Are you craving an escape from bustling city life? Look no further than the abundance of hiking trails in and near Dallas-Fort Worth. North Texas is home to some stunning trails tucked away amidst the urban landscape, offering scenic views and a chance to immerse yourself in nature without the long travel times.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or a beginner looking to enjoy a leisurely walk, these top trails are perfect for your next outdoor adventure. So grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore the unsuspecting natural beauty just a short drive from DFW!
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Hikes in/Near Dallas TX
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Located just 20 miles north of downtown Dallas in the northern suburb of Plano, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. With 3 miles of paved hiking trails, 3 miles of unpaved hiking trails, and a 2.8-mile off-road bike trail, this 200-acre park offers something for everyone.
Start your adventure on the Outer Loop Trail, which will take you through a picturesque meadow and follow a clear water tributary of Indian Creek. Don’t be surprised if you spot artists with their easels or photographers capturing the surrounding beauty.
Directions: Arbor Hills Nature Center
Cedar Ridge Preserve
For a scenic hiking experience with abundant wildlife, head to Cedar Ridge Preserve. Formerly known as the Dallas Nature Center, this 600-acre preserve is located in Cedar Hill, just 20 minutes from downtown Dallas.
The preserve offers 9 miles of walking trails that range from easy to difficult, catering to hikers of all levels. Explore the diverse ecosystem, enjoy the butterfly gardens, and take a moment to relax at one of the picnic areas. Cedar Ridge Preserve is a slice of Texas Hill Country right in the heart of DFW.
Location: Cedar Hill
Directions: Cedar Ridge Preserve
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
Just a short 25-minute drive southwest of downtown Dallas, you’ll find the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. This nature preserve offers over 2 miles of hiking trails that lead you to some of the highest elevations in Dallas County.
The area is named after the dogwood trees that bloom in abundance in the spring, creating a stunning display of pink and white flowers. Take advantage of the guided hikes offered at Dogwood Canyon throughout the year to learn more about the local biodiversity.
Location: Cedar Hill
Directions: Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
Teddy Bear Park
If you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure, Teddy Bear Park is a delightful destination! Located in Dallas, this park is home to giant teddy bear statues will be a hit with the little ones and cute photo opp for couples.
The park provides ample space for picnics and casual outdoor games. Children can enjoy the creatively designed playground while adults can relax on the benches and soak in the surrounding greenery.
Directions: Teddy Bear Park/Lakeside Park
Piedmont Ridge Trail
For a blend of natural beauty and a moderate trek, consider the Piedmont Ridge Trail. Nestled in the bustling metropolis of Dallas, this trail spans a distance of approximately 3 miles through dense woodlands, providing hikers with a peaceful retreat from the city noise.
The trail’s moderate difficulty level makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a bit more of a challenge. The high point of the trail rewards hikers with sweeping views of the Dallas skyline, juxtaposing urban architecture against a backdrop of lush greenery.
Directions: Piedmont Ridge Trail
Texas Buckeye Trail
Nestled in the heart of Dallas, the Texas Buckeye Trail offers an immersive experience into the local flora and fauna. Named after the Buckeye Trees peppered along the trail, this 1.6-mile loop is especially enchanting in the spring, when the Buckeye trees bloom with clusters of yellow-green flowers.
The trail winds its way through lush woodlands and along the Trinity River, providing ample opportunities to spot local wildlife. Remember to bring your binoculars; you might be lucky enough to spot a variety of birds, including the Red-Shouldered Hawk and the Great Blue Heron.
The trail is easy and suitable for all fitness levels, making it a captivating getaway for families and nature enthusiasts alike.
Directions: Texas Buckeye Trail
Chalk Hill Trail
If you’re in the mood for a mild yet scenic hike, the Chalk Hill Trail in Dallas is a fitting choice. This trail, stretching around 3.5 miles, offers a pleasant journey through a mix of open fields and wooded areas. Its name originates from the soft, chalk-like soil that forms the path.
The trail is fairly flat, making it perfect for beginners or those looking for a casual stroll rather than a strenuous hike. Along your journey, you can expect to encounter vibrant wildflowers in the spring, and an impressive display of autumn colors in the fall. It’s a true gem in Dallas, offering a tranquil retreat from the city rush.
Directions: Chalk Hill Trail
White Rock Lake Trail
Dallas is home to the picturesque White Rock Lake Trail, a favorite among locals and tourists alike. This 9.3-mile loop around the tranquil White Rock Lake offers a serene escape from city life.
As you meander along the trail, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the lake, brimming with sailboats that gently glide across its glassy surface. The trail is flat and well-paved, making it suitable for walkers of all ages and fitness levels.
One of the trail’s highlights is undoubtedly the awe-inspiring spectacle of the sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, the evening sky explodes into a myriad of colors, painting the lake with hues of orange, pink, and purple. The sight of sailboats silhouetted against this dramatic backdrop, their reflections dancing on the rippling lake, is genuinely mesmerizing.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful walk, a vigorous run, or a picturesque spot for evening meditation, the White Rock Lake Trail offers an unforgettable experience.
Directions: White Rock Lake Trail
White Rock Creek Trail
For nature enthusiasts looking for an urban escape, Dallas presents the White Rock Creek Trail. This scenic 7.6-mile trail weaves through lush greenery, following the course of the White Rock Creek. The trail is relatively flat with a combination of paved and unpaved paths, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities including walking, running, and biking.
The White Rock Creek Trail is a haven for local wildlife, offering an opportunity to spot diverse bird species and an abundance of wildflowers, particularly in the spring. The tranquility and beauty of this trail make it an ideal spot for nature photography.
Along the route, there are several picnic spots, perfect for a mid-walk lunch or a peaceful spot to read a book. For those looking for a longer excursion, the trail connects to the White Rock Lake Trail, allowing for an extended exploration of Dallas’ beautiful outdoors.
Directions: White Rock Creek Trail
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
Less than 10 miles from downtown Dallas, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is a local hidden gem waiting to be explored. With 8 miles of multi-use hike and bike trails, this 121-acre preserve offers stunning views of woodlands, prairies, and fields of wildflowers.
Choose from one of the six loops and enjoy the captivating scenery along the way. Keep an eye out for markings along the trail, as some off-road hikers have paved their own path. Pets are allowed but must be leashed at all times.
Location: Oak Cliff
Directions: Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
Prairie Creek Park
Explore the 4.5 miles of trails that wind through the park’s woodlands and creeks, or take a dip in the swimming pool on hot summer days. The best part is the little waterfall! It’s a favorite spot for all sorts of pictures so it can be packed.
Directions: Prairie Creek Park
Cedar Hill State Park
Cedar Hill State Park, located just southwest of Dallas, is a popular getaway spot for locals and tourists alike. The park is known for its rich history, pristine natural beauty, and versatile recreational activities.
It encompasses over 1,800 acres, providing ample space for camping, picnicking, bird watching, and more. The park’s key attraction is Joe Pool Lake, where visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, or simply basking in the sun on its sandy(ish) beaches.
Location: Cedar Hill
Directions: Cedar Hill State Park
Twelve Hills Nature Center
A hidden gem in the heart of Dallas, the Twelve Hills Nature Center offers city dwellers a serene retreat amidst nature. Spread across 5 acres, this urban preserve boasts a network of winding trails through tall grass and wildflowers. As you meander along, you’ll hear rustling leaves and chirping birds — it’s a symphony of nature that rejuvenates the soul.
This center is a testament to the efforts of local residents who transformed a former apartment complex site into a thriving habitat for local flora and fauna. It serves as a crucial educational resource for local schools and community groups, offering various programs to promote environmental stewardship.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a curious explorer, or someone looking for a quiet escape, the Twelve Hills Nature Center is a must-visit destination.
Directions: Twelve Hills Nature Center
Katie Jackson Park
Katie Jackson Park is another outdoor treasure in Dallas. This expansive park is ideal for those seeking a diverse range of recreational activities. Its extensive trail system encompasses paved and natural dirt trails for both hikers and cyclists to enjoy.
Its namesake, Katie Jackson, contributed to the conservation and development of parklands in the Dallas area.
The park’s large pond serves as a habitat for a variety of waterfowl and features a fishing pier for a relaxing afternoon of angling. For sports enthusiasts, there are soccer fields and basketball courts available. Kids can enjoy the playground, while picnic tables and a pavilion make it a great spot for a family outing.
Directions: Katie Jackson Park
Anderson Bonner Park
Tucked away in the bustling city of Dallas, Anderson Bonner Park is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. This park boasts a wealth of recreational amenities encapsulated in its verdant surroundings.
It features a beautiful, winding walking trail that stretches across the park, providing ample opportunity for leisurely strolls or vigorous runs. The park is dotted with several picnic spots, plus a playground and soothing nature sounds, all the makings of a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Directions: Anderson Bonner Park
Lake Cliff Park
Situated in the heart of the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas, Lake Cliff Park is a historic, urban park that offers a plethora of outdoor activities. The park is adorned with a beautiful lake at its center with walking paths that circumscribe it.
The park also features amenities like tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, and a playground, making it an ideal place for sports enthusiasts and families. Enjoy a picnic under the shade of the lush mature trees that populate the park, or simply soak in the picturesque views of the downtown skyline.
Directions: Lake Cliff Park
Turtle Creek Park
Turtle Creek Park is a haven of tranquility in the heart of Dallas. This beautiful park is a popular spot with scenic trails that run alongside its namesake.
The park is renowned for its flourishing flora, featuring an array of native plants and trees that provide a serene, green backdrop to the cityscape. There’s a little stream to wander through and there’s also the curious giant hole in the middle of the water that we always drive by!
Located near the vibrant Dallas neighborhood of Uptown, Reverchon Park is a gem of urban green space that offers both recreational amenities and a relaxing atmosphere. The park is set around a natural landscape of rolling hills and features a wealth of lush vegetation, making it a beautiful spot for leisurely walks or picnics.
Among the park’s facilities, you’ll find tennis courts, a baseball field, and a playground. Reverchon Park is also known for its historic stone steps, which lead visitors to stunning views of the Dallas skyline.
Directions: Reverchon Park
In the heart of downtown Dallas is Pioneer Plaza, a large public park known for its captivating sculptures of life-size, bronze longhorns. The Plaza commemorates Dallas’ cattle drive history and features a trail with a man-made limestone cliff, native plants, and flowing streams. It’s not only a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll but also an opportunity to learn about the city’s rich history. The park and its statues make for excellent photo opportunities and a popular tourist attraction.
Directions: Pioneer Plaza
Trinity River Audubon Center
Nestled in the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States, the Trinity River Audubon Center offers visitors a unique hiking experience. With just under 4 miles of trails winding through the park, you can enjoy undisturbed wetlands, spot birds in their natural habitat, and take in the scenic overlooks of the Trinity River. The center aims to educate the community about the local flora and fauna, making it a perfect choice for a few hours of exploration.
Location: South Dallas
Directions: Trinity River Audubon Center
Boulder Park Trail
Situated in the heart of Dallas, Boulder Park Trail offers an exciting blend of natural charm and adventure. Primarily used for off-road biking and hiking, this trail provides a challenging yet rewarding experience, filled with diverse terrains, steep inclines, and a dense canopy of trees.
Along the way, you’ll encounter fascinating wildlife, blooming wildflowers in the spring, and the soothing sounds of the nearby creek. Do remember to wear appropriate gear and stay hydrated. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, Boulder Park Trail promises an unforgettable outdoor experience.
Directions: Boulder Park Trail
Five Mile Creek Trail
Five Mile Creek Trail is an excellent choice for those seeking an urban trail with a country feel. Located in Dallas, this paved, multi-use trail winds through residential areas, parks, and along the natural beauty of Five Mile Creek. Walkers, runners, and cyclists alike will find suitable terrain for their activity of choice.
The trail boasts a diverse ecosystem with a rich array of bird species, making it a haven for bird watchers. For families, the trail’s numerous picnic spots and playgrounds provide the perfect setting for an enjoyable day out. Regardless of your pace or preference, Five Mile Creek Trail enthralls its visitors with a refreshing blend of nature and community.
Directions: Five Mile Creek Trail
Hikes in Fort Worth TX
Eagle Mountain Park
If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors just outside of Fort Worth, Eagle Mountain Park is the perfect destination. This 400-acre park offers green space, hiking trails, and a scenic overlook of Eagle Mountain Lake.
With over 5 miles of trails that range in difficulty, Eagle Mountain Park caters to hikers of all levels. Challenge yourself by running the hills or opt for the steeper trails to get a workout with a view. It’s also a great option for families looking to spend quality time in nature.
Location: Fort Worth
Directions: Eagle Mountain Park
Marion Sansom Park
Marion Sansom Park in Fort Worth is a hidden treasure for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 400 acres of natural beauty, this park boasts scenic trails for hiking and mountain biking. But the real highlight? The majestic waterfall that cascades down, creating a mesmerizing sight. Immerse yourself in the stunning views of Lake Worth and the downtown skyline as you explore the diverse flora and fauna surrounding the waterfall.
Location: Fort Worth
Directions: Marion Sansom Park
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
Situated on the outskirts of Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is a haven for wildlife and a must-visit for nature lovers. The sprawling 3,621-acre preserve offers an authentic taste of Texas’ diverse ecosystems, from prairies and forests to wetlands.
It hosts over 20 miles of hiking trails, suitable for all ages and fitness levels, where one can spot bison, deer, and countless bird species. The interpretive center enriches the experience, offering educational exhibits about the local environment and its inhabitants.
Location: Fort Worth
Directions: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
The Trinity Trails in Fort Worth offer more than 100 miles of scenic pathways for biking, running, and even horseback riding. The trails meander alongside the Trinity River with numerous trailheads scattered across the city for easy access. Watch as the city’s hustle and bustle fades into the background and the tranquil harmonies of nature take over.
The trails also connect various parks and attractions, allowing for diverse and exploratory excursions into Fort Worth’s outdoor charm. Oakmont Park Trailhead is a really nice one with a stream and a little waterfall flowing over the dam.
Location: Fort Worth
Directions: Trinity Trails