The Northshore Double (double out and back) is a new route on Northshore Trail, Lake Grapevine, Texas. Northshore Trail is a loop system with 22+ Miles of single track through wooded land along the northern shore of Grapevine Lake. The trail is popular with hikers, bikers and runners because of its location in the DFW Metroplex, its diverse terrain and inspiring scenery.
With races being canceled and postponed across, Rich and I were looking for a unique challenge to wrap up 2020. Northshore is popular with local runners, so something beyond a standard loop seemed necessary. A Double Loop, consisting of approximately 45 miles and 3,000 ft of gain, figured to be an appropriate route that would both challenge us and honor our local trail in a new way.
I just wrapped up a couple months of road running prior to a renewed 2021 trail-focused training push. Rich was deep into training for the Rocky Raccoon 100 Endurance Trail Run, so the timing was good. We planned a run for New Year's Eve but weather forced us to go a couple days early.
The planned route started and finished at the gate into Twin Coves Park in Flower Mound, TX. We touched the gate and set off just before 6AM. It wasn't ideal to start before sunrise but with short December days and approaching rain, we put on the headlamps and ran. Northshore is very rocky and rooted so the first hour in the dark was a slow start but probably good energy management anyway. We followed the established trails (counterclockwise) through Twin Coves Park, the MADD Shelter, Murrell Park and into Rockledge Park. We used the Jackson Pavilion as our turnaround for route clarity and to maximize distance. The return also follows the established trail loop, counterclockwise.
Rocklege Park is paid-access so we had crew meet us at Lakeside Tower (a new trailhead) in Flower Mound. This first crew spot for fluids and nutrition was approximately 12 Miles from the start. We also had crew at the Twin Coves gate (Mile 22+, end of Loop 1) for fluids and nutrition. The final crew support was back at Lakeside Tower (Mile 35). I did one additional water refill at Murrell Park on the inbound final leg. The trail was dry and the weather held in the 50s and 60s with overcast most of the day, so no clothing or shoe changes were needed.
We had no pacers but kept each other motivated through the run. For the first loop and the final outbound leg, we swapped leads to keep it interesting and stay engaged. For the final leg, I was struggling with energy levels and took the lead to set a pace to "just get us home". We touched the gate again around 4:30 PM ahead of sunset and the rain! Elapsed time for the double out and back was 10 Hours, 31 Minutes, 18 Seconds.
This run was exactly what we were looking for! A fun, new challenge on our local trail. Northshore has given us so much over the years. When we thought about a unique FKT, it was a natural choice to do something hard right in our own backyard!
Great! Congratulations on the FKT. This trail has always been very intimidating to me. I am planning to attempt one next year.