Ready for some exercise on a Saturday morning? Why not head out to the Dallas Katy Trail? The iconic trail spans 3.5 miles, starting near SMU and running all the way down to the American Airlines Center. The trail is a favorite exercise spot for SMU students, who can often be seen walking, running or biking the path.
If you’re up for more than exercise, though, the trail offers plenty of places to socialize while you work out.
Here are some hot spots to check out the next time you’re on the trail:
Starting from SMU near the bookstore on Mockingbird, cross the street and head down Airline Road toward the start of the Katy Trail at Airline and Beverly Drive. A mile down the trail, turn east on Knox Street and head one block up to Travis Street for our first pit stop: a little brick-and mortar, mom and pop shop called the Highland Park Soda Fountain. Inside you’ll find all sorts of neat toys, gadgets, and pharmacy items in a store that opened in 1912.
Take a trip back in time by grabbing a bar stool at the old fashioned soda fountain’s counter and ordering up an ice cream soda or grilled cheese sandwich. The fountain has been a favorite for locals for more than 100 years and a must-see for anyone along the trail.
Still hungry? After leaving the soda fountain, walk back down the block toward the Katy Trail and enter Toulouse Café & Bar. Inside the café is a wonderful décor of French delights and delicacies. This regional café is known for its chocolate soufflés, frog legs, and escargot.
Katy McKenzie, an SMU junior, said the café represents a “quiet place filled with wonderful French food.”
Order a nice cup of joe and pastry from the bar, re-lace your shoes, and head back out to the trail.
With all of that caffeine coursing through your veins, you should have no trouble continuing down the trail for another two miles. You won’t miss our next stop: The Katy Trail Ice House is located literally a few feet from the trail.
The bar and beer garden is frequented by many locals and students and a fun place to spend an afternoon or evening. Find a table on the outside patio, and if you have friends who live nearby, call them up and ask them join you.
“The Katy Trail Ice House, to me, is a great way to hang out and drink with my friends on a Saturday or Sunday evening,” said SMU sophomore Collin Cochran.
From the Ice House, the Katy trail continues for another mile until it ends at the American Airlines Center in downtown. From there, if you have enough energy, you can run the entire trail back to campus.
If not, you should probably throw in the towel and call an Uber.