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Hiking In Dallas: 20 Great Hiking Trails In (& Near) Dallas, Texas

Hiking In Dallas: 20 Great Hiking Trails In (& Near) Dallas, Texas

If you are looking to do some hiking in Dallas, then you are in the right place! There are loads of hiking trails in and near Dallas just waiting to be explored.

We have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex our entire lives, and love escaping the hustle and bustle of the city by hitting the Dallas hiking trails.

Hiking near Dallas offers you the opportunity to enjoy some time in nature and maybe catch a glimpse at some local wildlife! Not only that, but hiking in Dallas provides the opportunity to meet some fun, like minded people.

For this list, we have curated all of the information you need to make the best decision for your hiking adventure.

We have included trails suitable for all ability levels and have provided you with tips in order to have the best experience possible. These tips include trail location, trail length, difficulty level, and must-see scenery.

We have included state parks near Dallas as well as a local nature preserve or two.

Of course, if you are looking for more adventures in the Lone Star State, you can also explore the best waterfalls in Texas or the awesome weekend getaways from Dallas.

Hopefully this post proves that there is more to Dallas than just the Katy Trail!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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    Best Hiking In Dallas

    Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve

    Cedar Ridge Preserve, formerly known as the Dallas Nature Center, offers visitors over nine miles of natural surface trails to explore.

    This expansive habitat actually occupies over 600 acres and is a partnership between The Audubon Society and the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. This partnership ensures that the trails and the ecosystem are well preserved.

    If this is your first time to visit Cedar Ridge, then be sure you take the .5-mile guided nature hike to be introduced to the vegetation of the area.

    As some of the only hills in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, these trails are special treat. As the elevation allows you to not only enjoy some nice views, but to also get a little extra workout in.

    Be sure to take the Cedar Brake Trail if you want a little extra workout and some pretty views. If you want an easier hike, then do the Cat Tail Pond hike.

    In addition to all of this, you will also find butterfly gardens, picnic areas, and a couple of streams for you to enjoy during your visit to the Nature Center.

    Either way, Cedar Ridge Nature Center is one of the best spots for hiking in Dallas!

    To locate Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve, head to 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway.

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    Trinity River Audubon Center

    The Trinity River Audubon Center is a wetland environment that attracts thousands of birds throughout the year.

    While the majority of the hiking here is on a paved trail, there are a few dirt trails for you to venture out on as well. Of course, because it is a wetland environment, there are also boardwalks for you to enjoy.

    No matter which of the trails you choose, the Trinity River Audubon Center is really the closest and best way to explore more of the Trinity River.

    While the center usually charges a fee, you can get in for free the third Thursday of the month. Be sure to check their website for the most up to date prices and information.

    McCommas Bluff Preserve

    You will find McCommas Bluff Preserve located near the Trinity River Audubon Center.

    This paved trail makes for an easy day of hiking in Dallas by the river. The hiking trails here offer a scenic views of a small chalk canyon for you to enjoy.

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    Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

    The trails at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve are really designed as mountain biking trails. This means that there are loads of twists and turns that can be a little cumbersome for hikers. Because of that I would recommend doing the outer loop trail when you visit the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve.

    During your time at the preserve you can explore the 8-miles of trails just be aware of your surroundings as mountain bikers love to zoom through these trails.

    I would also advise to keep a map handy as you explore these hiking trails, it is easy to get turned around thanks to all of the twists and turns put in place for the mountain bikers.

    To get to Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, head south on I-35 and take the exit onto W. Illinois Ave going west. Then, take a left on Pierce Street to get to the trailhead.

    Katie Jackson Park

    Another popular place to do some hiking in Dallas is at Katie Jackson Park. Located just north of downtown Dallas, Katie Jackson Park will make you feel like you have escaped into a wilderness paradise when you visit.

    Take note when entering the trail that walkers are to do clockwise and bikers are to go counter clockwise. This is very important to follow so that you stay safe of the forested hiking trails.

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    White Rock Lake Trail

    sailboat on White Rock Lake

    One of the easy and conveniently located hiking trails in Dallas is the White Rock Lake Trail.

    This is one of the paved trails on our list, but don’t discount it because of that. The White Rock Lake Trail is a loop trail that goes for almost 10-miles around White Rock Creek.

    This is the perfect place to enjoy walking in Dallas city center thanks to the water views.

    The fact that the trails are dog friendly just add to the fun of this area.

    Whether you spend a few hours here or the entire day, this is a great year round trail. You can even bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during your time here.

    Great Trinity Forest Gateway

    The Great Trinity Forest Gateway is the perfect place to enjoy some time outside year round. While the trails are technically horse trails, you can still get out and enjoy them on foot.

    Located at 2161 Dowdy Ferry Road, this located contains both dirt trails and paved trails. When you combine all of the trails, there are over four miles for you to enjoy.

    In the spring you will find wildflowers coating the fields that run alongside the trail. In addition, these trails are also great for spotting wildlife.

    Take time to follow the paved trail that leads to McCommas Bluff, mentioned above.

    If you continue on the dirt horse trails, then you will cross over a couple of natural springs and eventually make your way to the Trinity River Audubon and Lemmon Lake.

    Really, what makes this hike so special is that you are enjoying the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States!

    That makes this one of the best hiking trails in Dallas.

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    Joppa Preserve

    For a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Joppa Preserve and enjoy the trails here.

    You can follow the trails that begin at Joppa Preserve 3.5-miles and find yourself in other Dallas parks and preserves.

    Combine that with the fact that Joppa Preserve trails are mostly paved and shaded and you have a great hiking trail in North Texas!

    Piedmont Ridge Trail

    For an awesome view of the Dallas skyline, then you will definitely want to add the Piedmont Ridge Trail to your list.

    This 1.3-mile hiking trail at Piedmont Ridge is one of the moderately challenging trails in Dallas. This is attributed to the inclines in the area.

    After hiking about a mile, you are rewarded with great views of the Dallas city skyline and the Trinity River bridges.

    This is truly one of the best hiking trails around!

    To find the Piedmont Ridge Trail, take I-30 from Dallas and exit south on N. Jim Miller Rd. Drive until you see the golf course on the right hand side. The entrance to the trail is on the other side of the road.

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    Texas Buckeye Trail

    One of our favorite springtime trails is Texas Buckeye Trail in Dallas thanks to the beautiful buckeye trees that bloom here in late March.

    The trail begins near the small pavilion and picnic tables found at 7000 Bexar Street.

    Head down the paved trail until you see the two dirt trails. After following the dirt trails, you will stumble upon the beautiful buckeye trees. If you’re lucky, they will be in bloom!

    Master Naturalists help to maintain the trails and lead hikes to the buckeyes in the spring.

    Oak Point

    This hike is found in the Dallas suburb of Plano. Head to the corner of Jupiter Road and Los Rios Boulevard if you want an easy hike that is full of shade.

    You can hike multiple trails here and all are well marked showing side trails to help you explore even more.

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    Best Hiking Near Dallas

    Spring Creek Forest Preserve

    Spring Creek Forest Preserve has a couple of different options for you to choose from for your day of hiking.

    To access Spring Creek Forest Preserve, head toward the President George Bush Turnpike and take the exit to North Garland Ave going west.

    After about a half of a mile, you can park at one of two places. If parking at 1770 Holford, you can access the one-mile paved trail. If you continue under Garland Avenue, this trail will lead you to the two to three-miles of dirt trails also.

    If you want to start out on the dirt paths, then park at 1787 Holford instead.

    The hardwood forest here is what makes this hike so special. You will find yourself surrounded by trees and, of course, birds, while enjoying this natural habitat.

    Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

    Arbor Hills Nature Preserves offer a choice of hiking trails in Dallas. You can enjoy the 2.3-miles of paved trails or the two-miles of natural surface trails.

    The trails were built by the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association for mountain biking, so they can be a little daunting for hikers, so keep that in mind before planning your trip to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

    Despite the daunting trails, this area is beautiful, especially when the wildflowers are blooming in the spring. There are areas of prairie land and areas with large trees with a bottomland forest, so you get to enjoy diverse landscape while on the hiking trail.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Indian Creek during your visit as well.

    To find Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, head toward the Dallas North Tollway and go east on Parker Rd. until you are at the entrance for the preserve.

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    Eisenhower State Park

    Lake Eisenhower
    Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

    You will find Eisenhower State Park located a little over an hour from Dallas on the shores of Lake Texoma.

    Trust us when I tell you that the drive is worth is. The park consists of over 460-acres of land and provides you some great waterfront hiking.

    Eisenhower State Park also offers ATV trails, so if you have an ATV vehicle, this is the place for you!

    You can fish from the shoreline or the two fishing piers that are on site. If you need fishing gear, you can borrow rods, reels, tackle boxes, and more from the park.

    Camping is also allowed at the state park. They offer tent campsites, screened shelters, and pull-through RV sites.

    There is an entry fee of $5, but this gives you access to the property and over 4-miles of hiking trails.

    Cleburne State Park

    sunset over lake at Cleburne State Park-one of the state parks near Dallas
    Photo courtesy of TPWD

    You will find Cleburne State Park about 1.5 hours southwest of downtown Dallas.

    The park has a great network of trails that are suitable for all ability levels.

    During your visit, be sure to visit Cedar Lake, and see the bridge over Camp Creek.

    Cedar Lake allows you to enjoy the afternoon fishing or swimming in the lake. They also have a fishing pier on the lake, and the best part, they will loan you fishing gear to use during your visit!

    You can also enjoy no-wake boating on the 116-acre lake. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent a single or double kayak or a paddle board from the park.

    Camping here is not only allowed, but all of the campsites at Cleburne State Park also have water and electricity. You can reserve a screened shelter or cabin during your visit as well.

    Our absolute favorite time to visit Cleburne State Park is when the spring wildflowers are in bloom. You will often see huge fields filled with Texas bluebonnets.

    This area is probably the closest area to the Hill Country on our list.

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    Lake Mineral Wells State Park

    lake Mineral Wells

    Another one of our favorite state parks near Dallas is Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Located about 1.5 hours west of Dallas, all the way past Fort Worth, Lake Mineral Wells State Park makes for a great day outdoors in North Central Texas.

    There is a strong hiking community in this state park. I guess that can be attributed to the fact that the park offers over 10-miles of trails, rock climbing, a fabulous lake, and more!

    Really, the outdoor activities here are endless. People visit this state park to hike, ride mountain bikes, and horseback ride, so always be aware of your surroundings when on the multi-use trails.

    One of the best hikes here is the Penitentiary Hollow Overlook. This provides you with a great view of the lake!

    You can also enjoy Lake Mineral Wells during your visit. The lake here encompasses 640-acres, providing guests with the opportunity to fish, swim, or enjoy a day boating on the lake.

    If you don’t have a boat, they have you covered there as well. You can rent flat-bottom boats with trolling motors, canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and paddleboards.

    It is important to note that Lake Mineral Wells does not allow jet skis, skiing, or tubing on the lake.

    Of course, like most Texas state park, Lake Mineral Wells Park also offers you the opportunity to spend the weekend camping here. They have screened in shelters, equestrian campsites, and general campsites for you to choose from.

    Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

    Just south of the entrance to Cedar Hill State Park is the entry for Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center.

    Hiking at the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center offers visitors about three-miles of well maintained trails to explore with a terrain very similar to Cedar Hill State Park.

    The trail starts at the visitor center and then head up the White Rock Escarpment. Once at the top you can walk through the trees before hitting the loop trail at the top.

    Take time to enjoy the views from this vantage point, especially in the spring when the Mexican buckeyes are blooming.

    Dogs are not allowed on the trails at Dogwood Canyon, but they do offer free admission for humans!

    Take note that the trails do close if a significant amount of rain has been received in the area. It is always best to check their website to the most up to date information.

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    Ray Roberts State Park

    sunset over lake
    Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

    For a great escape from the city center, head an hour outside of Dallas to Ray Roberts State Park.

    With over 20-miles of trails, you can spend days exploring Ray Roberts!

    Many of the trails offer great waterfront views, and plenty of trees for shade. Of course, there is native prairie land and some dogwood trees in the area as well.

    In addition to all of this, this great state park offers visitors the opportunity to bring their horses and do some horseback riding.

    You can also enjoy one of the fun Dallas beaches while visiting here as Lake Ray Roberts has a great beach with a protected swimming area. This is a fabulous way to escape the Texas heat during the summer months!

    Of course, one of the most popular activities here is fishing. Ray Roberts Lake offers 29,000-acres of water, multiple boat ramps, a marina, and a fishing pier to guests to enjoy! Anglers are known to pull crappie, largemouth bass, white bass, and catfish from this Dallas lake!

    If you wanted to make a weekend trip out of your visit to Ray Roberts, then feel free to do so.

    Ray Roberts State Park has three different areas that offer overnight facilities. You can choose to rent a cabin, bring your RV, or camp in a tent during your visit to the state park.

    Ray Roberts State Park is truly a great getaway from Dallas or Fort Worth!

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    Chisholm Trail Greenbelt

    Another great hiking area near Dallas is the Chisholm Trail Greenbelt.

    The Chisholm Trail Greenbelt trails link several parks together offering you over 5-miles of trails to explore near Dallas. There are several water features to enjoy during your walk and, of course, diverse landscape surrounds you as well.

    The trail runs 10.8-miles out and back. It starts at Harrington Park and then travels both north and west toward Legacy Drive.

    The fact that this area offers two parking lots makes it even better!

    Goat Island Preserve

    You will find Goat Island Preserve south of Dallas in the town of Hutchins, Texas.

    Goat Island Preserve is one of the preserves near Dallas that is an effort to surround the Trinity River in open spaces so that generations to come can enjoy the beauty of it.

    The preserve offers paved parking and over 8-miles of trails throughout its property.

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    Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

    About The Author

    Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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    Dania

    Saturday 18th of June 2022

    We love to hike White Rock Lake in Dallas. It’s the perfect place to hike with my kids. They love it!

    texasonly

    Wednesday 6th of July 2022

    It really is!

    Amy

    Monday 6th of June 2022

    I'm surprised there are so many different hiking trails near Dallas. I love your images that show some great sunsets over the trails.

    texasonly

    Monday 6th of June 2022

    Yes, Dallas is full of fun places to visit. Thank you for reading and for the compliment on the pics. :)

    Mayi

    Thursday 2nd of June 2022

    I had no idea there were so many hiking trails in Dallas. I love the diversity, particularly the fact that so many are near a body of water. I want to explore some of them.

    texasonly

    Thursday 2nd of June 2022

    I know! Dallas is just full of little hidden gems! :)

    Kelly

    Tuesday 31st of May 2022

    I would have never thought there would be so many trails in and near Dallas. For me it would be fun to hike the Oak Park Nature Perserve. I'ved hike mountain bike trails before and they are HARD, but that's what makes it so rewarding.

    Bejal

    Saturday 14th of May 2022

    I never knew there were so many places to hike in Dallas! Looks breathtaking