When Felix Saucedo began organizing his neighborhood in 2008, the plans for what was then called the East Dallas Velloway had already been drawn up, but he didn’t expect it to take 10 more years for the trail to be completed. As his sleepy Lakewood Trails neighborhood began to have more young families full of joggers and cyclists, the need for a safe way to get to the lake (outside the dangerous Fisher Road) became salient.

Over the years, the East Dallas Velloway became the SoPac Trial, so named for the former rail line that runs northwest from White Rock Lake. Phase III of the trail, which runs from Ridgewood/Belcher Recreation Center to White Rock Lake, was fully funded in 2012 when Sheffie Kadane represented the area.

Even though the project was funded in 2012, flooding and unexpected erosion caused delays and required more funding to fix it. The section that runs near Ridgewood Recreation center will have to be elevated three to four feet in order to prevent future erosion.

Saucedo helped start the Friends of the SoPac Trail, a neighborhood group that supports the path. The Friends helped fight for funding the project, and continue to support the trail, which runs through Saucedo’s neighborhood.

Eventually, the SoPac trail will be an integral part of an extensive loop that connects Ridgewood Trail (which will soon cross over Mockingbird Lane), to White Rock Trail, the Santa Fe Trail and the Katy Trail. Phase III of SoPac will also be a part of a 50-mile trail network that reaches down into Pleasant Grove, known as The Loop.

Construction on the 14-foot wide path should begin in September and be completed in early 2019. The Friends have raised money through the Dallas Parks Foundation, and hope to install amenities such as water fountains, seating areas and a butterfly garden along the new trail.