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The Trinity River is a 710-mile (1,140 km) long river that flows entirely within the U.S. state of Texas. It rises in extreme north Texas, a few miles south of the Red River. Its headwaters are separated from the Red River basin by the high bluffs on the south side of the Red River. The Trinity has five branches: the West Fork, the Clear Fork, the North Wedge, the Elm Fork, and the East Fork.
The West Fork has its headwaters located in Archer County. From there it flows southeast, through the man-made reservoirs Lake Bridgeportand Eagle Mountain Lake then flowing eastward through Lake Worth and then the city of Fort Worth. The Clear Fork begins north of Weatherford, Texas and flows southeastward through man-made Lake Weatherford and man-made Benbrook Lake and then northeastward, where it joins the West Fork near downtown Fort Worth and continues as the West Fork. The Elm Fork flows south from near Gainesville and east of the city ofDenton. The West Fork and the Elm Fork merge as they enter the city of Dallas and form the Trinity River.
The East Fork (on old maps the Bois-Arc River) begins near McKinney, Texas and joins the Trinity River just southeast of Dallas.
The Trinity then flows southeastward from Dallas across a fertile floodplain and pine forests of eastern Texas, many of which were settled during the period of the Republic of Texas. The Trinity crosses Texas State Highway 31 in Henderson County, near where the first county seat, Buffalo, was established. Roughly 65 miles (105 km) north of the mouth, an earthen dam was built in 1968 to form Lake Livingston. It flows onward south, into the Trinity Bay, an arm of Galveston Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, near the town of Anahuac east of Houston.