A guide to hitting up Dallas' favorite hiking trails.
Posted on Apr 21, 2021 By Taylor Voth
Dallas is known for many things: barbeque, brunch and the best shopping this side of the Red River. But when it comes to hiking, it may come as a surprise to know that Dallas has many beautiful trails all within 30 minutes of Downtown. From bustling urban walks to stunning rural vistas, these Texas trails can accommodate a variety of experience levels and will have you breaking a sweat and believing in the hidden beauty that Dallas hikes have to offer. Happy trails!
The Katy Trail
Built on an old railroad line, the historic Katy Trail is an iconic stroll for Dallas visitors and locals alike. Over 125 acres of urban parkland connected via well-maintained cement path with pedestrian and bike lanes offer beautiful scenery for a stroll through the city. Lined with Texas Redbud trees that bloom pink in the spring, the Katy Trail is the perfect urban hike. Stop into the Katy Trail Ice House for an ice cold beer to top off a toasty turn on the trail. The trail can get very busy on fair weather days, so be prepared for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Trinity River Audubon Center
Located just 10 miles south of Downtown Dallas, the Trinity Audubon Center is the perfect way to getaway without ever leaving the city. The center offers access to the resources of the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest, the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States. There are a wide variety of diverse plant and animal species and a unique mixture of bottomland hardwood forest, wetland and prairie habitat. Over four miles of walkable paved and natural trails, boardwalks to observe nature and easy wheelchair access makes this a perfect place to relax and spend time enjoying the Texas sun.
Cedar Ridge Nature Center
A natural habitat of around 600 acres, the Cedar Ridge Nature Center offers over nine miles of hiking trails filled with native trees, grasses, wildflowers and butterfly gardens. Wild mammals, insects, birds and reptiles frequent the park and make for excellent nature observation while heading out on the trails. The 755-foot elevation gain offers hikers a little slice of hill country less than 20 minutes from the Dallas skyline. Be sure to head out early as this is a very popular spot on the weekends. There are 13 trails available, so pack a lunch and get your sweat on while traversing a unique and vibrant landscape.
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
Put the pedal to the metal with a popular 6.5-mile loop, perfect for hiking and biking trails with beautiful scenery just 15 minutes from the Dallas city center. Immersed in forest setting, this hike is considered moderate with dirt trails leading around the property. There are two creek crossings on the trail, so water resistant shoes are a must. Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be leashed at all times, so pack up your pooch and hit the trails early to avoid heavy bike traffic.