“The top of Addicks Dam is dirt and gravel from Clay Road to North Eldridge Parkway.”
— Bryan Dotson
The purpose of this road is access by the Corps of Engineers. Please do not interfere with dam operations. See swg.usace.army.mil/Missions…
for applicable regulations.
This gravel and dirt trail is the top of the Addicks Dam. Addicks is a "rolled-earth" dam; it was constructed by using the adjacent soil.
The western end of the trail is the top of the dam at North Eldridge Parkway. There is a bike/ped gap in the gate, which is there to prevent motor vehicle entry. Parking is not allowed at the entrance. As of November 2016, the top of the dam west of this point is closed due to the construction of the new outflow structures. This construction is expected to continue until 2019. Safe access requires some patience with the fast traffic on Eldridge. A good practice is to time your move to the entrance with the traffic light at Dairy Ashford.
The east-west segment of the road is well-graveled with coarse rock, and makes for a fairly rough ride on a bike. However, it is passable even when raining. Though steep, it is possible to climb the dam for access to the paved bike trail at the foot of the dam for access to Dairy Ashford and to Kirkwood (via the bridge at Reddleshire Lane).
The northern end of the trail is at the top of the dam at Clay Road. Parking is not allowed at the gated entrance. Safe access requires some patience with the fast traffic on Clay. There are usually gaps in the traffic every 3-5 minutes due to the traffic light timing.
South from this point, the road is dirt with some gravel base and vegetation in the center. This segment is muddy immediately after rains, but drains well and dries out quickly. It is possible to climb the dam for access to the bike route at the bridge at Chatterton. There are a number of "deer trails" that lead off both into Addicks Reservoir and out to the street side of the dam.
Wildlife frequently encountered include deer, raccoon and skunks. Skunks are particularly common around Chatterton and the Reddleshire Lane bridge.