There are so many hiking trails near Dallas Fort Worth, people may often take them for granted. We are always looking for things to do that allow us to unplug, and for Dallas families who love the outdoors, there’s so much to explore. I have put together a list of the top parks, preserves, and lakes for hiking near DFW.
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Table of Contents
1. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve has a diverse landscape with hiking trails that can be enjoyed by everyone who lives in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
The Preserve is split into three ecoregions. The Blackland Prairie is home to the observation tower, the Riparian Forest houses the creek, and the Upland Forest forms the habitat of the rarely spotted Coyotes and bobcats.
There are three main trails, the Arbor Hills Loop is 1.3 miles, the Arbor Vista Trail is 4 miles and the Tower Trail is 1 mile. The short distances make it the perfect place for those with small children who can’t walk very far.
Total size: 200 acres Address: 6701 W. Parker Rd, Plano, 75093
2. Eagle Mountain Lake
This park offers some of the most scenic hiking trails near DFW, with views of the lake a mile and a half away from the main entrance.
All of the six trails start with the Main Park Trail and they then come off each other at different points. Some are as short as a quarter of a mile, others can go for 88 miles!
They also offer different levels of ability. If you’re looking for a quick trip and great views, the Overlook Trail will be best, however, if you’re after a rocky trail before you reach a viewing platform, South Overlook Trail is best.
Total size: 400 acres Address: 11601 Morris Dido Newark Road, Fort Worth, 76179
3. Lake Grapevine
There are seven official trails around Lake Grapevine, however, there are also many unnamed trails that take you around the lake and park. Just make sure you don’t get lost!
The trails interconnect, so you can choose to take a shorter one, or if you come across another and feel like extending your walk, you can take a detour.
All of the easy trails here are either paved or well-maintained and run from 0.34 miles to 3.22 miles long so you can bring the whole family. Some of them go around the edge of the lake, or up into the trees. Make sure you research the trail you take first because some are more scenic than others.
Total size: 1,250 acres Address: Northshore Trail Car Park, Grapevine, 76051
4. River Legacy Park
This park has an 8-mile hiking trail, and it’s all paved, making it one of the most accessible hiking trails near DFW.
The trail isn’t a loop, which means if you go from one end to the other, you will have to go back, making it a 16-mile walk. However, if you begin at the western side, there is more parking and restrooms, and the chance to shorten the hike.
As you go east along the trail, you will find fewer parking spots and restroom facilities, so keep that in mind.
Total size: 1,300 acres Address: 701 NW Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington, 76006
5. Trinity River Audubon Center
This Center is great for wildlife enthusiasts. Several ponds are named after various types of wildlife that make them their habitats, such as the Spider Web Pond, Dragonfly Pond, and the Wood Duck Pond.
There is also a bird blind and a butterfly garden. They are all looped into the six hiking trails that weave through the Center.
All of the trails are very short, making them ideal for an afternoon out, or some early morning exercise. The shortest trail is the Prairie Trail at 0.2 miles, whereas the longest is the Wetland Trail, at only 1 mile.
Total size: 120 acres Address: 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, 75217
6. Cedar Ridge Preserve
The eleven hiking trails at Cedar Ridge Preserve range from just over a mile to nearly nine miles. This is one of the few hiking trails near Dallas where you will be above sea level (at 775 feet).
It’s a great option if you’re looking for a good workout. The trails may all seem short, but it is necessary to walk on some of them to get to others. Cedar Brake Trail is 2.1 miles, however, it loops off and back onto Cattail Pond Trail, which then joins the Fossil Valley trail, so you can make your hike as long or as short as you like.
Total size: 600 acres Address: 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, 75249
7. Lake Mineral Wells
The eight trails at Lake Mineral Wells range from easy to moderate, and range in length from 0.6 miles to 2.3 miles.
They cover wetlands, grasslands, rocky trails, and everything in between. The park has a great map and guide to their trails, giving you information on the terrain, wildlife, difficulty, and length.
If you’re up for a challenge, they also have the Trailway, which takes you from Mineral Wells to Weatherford. There are three sections to the Trailway, which runs for an impressive 19.8 miles. Just remember that there isn’t any public transportation between the two, so you either need to leave a car at the other end or plan on walking back.
Total size: 3,282 acres Address: 100 Park Road 71 Mineral Wells, 76067
8. Fort Worth Nature Center
One of the best places for hiking trails near DFW is the Fort Worth Nature Center.
There are no less than 12 trails, two of which are wheelchair accessible. It’s the accessibility of the trails and the varying landscapes that make this such a great place to hike.
You can begin in an ancient forest, walk through wetlands and up steep climbs, and can even cross the lake to Greer Island and back on the 1.5-mile loop trail.
Total size: 3,621 acres Address: 9601 Fossil Ridge Road, Fort Worth, 76135
9. White Rock Lake
Located within Dallas, this is an easy trail to get to. However, this also makes it one of the most popular.
The only trail here follows the perimeter of the lake, which is 9.6 miles. Because it’s a loop, and so close to the city, it’s a great option for a last-minute outing.
If you want to make the walk shorter, the most scenic part of the lake is to the north, and the majority of the restrooms are located on the east side.
Total size: 1,015 acres Address: 8300 Garland Rd, Dallas, 75218
10. Lewisville Lake
There are six hiking trails you can take at Lewisville Lake, and none of them run longer than 1.5 miles, so this is also a good option for a half-day visit.
The Cottonwood Trail runs 1.3 miles through a wooded area and down to the Beaver Pond. You will also visit the 1870s Minor-Porter Log House. If you want to explore the house, the site offers guided tours that can be booked on their website.
The center at the Lake runs lots of activities and events, including “A Chance to Hike” a 1 mile guided nature walk for people with special needs along the most accessible trail.
Total size: 9,000 acres Address: 201 E. Jones St., Lewisville, 75057
11. Oak Cliff Nature Center
This hiking trail is also popular with Dallas locals, however regulars who like to take shortcuts have formed paths that aren’t a part of the official trail, so make sure you stick to the map so you don’t get lost!
The single trail is 8 miles long and made of 6 loops. It’s maintained by the Dallas Off-Road Biking Association and is a trail open to hikers and bikers, so be prepared to share the space.
There aren’t any facilities at the Center. However, there are plenty nearby so make sure to stop off on your way to stock up on water and snacks.
Total size: 121 acres Address: 2875 Pierce St, Dallas, 75233