History of the Katy Trail

Katy Locomotive
What was once an abandoned railroad line is now one of the most iconic destinations in Dallas: the Katy Trail. Each year, the park welcomes over 2 million visits to the beautiful scenery on 3.5 miles of well-maintained path.
In addition to being the premier destination for jogging, biking, skating, and walking in Dallas, the Katy Trail also hosts exciting events, including the annual Katy 5K presented by Michelob ULTRA.
The Katy Trail, as most locals know it, began in 2000, but the history of the Katy Trail stretches back nearly a hundred years to the age of railroads. Union Pacific Railroad built the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and established the network in 1865 as the Southern Branch. The route was also commonly called the K-T, and eventually the Katy. Following the heyday of the railroad, Union Pacific donated the abandoned lines to the city of Dallas in 1993. The initial plan for the historic Katy rail line was to use it as part of the DART line; however, in the mid 1990s, a group of passionate neighbors and local businesses proposed that the line be converted into the beautiful greenbelt you see today.
To maintain the Katy Trail, the local community started the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Friends of the Katy Trail, to ensure that residents and visitors can continue to use the Trail for years and years to come. With the continued support of generous neighbors, Friends of the Katy Trail keeps the park running in peak condition.

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