Trip Report: 2nd Street Trail, McAllen

Riding the 2nd Street Trail in McAllen

I am lucky enough to have an urban trail near my house known as the 2nd Street Trail, which I run and ride my bike on all the time to stay in shape.  This trail is the much easier than the Mission Trails or Goodwater Loop, but is still pretty fun and great for training.  I headed out on this ride on the morning of Veteran’s Day (11/11/2014). 
The trail lined with flags for Veteran's Day
The trail lined with flags for Veteran’s Day

The Background:

Location: McAllen, TX
Admission: Free
Elevation: 90 to 125ft
Weather: Sunny and lovely, 70 to 75F
Difficulty: Easiest
Website: None
The 2nd Street Trail is a mostly concrete trail, with a few sections of asphalt, which parallels 2nd St.  This trail is great for bikers, runners, walkers, and commuters.  The trail is approximately 8 miles long from end to end, but can be increased further by jumping on to other urban trails.  Moreover, the trail is offset from the road to increase the safety, but you must still cross intersections using crosswalks.  The trail has water fountains, trashcans, benches, parking lots, and covered pavilions all along the trail for added comfort.  Unfortunately, there are no restrooms associated with this trail.
Another neat thing about this trail is the stone mile markers.  While the markers aren’t actually at miles, they are at random intervals like 1/4 or 1/8 miles.  However, the state bird and the founding of a state are carved into each stone.  I am pretty sure not all 50 stones are found on the 2nd Street Trail so you will have to explore the entire city to find them all.
with state birds and state founding dates
Stone Mile Markers with state birds

As hard as I looked, I could not find a website providing any official or unofficial information.  So, I have no idea when it was built or by whom.  In addition, there are no real segments so this will be more of a follow along guide.  

The 2nd Street Trail

I like to start at the intersection of 2nd and 10th(this is one of the ends) because I dislike jumping into the middle of a trail.  This section is more rural at first, but you quickly ride into the city.  Plus, starting here allows you to climb one of the 2 “big” hills, and the 2ndstreet canal starts just as the hill ends. 
A nice golf course on both sides of 2nd st
A nice golf course on both sides of 2nd st
There is also a nice golf course on both sides of 2nd street, so watch out for the occasional golf cart driving by.  Just a bit further down the road, you hit a section where you are supposed to walk your bike across 2 intersections.  After the walking section, you are at the doorstep of the last “big” hill, which is the Expressway 83 overpass. 
The "giant" climb of the 83 overpass
The “giant” climb of the 83 overpass
The next segment is full of vegetation and a few tight turns, but nothing serious.  I am not sure if it’s the City of McAllen, the nice housing areas, or both, but this area is well landscaped.  Even in November, there are still green leaves and flowers.
Green leaves, flowers, and a few turns make for an interesting section
Green leaves, flowers, and a few turns make for an interesting section
Not too much further passed the garden segment, at the intersection of Business 83 and 2nd St, the 2nd Street Trail provides access to Fireman’s Park.  Fireman’s Park has a catch and release lake.  This could make for a family fun event.  Just a quick ride down 2nd Street Trail and a day of family fishing. 
A short path up to Fireman's Park and the catch and release lake
A short path up to Fireman’s Park and the catch and release lake

Once you make it to Pecan Blvd, you can find La Vista Park.  This could make another great family trip.  However, La Vista Park has the only city bathroom that I am aware of on the trail.  The restrooms aren’t in great shape, but it’s better than not going at all.  After La Vista Park, it’s mostly residential areas that line the trail. 
a playground, grills, and a restroom
La Vista Park: a playground, grills, and a restroom
The ride through the residential section has plenty of sites to see as well.  Along the trail, I frequently see mowers and tree trimmers at work.  This ensures there are short grass, nice trees, and beautiful flowers to be seen.  Moreover, many of the entrances have fancy fountains, which are a sight worth seeing.
A fancy water fountain along the trail
A fancy water fountain along the trail
Throughout the 2nd Street Trail, there are frequently pavilions and parking lots.  This way you can drive to the specific area of the trail you wish to train on and stay safe from the sun during your warm up.  My favorite pavilion is the one around Trenton St.  The pavilion has a tile floor that makes an amazing sun mural.

A tile sun mural at the one of the pavilions
A tile sun mural at the one of the pavilions

The trail continues on for a little more through other residential areas, but comes to an end pretty quickly on a bike.  When the trail ends, it just loops back around on itself and you can ride the whole trail back the way you came. 
The loop at the end of the 2nd St Trail
The loop at the end of the 2nd St Trail

Final Thoughts

This is a great trail for training when you can’t make it out to the trails.  So get out there and start training for your trail runs and mountain bike rides; however, be careful at intersections.  Most people honor the crosswalk, but not everyone, so keep your eyes scanning when you cross any street.
Let us know your thoughts on 2nd Street or tell us about your training trail.  If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

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0 Responses

  1. Jarrett, this looks like a beautiful park. I love fountains and the golf course looks like a nice one. Love all the pics. It would be a nice place to have family picnics and fish. Thanks for sharing.

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