Dallas Surprises: Hiking Scene

It's not all skyscrapers! It's National Hiking Day and the perfect excuse to get some quality time on the trails.

Posted on Nov 17, 2016

You didn't think Dallas was actually all just highways and city blocks, did you? Escape from the city buzz with some pep in your step at some of your favorite hiking spots – all within minutes of Downtown Dallas.

 

Trinity Audubon Center
17 minutes from Downtown Dallas

Take your pick from eight trails to explore, each with their own unique twist. The Cattail Pond Trail takes you to the bird blind, where you can take a few minutes to see the wildlife passing by. Head to the butterfly garden on the Trinity River Trail and stop by the picnic area for a quick break. 

Pro tip: Many of the trails are wheelchair accessible, and the center pays close attention that there are wheelchairs available for visitors (just call ahead to make sure they have some available.)

 

Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
15 minutes from Downtown Dallas

Recharge with more than 8 miles of hiking and biking trails and a beautiful scenery without going far from Downtown Dallas. There are two creeks to cross so good water-resistant shoes are a must as you explore the open fields and scenic wooded areas.

Pro tip: Bring a bike! The trails offer 6 loops to make the most of your ride, with the White Trail providing the longest path at 2.25 miles. 

 

Dogwood Canyon
30 minutes from Downtown Dallas

Bring the kids to this one! Aside from the 4 miles of trails available to explore, Dogwood Canyon also has a shady nature play area for everyone (adults included) to run around and burn off some energy. The trails are most beautiful in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom, but there's no bad time to visit thanks to Dallas' 282 days of sunny days each year. Start on the West Loop Trail to get your adrenaline going – the elevation goes up 150 feet in the first half mile, so you're in for a good sweat.

Pro tip: Check out the visitor's center. From kids' yoga workshops to nature lecture series, there's something on the schedule to make your visit to Dogwood Canyon even better stop. Stop by the nature store to pick up a gift and browse their collection of nature-inspired souvenirs.

 

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
27 minutes from Downtown Dallas

Once you get on the trails and start exploring, you'll quickly realize how big this place is. Get lost in thought and tranquility as you head on the unpaved trails (signs guide the way so no worries about actually getting lost!) The Outer Loop Trail takes you along the perimeter of the 200-acre preserve – perfect for a quiet moment of reflection before heading back into the city.

Pro tip: Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shade by the playground, or head up to the pavilion near the top of the hill to get a panoramic view of the greenery.

 

Cedar Ridge Nature Center
20 minutes from Downtown Dallas

Head out early to this one – it's a popular spot on the weekends. Use the easy-to-navigate signage and head out to explore more than 8 miles of natural surface trails. There's 13 trails to pick from, starting with the easy-on-the-knees Park in the Woods Trail (no hills here) to the break-a-sweat Fossil Valley Trail, featuring a workout-worthy incline of nearly 100 feet.

Pro tip: Take a selfie break at Cattail Pond. The pond is toward the end of the Cattail Pond Trail and it's a good halfway point rest stop. The pond's quiet nature and wooden benches are perfect for a small break and photo session.