Hiking in Dallas: The Go-to Guide for Hiking Trails in Dallas

One thing Dallas is not traditionally known for is being a city for avid hikers. But, you’ll be surprised to know that the Big D is filled with beautiful parks and forested hiking trails for both locals and tourists to explore. Some trails for hiking in Dallas are truly the hidden gems as they’re hidden within plain sight, right in the city centre and in the middle of suburbs.

From short and easy routes to challenging and long trails, from the abundance of wildlife to varieties of trees and wetlands, we’ve put together a list of some of the best trails for hiking in Dallas.  

1.  Spring Creek Forest Preserve Trail

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Nestled in Richardson, cozily between bustling streets and office developments, Spring Creek Forest Preserve Trail is one of the best places for hiking in Dallas and is truly a special place. Renowned for its crystal-clear creek, wildflowers, and paved trails, the loop trail of 2.3-mile is perfect for bikers and walkers of all fitness levels. It is also encompassed by enormous trees of Shumard oak, pecan, sugar hackberry, chinquapin oak, and elm among others. There are lush wildlife and birdlife out here, too. And to get to the creek flowing from the limestone, traverse through the dirt path towards the end of the paved trail. 
Address: 1770 Holford Rd, Garland, TX 75044
Distance: 2.3 miles
Route type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy
How to get there: After heading towards President George Bush Turnpike, take an exit on North Garland Ave going west. Spring Creek Forest Preserve Trail is half a mile from there.

2. Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve

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A beautiful haven boasting over nine miles of well-maintained and marked routes. Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve was formerly known as Dallas Nature Center. It spreads across 600 acres sitting between FM1382 and Mountain Creek Parkway. The hills here are covered with shin oak and eastern red ash juniper, among other trees. You’ll also find a couple of streams, picnic areas, and butterfly gardens during your time here hiking. The nine miles of hiking trails range from easy to fairly difficult, which is perfect for hikers of any experience. 
Address: 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Route type: Loop
Distance: 2 to 5.4 miles
How to get there: Take the I-20 to Farm-to-Market rd 1382 near Duncanville

3. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

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Arbor Hills Nature Preserve boasts around three miles of natural surface trails and the other three miles of paved trails, which is best for people hiking with kids in strollers. For bikers, you can explore the well-built bike trails within the nature preserve. Although the trail is a bit difficult for inexperienced hikers, it is a great place to witness the beauty of wildflowers in native prairie, especially in spring. The 200-acre park has a bottomland forest that comes with enormous trees like elms and oaks, along with offering picturesque views of the surrounding region. In the bottomland forest, you can easily access the loop where you’ll find the tributary of Indian Creek.
Address: 6701 W Parker Rd, Plano, TX 75093
Distance: 3 miles
Route Type: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
How to get there: Near Hebron, head towards the Dallas North Tollway and go east on W Parker Road until the entrance to the nature preserve.
Facilities: Parking and restrooms

4. Texas Buckeye Trail

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Although the hiking route is just over a mile long, don’t underestimate the beauty of the Texas Buckeye Trail. There’s a lot this place offers. The trail takes interesting twists and turns that will take you to the namesake, Texas buckeye tree. As you near the ending of the trail, you can relax on the boulders that overlook the glorious Trinity River. Also, when you head to Texas Buckeye Trail in spring, you’ll get to see the buckeye trees that bloom large, snowy white flowers.
Address: Texas Buckeye Trail, Dallas, TX 75215
Distance: 2 miles
Route type: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
How to get there: From Dallas, head towards I-45 S and take an exit onto TX 175 heading towards E. Turn left onto Bextar St. after exiting from Municipal St. The trail begins at the end of the road.

5. Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

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If you’re looking for some of the best places for hiking near Dallas, then check out what Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center offers. Situated 25 minutes' drive away from Downtown Dallas, Dogwood Canyon features over 1-mile of hiking trails boasting some of the highest elevation points in Dallas County. It is an amazing hiking place if you want to witness scenic views along with taking panoramic shots on your phone or camera. Dogwood Canyon is named after dogwood trees that are found in abundance here, which makes this one of the best places to visit, especially in the early spring. You can explore the beauty of pink and white blooms from the trees. 
Address: 1206 FM1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Distance: 1.6 miles
Route type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: Take the I-20 to Farm-to-Market rd 1382 near Duncanville.
Pet-friendly: Only on-leash dogs

6. Trinity River Audubon Center

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Set on a 6,000-acre land, Trinity River Audubon Center is nestled in the middle of Great Trinity Forest that is renowned as America’s largest urban hardwood forest. The center here has been focused on educating the visitors regarding the native Dallas region’s flora and fauna since 2008. The 4-mile hiking trail goes through large open spaces that encompass the park, making it a great spot for hikers to get away for a few hours amidst nature. Hikers can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Trinity River, wetlands, and the birds living their life in the natural habitat. 
Address: 6500 S Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, TX 75217
Distance: 2.4 miles
Route type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy
How to get there: Take I-45 S from Dallas and go east on E Ledbetter Dr. Head south onto S Longacre LN.
Pet-friendly: No

7. Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail

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Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail, as the name suggests, is filled with ducks, duck, and only ducks, for at least 5.7 miles. This trail is also considered one of the oldest trails for hiking near Dallas. Hikers, runners, and other fitness enthusiasts can venture out to this part of town for fresh air and lots of fitness activities.
Address: 4917 Duck Creek Dr, Garland, TX 75043
Distance: 2.9 miles 
Route type: Loop
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
How to get there: From Oates Road, head south along Duck Creek and take the I-30 frontage road.
Pet-friendly: On-leash dogs

8. Goat Island Preserve

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A lightly trafficked out-and-back trail situated near Wilmer, Texas, Goat Island Preserve is a stunning location featuring muddy trails, hiking, walking, and mountain biking trails, birdwatching opportunities, fishing spots, and encompassing forest views. If you’re bringing your pets along for a fun hiking day, make sure to keep them on a leash.
Address: 2800 Post Oak Rd, Hutchins, TX 75141
Distance: 4.7 miles 
Route type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
How to get there: Take I-45 south to the Fulghum Road exit from Dallas and head east towards Post Oak. The parking lot of the trailhead will be easy to spot at one of the 90-degree bends in the road.
Pet-friendly: On-leash dogs

9. Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails

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A beautiful area set in the forest is located next to IH-20. The Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails feature amenities such as the pavilions, fishing pier, horse trails, concrete trails, fishing ponds, native trees, and more. Visitors get access to forest trails, as well. If you’re fishing out here, make sure to have a valid fishing license.
Address: 21611 Dowdy Ferry Rd, Dallas, TX 75217
Distance: 1 to 3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: Take the IH-20 to head to the forest gateway nestled adjacent to it.

10. Piedmont Ridge Scyene Overlook

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If you fancy breathtaking views, make sure to visit Piedmont Ridge Scyene Overlook, which is just a couple of minutes away from Downtown Dallas. This location meets Great Trinity Forest and White Rock Escarpment, and these locations are interconnected by several trails collectively known as the Overlook Trails. But the trail that’s highly recommended for you to visit is the Scyene Overlook at Piedmont Ridge. Here, you’ll traverse through the cedar grove, walnut trees, and magnificent forest views.
Address: 2400 N Jim Miller Rd, Dallas, TX 75227 
Distance: 1.3 miles
Route type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: Exit south onto N Jim Miller Rd after taking 1-30 from Dallas. Keep going until you reach a golf course towards your right. The trail is on the other side of the road.

11. Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

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Sitting on a 120-acre land, this nature preserve is well-maintained with abundant birdlife, forest, river valleys, prairies, and more. You’ll get access to many hiking, mountain biking, and jogging trails. Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is home to stunning wildflowers during spring. Do note that there are many shorter trails in the area, where purple is the shortest and the easiest trail.
Address: 2875 Pierce Street, Dallas, TX 75233
Distance: 6.5 miles 
Route type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: Take I-35E and head south, and exit onto W Illinois Ave going west. To get to the trailhead, take a left onto Pierce St.

12. Boulder Park Trail

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A well-maintained 4.1-mile trail, Boulder Park Trail features a creek, river, forests, and even a bit of rocky parts, too. But be careful while crossing the creek as it can be slippery. That being said, there are two loops at Boulder Park Trail - red and blue. Red being the most difficult loop trail, while blue is easy and perfect for families and inexperienced hikers. Although there are small animals and birds in the region, be vigilant about the snakes that live there, too.
Address: 6600 Pastor Drive, Dallas, TX 75237
Distance: 4.1 miles
Route type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: Exit Red Bird Lane from highway 67 and go west about a mile. Take left towards south on Pastor Bailey Drive.
Pet-friendly: On-leash dogs

Things to bring along for Hiking in Dallas

  • Breathable and comfortable hiking clothes
  • Hiking boots
  • Trekking poles
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency blanket
  • Day backpack
Although outdoor activity is not one of the things known in Dallas, one mustn’t underestimate the beauty of the Big D. Hiking in Dallas has trails that will take you through the creeks, rivers, forested areas, and blooming trees that will have you lost in nature, while also being right in the city.

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