Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
A new horse trail park opened in South Dallas on Saturday.
The city of Dallas has a new gem to show off and even those who helped make it happen say it’s not what you might expect to find here.
The Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails opened Saturday off I-20 and Dowdy Ferry Road. This long-time coming project is taking no time to hook people in.
"We came down, we got all our stuff, we got our lunch, had breakfast and we got our reels, our worms, our bait and we're gonna fish,” said Jerutha Pratt, flanked by her two sisters. “The park is very beautiful. It's nice out here."
Pratt said she plans to come out at least two or three days a week. She said it’s nice not having to drive dozens of miles to go fish.
"Kind of amazing that right in the center of South Dallas you've got an oasis,” said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Tennell Atkins. “It's for families, horses, walking, you can fish... You've got trails so it's cheap entertainment."
Those trails will eventually hook up with the Texas Horse Park, White Rock Lake and Downtown.
"There are a lot of horse people around and instead of driving 50 miles to another location to ride horses, we've got it in our own backyard,” said stable owner John Bankston of JR Stables.
"It may be unexpected in the big city that you have so much acreage and so much beauty,” said Barbara Kindig, Assistant Director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. “You've got a place to ride horses which is not available in every park that we have in the city."
The Great Trinity Forest project cost $71-million with most of the money coming from bond programs in 1998 and 2006. It's finally ready to explore.
"Good job, they did a good job," said Jerutha Pratt.