The Trinity River is unique in that it's a waterway that runs entirely within a single U.S. State. You know which one, of course. Yet it's possible that the name we are most familiar with could be but one of several designations bestowed upon it by explorers and colonists who traversed the region's long, storied paths. Among them is Arkikosa, a name given by ancestral Native Americans who called this place home too.
Call it what you will, but these interesting facts might give you a greater appreciation for the waterway that made some of our major cities what they are today.
A River Runs Through It ... Here ... and There Too
The Trinity River has 4 forks that begin just below the Red River and merge into one a fork just south of Downtown Dallas. It then runs all the way through the State of Texas, through Lake Livingston near Houston, into the Trinity Bay and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. It is 710 miles long and is the longest running river within the State of Texas. It is the drinking source for over 12 million Texans and was named in the year 1690 by the Spanish Explorer, Alonzo DeLeon, who named it LaCinta Cima Trinidad. (O’ Most Holy Trinity) Out there we see everything from Bobcat to Beaver and Hawk to Heron. The fishing on the river is fantastic. In the Dallas area, along the Trinity River basin and in the Great Trinity Forest, there are approximately 10,000 acres of urban forest. It is home to the largest urban forest, not only in the U.S., but all of North America. All of this, right here in Dallas!
The four forks are the West Fork, the clear Fork, the Elm fork, and the East Fork. The Trinity is also the longest river that is contained within a single state. All the headwaters are in a band along the Red River that separates Texas from Oklahoma. No water comes from Oklahoma; all from Texas. The West Fork and clear Fork come together just northwest of Fort Worth. The West Fork then curves to the east and enters Dallas to join with the Elm fork to form the main stem of the Trinity River. The East Fork passes by Dallas to the east and finally joins with the mainstem south of Dallas to form the Trinity River. The 12 million people represent roughly half the population of Texas. Neither Houston or Dallas could exist without the Trinity River.
Hopefully, this gives you a greater appreciation for how water has always been the life blood of society and progress. We also hope it makes you want to protect it more too.