Each year, the park welcomes over 1.5 million visits to the beautiful scenery on 3.5 miles of well-maintained path. The Katy Trail, as most locals know it, began in 2000, but the history of the Katy Trail stretches back nearly a hundred years to the age of railroads. Union Pacific Railroad built the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad and established the network in 1865 as the Southern Branch. The route was also commonly called the K-T, and eventually the Katy. Following the heyday of the railroad, Union Pacific donated the abandoned lines to the city of Dallas in 1993. The initial plan for the historic Katy rail line was to use it as part of the DART line; however, in the mid 1990s, a group of passionate neighbors and local businesses proposed that the line be converted into the beautiful greenbelt you see today.