The Double Lake Big Loop is the easiest way to go through nearly all the Double Lake Recreation Area trails in one go. With the area having several named trails, e.g., The DLRA, Henry Lake, Henry Lake Connector, C Trail, Trail of Woe, and RCW Loop, the only one you’ll be missing out on is the Pipeline Trail. However, it’s only about a mile long, while the rest is just under 15 miles, which won’t be a bad tradeoff. The Double Lake Big Loop also has the typical terrain in East Texas; flat and woody.
If you’re going to the Double Lake Recreation Area for mountain biking, the best area to park is at the Restrooms and Shower House near the east end of the lake. Getting there will require traveling northeast on the TX-150 until you get to the outskirts of Coldspring.
From there, you turn southeast onto Petroleum Rd, then take the next right onto F R Rd. This will take you into the park, and at the next T intersection, take a left onto Forest Service Rd 210 A. This will take you to the Restrooms and Shower House on your left.
If you’re going for the Big Loop, you should ride back up the Forest Service Rd 210 A until you see a trail crossing sign from where you’ll take a left to get into the singletrack. This puts you on the DLRA Trail, an easy to intermediate-level trail snaking through pine trees. You’ll go through a small wooden bridge with the trail setting the tone for much of what is to come.
Skip the Intersection with the Pipeline Trail. At the intersection with the Henry Lake Trail, take a left. You’ll also be staying on the left at the RCW Trail, Henry Lake Connector, and C Trails to stay on the outer loop, which makes it easy to remember.
Once you’re on the C Trail, you’ll keep left past the intersection with Henry Lake Connector but then stay on the right past the intersection with the Pipeline Trail. This will dump you onto the Trail of Woe, and from there, it’s a straight shot to the parking lot.
All the trails are rated easy with no roots on the singletrack and minimal elevation changes. However, if you pick up the pace, it can be fairly exciting due to some of the sharp turns.
The trail should take you through plenty of pine trees around the lake. Fortunately, most don’t have low-hanging branches, so you can keep your eyes on the singletrack.
You get plenty of shade, but it can still get pretty hot as early as mid-morning, so the Restrooms and Shower House at the trailhead may be handy. Those who get tired midway through the trail can also bail out anytime.
You’ll have to cross the road a few times on this loop, so watch out for cars. Also, it’s recommended to ride the DLRA clockwise to avoid colliding with other mountain bikers using the trail.
Finally, we noticed the park is among the few in the area where the soil drains well. As such, it doesn’t stay wet for long after a rainstorm.
As long as you’re on the trail, you might as well take in the beautiful views of Double Lake.