8 Best Places for Hiking in DFW
Dallas-Fort Worth may not be the "hiking capital of the world," but believe it or not, there are some great places to hike around the area! Here are some of our personal favorites and some of the most popular.
Cedar Ridge Preserve
7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas TX 75249
When we talk about Hill Country here in Texas, we usually think of Austin and the surrounding areas, but we have some great hill country right here in DFW! Formerly known as the Dallas Nature Center, the Cedar Ridge Preserve spans 600 acres between Mountain Creek Parkway and FM 1382 and is located just a short 20 minutes from Downtown Dallas. This natural habitat is located where the Blackland Prairie meets a limestone escarpment which provides visitors with incredible experiences and views of Hill Country-type terrain, heavily-wooded areas and beautiful wildflowers - all of which are generally not found together in one single site.
Cedar Ridge Preserve offers eight miles of walking trails ranging from easy to difficult. Other amenities include bird watching (the preserve is home to the rare black-capped Vireo), on-site classrooms, an outdoor amphitheater, butterfly gardens and picnic areas.
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at Cedar Hill
1206 W FM 1382, Cedar Hill TX 75104
The Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at Cedar Hill is located just 16 miles from Downtown Dallas and is part of the White Rock Escarpment. Here you'll find a wide variety of rare species because plants and animals from east, west and central Texas converge in this area.
You can hike on their more than two miles of trails into the forested canyon, ranging from the easy Canyon Floor Trail to the more strenuous West Loop Trail. Or if you're not up for a full hike, you can also enjoy their Nature Play Area which is a shady spot in the park set aside for children but also offers picnic tables and incredible views!
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
9601 Fossil Ridge Road, Fort Worth TX 76135
This hidden gem found in Fort Worth is a natural area comprised of forests, prairies and wetlands. When you visit the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, you'll be transported back to what this area was like in the early 20th century.
The nature center offers over 20 miles of hiking trails, making the park one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States. Other amenities include a Visitor Center, a Bison Range, scenic overlooks, bird blinds, paved walking trails and a canoe/kayak launch.
Marion Samson Park Trail
2501 Roberts Cut-Off Rd, Fort Worth TX 76135
The Marion Samson Park Trail is made up of several interconnecting loops that wind through a wooded area and end up at several beautiful vistas overlooking Lake Worth. Trail levels range from intermediate to expert. It's a great spot for either hiking or mountain biking!
Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area
201 E Jones St, Lewisville TX 75057
Developed by the City of Lewisville, the University of North Texas and the Lewisville Independent School District, the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is a nature preserve located where the Blackland Prairies and the Eastern Cross Timbers meet with the Elm Fork of the Trinity River running right through the middle. Because of this diversity in habitats, hikers can enjoy a variety of wildlife from bobcats, white-tailed deer and mink to birds, butterflies and a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians.
There are over seven miles of hiking trails to enjoy at LLELA with three different access points. Other amenities guests can enjoy include campgrounds, fishing, a geocache trail, canoe/kayak access, picnic areas, and the 1869 Minor-Porter Log House which can be toured on the third Saturday of most months.
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
2875 Pierce St, Dallas TX 75233
Tucked into one of Oak Cliff's neighborhoods, the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is truly a gem found right in the middle of Dallas. The 121-acre oasis of green space was protected from impending development in 1999 and is now a spot where Dallas-ites can mountain bike, hike, bird watch and dog walk.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park
100 Parks and Wildlife Rd, Valley View TX 76272
This State Park is located just an hour north of the DFW Metroplex and offers all kinds of amazing amenities including camping, hiking, biking, or any number of water sports and activities. More than 300 species of plants grows along the shores of the lake and many animals find food and shelter in the oak woodlands and prairie grasslands.
The 20-mile multi-use Greenbelt Corridor runs from the Ray Roberts Dam to Lake Lewisville, along the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River. And the Johnson Branch and Isle du Bois have multi-use trails, some of which are paved - great for strollers and wheelchairs!
Trinity River Audubon Center
6500 Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas TX 75217
Did you know that the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States is right here in Dallas? When you visit the Trinity River Audubon Center, you can explore the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest which houses a diverse community of plant and animal species and a unique mixture of bottomland hardwood forest, wetland and prairie habitat.
The Trinity River Audubon Center offers 5 miles of trails as well as birding, picnic areas, an indoor exhibit hall and a nature store.
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