Sunday, March 14, 2010

Level 6 of the High 5: Cottonwood Trail

High Five
From 2010 03 High Five

No matter how many times I drive through the intersection of Interstate 635 and US 75, the engineering marvel never fails to impress. This modern Stonehenge is called the High Five, but few people know that there's actually a sixth level winding through that labyrinth of highways.

After the jump, more about the sixth level.

It's the Cottonwood Trail. Until now, it's been hard to get to. The hike and bike trail was built when the highway interchange was, but the connecting trails were left to later. Later is now. With the missing links set to open in May, the Cottonwood Trail will connect the Preston Ridge Trail in Plano with the White Rock Creek Trail in Dallas. All told, there will be 35 miles of contiguous trail from Plano to downtown Dallas.

Be sure to arrange a time to walk or bike through that LBJ/Central interchange, as crazy as that might sound. A convenient place to park and start your hike is the Willie B. Johnson Recreation Center in Hamilton Park. The walk to the High Five and back is about a mile round trip. As thousands of cars speed by overhead and all around, it's unexpectedly quiet and peaceful down below. You might see ducks cavorting on Cottonwood Creek as it flows through the interchange.

To see more photos, click here.

Click the image to see a full-screen, interactive, 360 degree panorama (uses software from

N 32.92480 W 96.76135