Most people think of Dallas as a major metropolitan area, but it has a surprisingly quiet side with several stunning natural retreats. If you’re looking for a place to escape the bustle of the busy city, you don’t need to drive far. You’ll find all of these hiking trails just a few miles from downtown.
Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve
7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas
Cedar Ridge Preserve covers 600 acres and has nine miles of trails to explore. All of the park’s trails begin at the parking area, with several scenic options to choose from. Head off on Cattail Pond Hike and you’ll find not only the promised pond, but a picturesque waterfall as well. The 1.7-mile Cedar Break Trail descends down a hill, crosses a creek, climbs back up for a real chance to stretch your legs.
No vehicles are permitted on these trails, including bikes, so come prepared to explore on foot. The third Saturday of every month is a Conservation in Action Workday. You can volunteer to help maintain and restore the trails or work in the butterfly garden to keep the nature preserve in top condition for future visitors.
L B Houston Park Nature Trail
1366 California Crossing, Dallas
The extensive L B Houston Park Nature Trail makes a 10.1-mile loop. There are portions of the trail suitable for every skill level, from beginner to intermediate, and each area is well-marked so you’re prepared for what’s ahead. You’ll find one trail head at California Crossing and another at Wildwood Road. This is a multi-use trail, so always be aware of others sharing the park with you.
Trinity River Audubon Center
6500 Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas
The Trinity River Audubon Center is your starting point for endless explorations of the Great Trinity Forest. Spanning 6,000 acres, this blend of wetland, prairie, and hardwood forest highlights some of the best of the Dallas area. Just ten miles from downtown, it’s surprisingly accessible, even for city dwellers. The most impressive part of this forest is that 120 acres of it was originally a dump before the Audubon Society transformed it into what it is today. You’ll find over four miles of trails to explore with fun features like a boardwalk, bird blind, and bridge over the Trinity River.
The Buckeye Trail
7000 Bexar Street, Dallas
The 1.6-mile Texas Buckeye Trail is a natural surface trail that will take you to several breathtaking destinations, including the Buckeye Grove and River Overlook. You’ll find cedar elm, bur oak, and pecan trees tucked away in the Trinity River’s forest. The trail is named for the distinctive stand of buckeye trees at its terminus. Less than four miles from downtown Dallas, this is always an easy pick when you want to stretch your legs without driving too far.
If you haven’t had a chance to get out and explore the greener and more natural side of Dallas recently, don’t hesitate another minute. Try these picturesque local trails as soon as you get a chance.