Texans’ love of the outdoors and wide open spaces means there is always adventure nearby! Escaping from the city can be mere moments away, so residents can find beauty and calm in areas with nearby rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. Some of the area’s favorite trails are often bike-and-hikes where both options are offered. Most also feature shade from mature trees, meaning a hot summer day is no excuse from enjoying the outdoors. Here are 10 places to explore in the Dallas – Fort Worth area.
1. Katy Trail - Dallas
The Katy Trail is a 7.5-mile patrolled area that is privately funded and community supported. The historic trail is built on an old railroad line and features shaded trees, an abundance of wild flowers, and walkways to parks. Even though it's in the middle of Dallas, it is very leisurely, peaceful, and the views of downtown make this a Dallas favorite. If you are entering the trail from the north end, the best place to park is in a lot near Knox and Travis streets. If you prefer the south end, park at the Reverchon Park Area, located at 3505 Maple Avenue.
2. River Legacy Park - Arlington
Often considered the crown jewel of Arlington's park system, River Legacy Park encompasses 1,031 acres of forest floodplain with numerous hiking trails, separate bike and jogging areas, nature study sites, and much more. The park is open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the entrance is located at 701 NW Green Oaks Blvd.
3. Airfield Falls - Fort Worth
This greatly-anticipated Trailhead and Conservation Park opened in April 2017, and it showcases the city's only natural waterfall! The park pays tribute to the city's military aviation history by displaying a McDonnell Douglas C-9. The trailhead is located at 200 Pumphrey Drive.
4. North Shore Trail - Grapevine
This trail features moderately challenging terrain and stunning views from the lake and cliffs. Trails are open for both hikers and bikers and run for 9-10 miles. You can start in Rockledge Park, Twin Coves Park, or Murrell Park.
5. Big Cedar Ridge Wilderness Trail - Dallas
The trails here in South Dallas are mostly rated as difficult, but there are options for beginners as well. Featured is a five-mile loop trail with options for longer climbs, a few switchbacks, challenging descents, and a few rocky areas, all of which make it a popular destination with experienced hikers. Park and enter the trails at 5950 Eagle Ford Road.
6. Trinity Park Trails - Fort Worth
The Trinity Trails extend through Fort Worth for more than 40 miles along the Trinity River, making it an amazing area for hikers, bikers, runners, and horseback riders throughout the city. The trails connect with major areas like Downtown, the Stockyards, the Cultural District, and Zoo area. Since the system is so extensive, check out the map legend of where you plan to start and end at
7. Bachman Lake Trail - Dallas
This is an easy three-mile loop trail around Bachman Lake located in Northwest Dallas. As an added interest for airplane lovers, the southern bank of the trail offers a close-up view of airplanes taking off and landing at Love Field Airport.
8. Campion Trail - Irving
Campion Trail is a master-planned, 22-mile greenbelt and it's still being developed. There are two segments of Campion Trail open to the public at this time. There are 6.5 miles available in the Elm Fork (north) section and 4 miles available in the West Fork (south) section. The two trails are part of a larger regional effort to join trail systems across Irving, Grand Prairie, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas. Parking for the northern section of the trail is available in T.W. Richardson Grove Park (333 Interstate 635) and Sam Houston Trail Park (101 East Interstate 635). Parking for the southern section of the trail is available in Trinity View Park (2221 East State Highway 356) and Mountain Creek Preserve (1000 E. Hunter Ferrell).
9. John F. Burke Nature Preserve - Farmer's Branch
This hidden secret in Farmer's Branch is a 104-acre tract with trails encompassing the upland forests and wetlands along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. It includes three short (under one mile) trails with different scenery for each to allow for shorter hikes or for more adventurous nature lovers to visit all three. You'll find the entrance located at 1111 Valley View Lane.
10. Nature Preserve - Colleyville
This natural area features a large creek, forested wetlands, and nine lakes. A paved trail leads into a heavily wooded area near Little Bear Creek and unpaved nature trails loop around the area. The preserve features stocked fishing ponds, a playground, and picnic spots, making it an ideal spot for family activities and shorter strolls. There is ample parking at the trail entrance located at 100 Mill Wood Drive.
These trails are only a few of the countless places to hike in Dallas – Fort Worth. What are your favorite locations? Just don’t forget the water and sunscreen!
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