Expansive lakes, numerous hiking and biking trails, dedicated horse trails, year-round sunny weather – it’s no wonder why State Parks in the Dallas – Fort Worth area are the “go-to” places for outdoor fun! But have you seen the dinosaur fossils and farm tour? Be sure to visit these outstanding state parks in North Texas.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Isle du Bois Unit, Lake Ray Roberts - Pilot Point
You can quickly escape back to nature at one of two State Parks on this lake, which is located about one hour north of the Metroplex. There are endless opportunities to soak in the sunshine and clean air while enjoying camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, swimming, or doing nothing at all.
You'll find the park entrance at 100 PW 4137, Pilot Point, TX 76258.
2. Johnson Branch, Lake Ray Roberts - Valley View
Fishing, anyone? The lake is a fisherman's paradise, with a 29,000 acres full of largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and white bass. The best part? You can fish from the shore or a pier in a State Park without a fishing license!
You can find the entrance at 100 PW 4153, Valley View, TX 76272.
There's no shortage of fiery Texas sunsets or sounds of wildlife along the waterways here to reboot your soul, and Lake Ray Roberts is so expansive that there are actually six additional satellite State Park units around the lake!
3. South Sulphur Unit, Cooper Lake - Sulphur Springs
Photographers are in an outdoor paradise at either of the two park units on Cooper Lake, located about 90 miles northwest of Dallas. Bring your camera, tent, swimsuit, horse, and family, and you'll leave with a new, calm outlook on life. You can even rent a canoe!
The South Side Park entrance is at 1690 FM 3505 in Sulphur Springs, TX 75482.
4. Doctors Creek Unit, Cooper Lake - Cooper
Located on the north side of the lake, Doctors Creek has fish stations, campsites with water and electricity, and plenty of open skies away from the city lights for nighttime stargazing.
The entrance is at 1664 FM 1529, South Cooper, TX 75432.
5. Lake Tawakoni State Park - Wills Point
Lake Tawakoni Park is located about 50 miles east of Dallas, and it's a boaters paradise. No boat? Then come to explore 376 acres of oak forest, reserve a campsite, rent the amphitheater for a special event, or take a dip in the kid pond!
You can find the park at 10822 FM 2475 in Wills Point, TX 75169.
6. Cedar Hill State Park - Cedar Hill
Cedar Hill State Park is only about 20 miles from downtown Dallas and 30 miles from Fort Worth, making it the closest spot to the cities on this list! Visitors can camp at one of the 350 developed campsites, all with nearby restrooms and hot showers, or make a visit to the Penn Farm Agricultural History Center. The Penn family lived and worked here for over 100 years and the self-guided tour shows how farming has changed over the past century.
You can enter the park at 1570 West FM 1382 in Cedar Hill, TX 75104.
7. Purtis Creek State Park - Eustace
The park is well-known for its excellent fishing, but visitors will also enjoy the abundance of wildlife. They even lends rods, reels and tackle boxes for use in the park!
The park's entrance is an hour southeast of Dallas at 14225 FM 316 in Eustace, TX 75124.
8. Cleburne State Park - Cleburne
The technical and wooded trails here form a loop that has made this park a favorite for hikers and bikers alike. Boats are not allowed to create wakes on this lake and personal watercraft are prohibited, so it is popular for its peace and quiet.
You can enter the park at 5800 Park Road 21 in Cleburne, which is southwest of the Metroplex.
9. Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose
Discovering dinosaur tracks left behind in the bed of the Paluxy River is one of the most appealing reasons to visit here! The park is located about an hour southwest of Fort Worth.
The Dinosaur Valley State Park entrance is located at 1629 Park Rd. 59 in Glen Rose, TX 76043.
10. Lake Mineral Wells State Park - Mineral Wells
This park sits near what was once a popular health resort, and includes a rock climbing area, lake, trails, and even 20 equestrian campsites.
The location is only 45 minutes west of Fort Worth and is at 100 Park Road 71 in Mineral Wells, TX 76067.