site of the shoot out between the Sam Bass gang and the Texas Ranger patrol.
It is a popular fishing spot on the weekends for Sand bass.
The two trails: Pilot Knoll and Elm Fork Hiking and Equestrian trails change dramatically as the water of Lake Lewisville rises and falls. Lewisville Lake is a part of the Trinity Regional Project. The Trinity Regional Project is a cluster of seven local lakes. The lake level is controlled by the Army Corp of Engineers and 'Mother Nature'. When the hot dry weather comes, as it does in Texas, the sections of trail along the shoreline become marshes and the birding/fishing change.
The trails are easy for children. Together the trails total 14 miles one way. Map review for distance is recommended and you need to take water and be prepared for mud.
Trail 1: Pilot Knoll Hiking and Equestrian Trail
Length: Approximately 8 miles
Users: Hiking and equestrian
Description: The Pilot Knoll Hiking and Equestrian Trail is located adjacent to Pilot Knoll Campground and is available to equestrian users and hiking. It is divided into several smaller sub-trails. Although it is located on Corps of Engineers property, it is maintained by the Town of Copper Canyon through an easement with the Corps. The terrain is slightly rolling with several water crossings. Bishop Lane trailhead provides horse trailer parking and Pilot Knoll Park has limited parking outside the main gate for vehicles.
There is also walk-in access off of Chinn Chapel Road. It has a small off road parking area and is located 0.4 miles from Orchard Hill Lane intersection.
Pilot Knoll Park is a beautiful park bordering Lake Lewisville. It is accessible via Orchid Hill Road. This park is 65 to 85 acres (depending on the water level) and is perfect for nature lovers, campers, hikers, horseback riders and anyone who likes spending time outdoors.
Park Contact Information:
Trail 2: Elm Fork Hiking and Equestrian Trail
Users: Hiking and equestrian
The trail is still a work in progress; horses are required to stop after two miles until further trail improvements are made, but the entire 6 miles of trail is open to hikers.
Sycamore Bend Park on the east shore of Lake Lewisville anchors the Elm Fork Trail. Hidden Hills Rd, Lake Dallas, TX 75065
From Lewisville on I-35E, take the Hickory Creek exit. Go north on South Denton Drive to Turbeville Drive, take Turbeville to the west, and turn south on Sycamore Creek into the park.
Many entrances are provided to fit your adventure:
Old Alton Bridge Driving Directions:
From I-35E, take the Swisher Road exit and head west. Turn left onto Old Alton Road. The park will be approximately 100 yards down the Old Alton Road on the left.
Hiking can start from any of the five P parking areas marked on the map.
Equestrian trailers have access to the Pilot Knoll Trail at Bishop Rd. with a moderately sized gravel circular parking lot. A paved lot outside Pilot Knoll Park entrance accommodates a one to two trailer overflow. There are 3 equestrian campsites within the Pilot Knoll park.
Driving Directions to Equestrian Parking:
To Pilot Knoll Park: From I-35E, take the FM 407/Justin Rd. exit and head west. Turn right onto Chinn Chapel Rd. Chin Chapel ends at Orchid Hill Rd. Turn right on Orchid Hill Rd. Road ends at Pilot Knoll Park.
Bishop Lane: From I-35E, take the FM 407/Justin Rd. exit and head west. Turn right onto Chinn Chapel Rd. Chin Chapel ends at Orchid Hill Rd. Turn right on Orchid Hill Rd. Turn left on Bishop Lane. Road ends at trailhead.
New Equestrian Parking and access to Pilot Knoll Hiking and Equestrian Trail is provided on Old Alton Road under the Utility lines approximately 0.1 miles before/after the Old Alton Bridge parking area.