Best Hiking Trails Near Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas

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.

Location: Plano

Directions: Arbor Hills Nature Center

Boardwalk with a view deck in the end

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.

Location: Dallas

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.

Location: Dallas

Directions: Piedmont Ridge Trail

Person walking in a forest of tall trees

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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.

Location: Dallas

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.

Location: Dallas

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.

Location: Dallas

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.

Location: Dallas

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

Person walking in an open field with trees in the distance

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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.

Location: Richardson

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.

Location: Dallas

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.

Location: Dallas

Directions: Katie Jackson Park

Person hiking on a trail along a cliff looking over a valley

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.

Location: Dallas

Directions: Anderson Bonner Park

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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.

Location: Dallas

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!

Location: Dallas

Directions: Turtle Creek Park, Connor Park, & Lakeside Park

Reverchon Park

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.

Location: Dallas

Directions: Reverchon Park

Pioneer Plaza

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.

Location: Dallas

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

Pair of shoes walking on a path

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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.

Location: Dallas

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.

Location: Dallas

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

Person walking a trail surrounded by green grass and green trees

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

Butterfly on a flower

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Trinity Trails

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

Little waterfall cascading into a shallow stream

Pecan Valley Park

Pecan Valley Park, another hidden gem in Fort Worth, offers a serene getaway amidst the urban hustle. This community park is known for its expansive green spaces, perfect for picnics, play, or quiet introspection.

The centerpiece of the park is undoubtedly its iconic bridge, beautifully framed by mature pecan trees, and a beloved spot for photographs. Walking across it, one can gaze at the gentle stream below, listen to the rustling leaves, and appreciate the simple pleasures of nature. The park is a testament to Fort Worth’s commitment to preserving pockets of greenery amidst its rapidly growing, urban landscape.

Location: Fort Worth

Directions: Pecan Valley Park

Airfield Falls Trailhead

Airfield Falls Trailhead is Fort Worth’s largest natural waterfall, making it a must-visit spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This trailhead, located near the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and fascinating aviation history.

Follow the trail to marvel at the vibrant wildflowers in the spring, the towering trees, and the waterfall that is especially stunning after rainfall. The proximity of the trail to the air base serves as a constant reminder of Fort Worth’s rich aviation history, as marked by the impressive, decommissioned aircraft on display at the trailhead.

Location: Fort Worth

Directions: Airfield Falls Trailhead

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Hikes Less Than 1 Hour From Dallas

North Shore Trail at Grapevine Lake (30 min)

A quick trip outside of Dallas, Grapevine Lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 8 different trails spanning 67 miles, there’s something for everyone. The North Shore Trail is one of the most popular options, which runs for 22.5 miles from Rockledge Park to Twin Coves Park on the north side of the lake. Although it’s a moderately difficult trail, the spectacular views of the lake and refreshing breeze off the water make it well worth the effort. Just remember to check the trail’s status in case of inclement weather or flooding.

Location: Grapevine

Directions: North Shore Trail at Grapevine Lake

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John Bunker Sands Wetland Center (30 min)

The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center is a hidden gem in the heart of Texas. Nestled in Seagoville, this center provides visitors with an opportunity to explore and understand the significance of wetlands.

The center boasts a diverse ecosystem, teeming with a wide variety of plant and animal species. Visitors are invited to take a guided tour or wander the 800 acres of wetlands on their own.

The center is committed to education, conservation, and research about wetlands and their role in water quality and supply. With its variety of bird species, the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center is also a haven for birdwatchers.

Location: Seagoville

Directions: John Bunker Sands Wetland Center

Crane in a wetland environment

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ShangriLlama Castle (40 min)

ShangriLlama Castle in Royse City is a truly unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking a different kind of outdoor adventure. Here, visitors can enjoy the company of friendly, well-trained llamas while partaking in a “Llama Walk.” These walks take you through the beautiful, rural Texas landscape with a llama as your companion.

This unusual hiking experience allows visitors to learn about these fascinating creatures, their history, and how to interact with them. It’s an adventure that combines the joys of hiking with the excitement of making a new, fluffy friend.

Location: Royse City

Directions: ShangriLlama Castle

Dinosaur Valley State Park (45 min)

Dinosaur Valley State Park, situated in Glen Rose, is truly a journey into the prehistoric era. The park is famous for its preserved dinosaur footprints, scattered along the bed of the Paluxy River. These footprints, set in stone, provide a fascinating glimpse into a world that existed over 113 million years ago.

The park’s well-marked trails allow you to wander amidst ancient live oak trees, while observing various species of wildlife. Other activities include camping, picnicking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Dinosaur Valley State Park is not just a park, it’s a step back into history, offering a unique blend of outdoor adventure and paleontology.

Location: Glen Rose

Directions: Dinosaur Valley State Park

riverbed with dinosaur foorprints

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Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary (45 min)

Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney spans over 289 acres and offers a wide range of experiences. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on an immersive journey along the 6.5-mile nature trail, observing flora and fauna in their natural habitats.

Each trail offers its own unique features, from the rippling beauty of the Wetland Trail to the quiet serenity of the Woodland Trail. The sanctuary’s interpretive signs along the paths provide insightful information about the environment around, enhancing the educational aspect of your hike.

The museum is also home to various exhibits that introduce visitors to the wonders of nature and the importance of conservation. Whether you are a bird-watcher, hiker, or an ardent science enthusiast, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary provides a rich, educational experience wrapped in natural beauty.

Location: McKinney

Directions: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

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Ray Roberts Lake State Park (1 hr)

Ray Roberts Lake State Park is a delightful, tranquil escape in Pilot Point. Visitors can partake in various activities including boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and camping. The park features over 20 miles of trails that cater to hikers, bikers, and equestrians.

Wildlife observing is another popular activity, with diverse fauna including white-tailed deer, raccoons, and numerous bird species.

Location: Pilot Point

Directions: Ray Roberts Lake State Park

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Hikes More Than 1 Hour From Dallas

Eisenhower State Park (1 hr 20 min)

Eisenhower State Park is located just an hour outside of Dallas, making it a great destination for weekend trips. This expansive park offers plenty of activities to keep you busy, including fishing, boating, camping and more.

The highlight of the park is the Eisenhower Cave Trail, which takes you on a 1.5-mile journey through a limestone cave. Along the way you’ll be able to spot ancient fossils and explore some of the unique geological formations. Be sure to bring your flashlight and wear proper footwear!

Location: Denison

Directions: Eisenhower State Park

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Waterloo Lake Cave Trail (1 hr 20 min)

The Waterloo Lake Cave Trail in Denison is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This picturesque hike will take you through lush greenery and serene landscapes, leading you to a breathtakingly beautiful cave nestled near the sparkling waters of Waterloo Lake.

Location: Denison

Directions: Waterloo Lake Cave Trail

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Clark Gardens Botanical Park (1 hr 30 min)

Situated in Weatherford, Clark Gardens Botanical Park is a picturesque sanctuary that blends the beauty of nature and human creativity. The gardens span 50 acres, showcasing a variety of beautifully manicured landscapes and flower beds bursting with color.

Visitors can walk along the winding paths and admire the waterfalls, ponds, and myriad of plant species. In addition to its horticultural exhibits, the park is also a habitat for various bird species, making it an ideal spot for bird-watchers.

Moreover, the park hosts several events throughout the year, adding a vibrancy to the tranquil surroundings.

Location: Weatherford

Directions: Clark Gardens Botanical Park

Lake Weatherford (1 hr 30 min)

One of the unique features of Lake Weatherford is its floating bridge, the longest of its kind in the country. When the water levels are just right, it provides unrivaled views of the lake and its blooming American Lotus during the summer. It’s a sight that is not only breathtaking but also a testament to the lake’s thriving ecosystem. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an angler, or a photographer, Lake Weatherford promises a memorable experience.

Location: Weatherford

Directions: Lake Weatherford