The Elm Fork of the Trinity flows south from Lake Lewisville, parallel to I-35E, until it meets the West Fork and becomes the Trinity Main Stem. The Elm Fork flows between steep banks of floodplain soils and occasional shale outcrops, and is generally bordered by wooded bottomland. Bird watching is excellent, and wildlife sightings include beaver, musk turtles, diamondback water snakes and bobcats. A number of tributaries flow into the Elm Fork, including Denton Creek, and in some areas the river is connected to small lakes and ponds. There are trips from 3 to 10 miles in length on 29 miles of the Elm Fork, most of which has a dependable flow all year. Between Frazier Dam and Trinity View Park, river levels are often too low for boating. There are a series of small riffles between Lake Lewisville and Highway 121-Business Route, and one small rapid beneath Highway 183 in the Dallas Floodway. There are 3 dams and (at least) one log jam that must be portaged on the Elm Fork. Carrollton Dam is beneath the Sandy Lake Road bridge, California Crossing Dam is at California Crossing Park in Dallas, Frazier Dam is at the entrance to the Dallas Floodway and a perennial log jam is located upstream of Belt Line Road beneath a railroad trestle.
There are several sections of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Each map below represents approximately a day trip and can be shortened depending on your needs.
1. Lake Lewisville - Sandy Lake Rd
2. Sandy Lake Rd - California Crossing
3. California Crossing - Proctor
1. 2. 3. 4.