10 Best Hiking And Trekking Spots In Dallas, Texas

hiking in dallas

Traveling and planning a holiday can sometimes be stressful and tiring. Consider taking a trek or hike in your trip to immerse in nature, and if you are heading to Dallas, you will be pleased to find another side to this concrete jungle that offers locals and visitors a slice of nature not too far from the city! It is home to more than 400 parks on 21,000 acres (8,498 ha) of parkland, excluding the 200-acre (81 ha) Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Here we have curated the best hiking and trekking spots in Dallas, Texas, that will be sure to keep your stress levels in check and your travel companions happy. Do check them out!

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1. Cedar Ridge Preserve

Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve
Source: Photo by user Adam Keys used under CC BY-ND 2.0

If you are short on time, know you don’t have to travel far from the city for a good hiking trail. Experience a slice of nature and the countryside just 20 minutes away from downtown Dallas at Cedar Ridge Reserve, where you can find yourself in 600 acres (243 ha) of native trees, grasses, birds, and wild mammals. Do not worry if you are not the most athletically inclined—the preserve offers 9 miles (14.5 km) of walking trails of varying difficulty, so you can take your pick. Pack a picnic basket and stop by one of the butterfly gardens for a peaceful day immersed in nature. Keep an eye out for the rare black-capped vireo while you’re here!

Cedar Ridge Preserve

Address: 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX

Website: Cedar Ridge Preserve

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 6:30am - dusk (closed on Mon)

Price: 0 - 3 USD

2. Spring Creek Forest Trail

hiking in dallas | spring creek forest trail
Source: billholston on Instagram

Running parallel to Spring Creek, with limestone cliffs and home to many local species of birds, is Spring Creek Forest Trail. This 1.6-mile (2.5 km) loop trail is a quick and easy one through largely flat wooded and open meadows, with more than 650 species of wild flora and fauna to look out for. This trail is perfect for families, especially those with young children in tow. There are also several trails within the preserve for visitors to explore. Do note, however, with the trail’s close proximity to the limestone cliffs, during periods of heavy rainfall, portions of the trail may become inaccessible.

Spring Creek Forest Trail

Address: 1770 Holford Rd, Garland TX

Website: Spring Creek Forest Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

3. Texas Buckeye Trail

Winding through Great Trinity Forest in the heart of Dallas is Texas Buckeye Trail. The place is named after the Texas buckeye trees in the forest, and there are two trails that visitors can take—a new concrete path that leads to an overlook (with large boulders along the way for rest) and another natural trail that leads to a stand of Texas buckeye trees and a serene view of the meandering Trinity River. Visit in springtime to catch the famous buckeye trees bloom white!

Texas Buckeye Trail

Address: 7000 Bexar St, Dallas, TX

Website: Texas Buckeye Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

4. Piedmont Ridge

hiking in dallas | piedmont ridge
Source: tishbrew on Instagram

If you are just looking for a short but intense hike, consider Piedmont Ridge Trail. With 1.3 miles (2.1 km) to cover and starting off with an incline at the beginning, you will be able to get your weekly dose of nature while working up a bit of a sweat. After the steep incline, you will pass through woods of shin oak and eastern red cedar, then a native prairie teeming with butterflies in spring, and ending off with a glimpse of the downtown Dallas skyline. Visit in fall, and you will be greeted with beautiful hues of orange at the top of the ridge.

Piedmont Ridge

Address: 2400 N Jim Miller Rd, Dallas, TX

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

5. Lemmon Lake

If you have a day to spare and are itching for an adventure, venture into Great Trinity River Forest and Joppa Preserve to soak up Dallas’s natural surroundings. Little Lemmon Lake and Lemmon Lake are located within the forest and treat visitors to views of some wetland wildlife, including the roseate spoonbill. For Bonnie and Clyde movie fans, the bridge that connects the two lakes was where the Texas Ranger scene was filmed. Be careful, though, as there have been sightings of alligators at dawn and dusk at the lakes, so remember to be on the lookout!

Lemmon Lake

Address: 4969 River Oaks, Dallas, TX

Website: Lemmon Lake

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

6. Possumhaw Trail

Possumhaw Trail

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Thursday, 4 June 2015

Named after the deciduous holly, Possumhaw Trail is a short half-mile (800-meter) stroll that will take you through a variety of native flora and fauna. Nature lovers will be delighted to notice and study the different trees along the trail, ranging from Osage oranges, bur oaks, mustang grapes, and Ashe junipers. The trail also passes by the Austin Chalk escarpment, a large cliff area formed by a fault in the earth’s surface and consisting of limestone that was deposited after the ocean that used to cover the area receded. Fun fact: The bur oak, whose acorns are the largest in North America, can bear nuts for up to 400 years. Grab a guide from the trailhead and start exploring!

Possumhaw Trail

Address: 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX

Website: Possumhaw Trail

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 6:30am - dusk (closed on Mon)

Price: 0 - 3 USD

7. Katy Trail

Source: Photo by user Adam used under CC BY 2.0

Perhaps one of the most popular and accessible trails that run through the Uptown and Oak Lawn areas of Dallas is Katy Trail. A multi-purpose 3.5-mile (5.7 km) path for joggers, inline skaters, and bikers, the trail allows visitors and locals to explore a piece of Dallas history, as it follows the path of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT or Katy) Railroad. Although the city of Dallas owns the land, the trail is managed by a local non-profit group—The Friends of the Katy Trail—that plans events, conducts maintenance, and ensures the sustainability of the trail. Do not miss the flora growing alongside the trail. Spot the glossy privet, a tree in the olive family. Its leaves can be refined into wintergreen oil, which is an ingredient in toothpaste!

Katy Trail

Address: 5207 McKinney Ave, Ste 19A, Dallas, TX

Website: Katy Trail

Opening hours: 5am - 12am (daily)

Price: Free

8. Oak Cliff Nature Preserve Trail

If you are looking for a more adventurous and fun trail, do not miss Oak Cliff Nature Preserve Trail if you are visiting Dallas. With 121 acres (49 ha) of rolling woodlands and wildflower meadows, it is primarily a mountain bike trail maintained by Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association (DORBA). It features close to 8 miles (13 km) of thick, wooded trails with six loops. Pack a picnic basket and rest up at the trailhead before you start off your trek through the twisty path, and be wary of some rocky portions and creek crossings.

Oak Cliff Nature Preserve Trail

Address: 2875 Pierce St, Dallas, TX

Website: Oak Cliff Nature Preserve Trail

Opening hours: Vary

Price: Free

9. Boulder Park Trail

hiking in dallas | boulder park trail
Source: spencerk.mtb on Instagram

Another mountain bike trail maintained by Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association (DORBA), Boulder Park Trail is not for the faint-hearted. Its open fields, rocky up-and-down sections, and creek crossings prove to be an exciting challenge for bikers and trekkers alike. There are two loops marked for different difficulty levels. Follow the red arrows for a more challenging ride covering all 8 miles (13 km) of the trail plus technical sections, or the blue arrows with bypasses for difficult parts, measuring a shorter 6.2 miles (10 km) and which is more suitable for beginners.

Boulder Park Trail

Address: 6600 Pastor Bailey Dr, Dallas, TX

Website: Boulder Park Trail

Opening hours: Vary

Price: Free

10. Lower Wetland Cells

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) showing adult (left) and immature (right) plumage, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Texas
Source: Photo by user William L. Farr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located along Trinity River, Lower Wetland Cells is part of the Dallas Floodway Extension Project to develop a series of wetland ponds in a bid to tackle the issue of flooding and sustain the ecosystem of native species. Spreading over 75 acres (30 ha), it is now a peaceful wildlife habitat, with more than 10 species of mammals, 100 species of birds, and 20 species of fish, with species diversity improving through the years. This trail is also popular with bird-watchers, as Dallas is a known flyway for migrating birds and ducks. In 2012 following a flood in late December, there were more than 6,000 birds observed in the wetlands!

Lower Wetland Cells

Address: 4800 Fellows Ln, Dallas, TX

Website: Lower Wetland Cells

Price: Free

A trail for everyone

The above compilation of the best trails in Dallas shows that you need not travel too far from the city to find a trail suitable for your comfort level, interests, and travel companions. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking for an exciting bike trail, a nature lover wanting to learn more about native flora and fauna, or just planning for a suitable day out with your family, Dallas has a trail for everyone!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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