Categories > Guides and Tips

14 Epic Hiking Trails in Dallas You Need to Experience

14 Epic Hiking Trails in Dallas You Need to Experience

I was sitting in my apartment in Dallas, scrolling through my phone, utterly bored out of my mind. It was one of those days where Netflix just wasn’t cutting it, and I was craving some adventure.

Suddenly, a friend texted me about this amazing hiking trail just outside the city.

Now, I’m not exactly an outdoorsy person; I’m more accustomed to waiting for my Starbucks order than going on a hike. But curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to give it a shot.

Fast forward to me, sweating under the Texas sun, trying to navigate what felt like the Amazon jungle. Surprisingly, though, I found myself enjoying the challenge, immersed in the rustling leaves and distant bird calls.

By the time I reached the end of the trail, I was hooked!

That’s how my journey began—if a couch potato like me can find joy in trekking through nature, trust me, anyone can. So, stick around as I share my newfound favorites—14 epic trails that’ll make you forget all about Netflix marathons. 

1. Spring Creek Forest Preserve

Media credit: meia_faye 

Address 1770 Holford Rd, Garland
Phone 972 205 2750 
Operating hours Monday to Sunday: 6 – 10 pm 
Difficulty Easy 

The Spring Creek Forest Preserve Trail is one of the best places for hiking in Dallas. The trail here is about 2.3 miles long, and it’s great for both bikers and walkers, no matter your fitness level.

One of the coolest things about this place is the variety of huge trees—you’ve got Shumard oak, pecan, sugar hackberry, chinquapin oak, and elm—all towering above you. And then there’s the wildlife—birds, squirrels, you name it.

The creek is really something special, too. It’s crystal-clear and flows over this beautiful limestone. 

To get there, just follow the dirt path at the end of the paved trail. And in spring, the wildflowers are absolutely stunning! 

2. Cedar Ridge Preserve

Media credit: blackhikingqueen 

Address 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy 
Phone 972 709 7784
Operating hours Tuesday to Sunday: 6:30 – 7:30 pm 
Difficulty Easy to Moderate 

Cedar Ridge Preserve, formerly known as Dallas Nature Center, is a beautiful haven boasting over nine miles of trails that are really well-maintained and easy to follow.

The preserve stretches over 600 acres between FM 1382 and Mountain Creek Parkway, so there’s plenty of space to explore.

Here, the hills are covered with shin oak and eastern red ash juniper, plus there are a couple of streams that add to the scenery. 

You’ll come across picnic areas and even butterfly gardens along the way too, which is perfect for a nice break during your hike. 

The trails vary from easy to fairly challenging, so whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hiker, there’s something for you.

3. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

Media credit: spellstruck_soul 

Address 6701 W Parker Rd, Plano 
Phone 972 941 7250
Operating hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday: 5 – 11 pm 
Wednesday: 2 – 11 pm 
Difficulty Easy 

You’re going to love hiking in Dallas, especially if you head over to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. In fact, it’s one of my favorite spots! 

This place has about three miles of natural surface trails, which is ideal if you’re looking for a true hiking experience. Plus, there are another three miles of paved trails, which are super convenient if you’re bringing kids in strollers.

If you’re into biking, you’re in luck too—the bike trails here are really well-built and quite fun to explore. 

Just a heads-up, though: the trails can be a bit challenging if you’re new to hiking, but it’s totally worth it for the views, especially when the wildflowers are in full bloom in the spring.

4. Texas Buckeye Trail

Media credit: cmcluff 

Address Texas Buckeye Trail
Difficulty Easy 

At the Texas Buckeye Trail, you’ll wind your way through some interesting twists and turns, all leading you to the star of the show: the Texas Buckeye Tree.

Believe me, it’s a sight to behold, especially in the spring when those trees are covered in big, snowy white flowers. 

As you near the end of the trail, make sure to take a breather on the boulders overlooking the Trinity River. It’s such a peaceful spot to just appreciate and enjoy the view.

5. Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

Media credit: texaninwanderlust 

Address 1206 FM1382, Cedar Hill
Phone 469 526 1980
Operating hours Wednesday to Saturday: 9 – 4 pm 
Sunday: 11 – 3 pm 
Difficulty Moderate 

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is just a quick 25-minute drive from downtown Dallas, and it has over a mile of hiking paths. 

Some of the highest elevation points in Dallas County are right here, offering some seriously stunning views—perfect for snapping panoramic shots with your phone or camera.

Dogwood Canyon gets its name from the dogwood trees that are all over the area. If you visit in early spring, you’ll see the trees covered in beautiful pink and white blooms—it’s like a scene from a postcard!

6. Trinity River Audubon Center

Media credit: blackhikingqueen 

Address 6500 S Great Trinity Forest Way 
Phone 214 309 5801
Operating hours Wednesday to Friday and Sunday: 9 – 3 pm 
Saturday: 8 – 3 pm 
Difficulty Easy 

Trinity River Audubon Center, nestled in the middle of the Great Trinity Forest, is actually the largest urban hardwood forest in the whole country.

Since it opened in 2008, the center has been doing an awesome job of educating visitors about our local flora and fauna.

If you want to spend some time away from the city and immerse yourself in nature, this 4-mile hiking trail is ideal for you. It passes through some very beautiful open places.

Hikers can also enjoy uninterrupted views of the Trinity River, wetlands, and tons of birds living their lives in the natural habitat.

7. Duck Creek Greenbelt

Media credit: 

Address 4917 Duck Creek Dr, Garland 
Phone 972 205 2750 
Operating hours Monday to Sunday: 6 – 10 pm 
Difficulty Easy to Moderate 

Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail is one of the oldest trails near Dallas. It stretches for about 5.7 miles, and, as the name suggests, this place is filled with ducks — lots and lots of them. 

Whether you’re into hiking, running, or just want to enjoy some fresh air, this trail is a favorite among locals for a good reason. You’ll love the peaceful vibe and the chance to get a bit of exercise while enjoying the great outdoors.

8. Trinity River Greenbelt Goat Island Preserve – Dallas County Nature Preserve

Media credit: agamooz 

Address 2800 Post Oak Rd, Hutchins 
Operating hours Monday to Sunday: 6 – 8:30 pm 
Difficulty Easy to Moderate 

Trinity River Greenbelt Goat Island Preserve is a bit off the beaten path near Wilmer, but totally worth the trip. 

The trails are perfect for a leisurely hike, a casual walk, or even some mountain biking if you’re up for it. Plus, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers and anglers. 

However, it can get a bit muddy, so be prepared for that. 

And just a heads-up if you’re bringing your furry friends: make sure to keep them on a leash. It’s a pretty relaxed spot, but they want to keep it safe and enjoyable for everyone.

9. Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails

Media credit: ipcamidlocalderon3213 

Address 21611 Dowdy Ferry Rd 
Operating hours Monday to Sunday: 8 – 8 pm 
Difficulty Moderate 

At Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails, you won’t run out of things to do! 

You can enjoy the pavilions for a picnic, fish off the pier, or take a leisurely stroll or ride along the horse trails and concrete paths. There are some great fishing ponds here, but don’t forget you need a valid fishing license. 

The native trees and forest trails really give you that escape-from-the-city vibe.

10. Scyene Overlook Trail Piedmont Ridge

Media credit: saroo_the_doberman

Address 2400 N Jim Miller Rd
Difficulty Moderate 

Scyene Overlook Trail at Piedmont Ridge is just a few minutes from downtown Dallas and totally worth the short drive. 

This spot is where the Great Trinity Forest meets the White Rock Escarpment, and you’ll find a bunch of interconnected trails here, known as the Overlook Trails. 

But let me tell you, the one you don’t want to miss is definitely the Scyene Overlook Trail at Piedmont Ridge. You’ll be walking through a beautiful cedar grove, walnut trees, and some seriously amazing forest scenery.

11. Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

Media credit: adrianpaulv 

Address 2875 Pierce St 
Phone 972 696 9810 
Operating hours Monday to Sunday: 7 – 7 pm 
Difficulty Moderate 

This nature preserve is well-maintained, and you’ll see a ton of birdlife, plus some lovely forests, river valleys, and prairies. It’s perfect for hiking, mountain biking, or even just a nice jog.

In the spring, the wildflowers here are definitely worth checking out—they’re the real highlight. 

And if you’re not up for a long trek, no worries! There are plenty of shorter trails to choose from. 

The purple trail is the shortest and easiest one, great if you want a quick and easy walk.

12. Boulder Park Trail

Media credit: outdoormountainadventures 

Address 6600 Pastor Bailey Dr 
Difficulty Moderate 

Boulder Park Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that offers a bit of everything: a creek, a river, lush forests, and even some rocky sections to keep things interesting. But be careful when you’re crossing the creek—those rocks can get pretty slippery.

This trail has two loops to choose from: the red and the blue. The red loop is the tougher one, so if you’re up for a challenge, give it a go. 

But if you’re hiking with family or if you’re a bit of a beginner, the blue loop is perfect—nice and easy. You’ll spot small animals and plenty of birds around but do keep an eye out for snakes, as they’re known to live in the area too.

13. Penitentiary Hollow

Address Mineral Wells 
Phone 940 328 1171 
Difficulty Easy to Moderate 

Penitentiary Hollow is only about 1.5 hours away in Dallas, nestled in the 3,000-acre Lake Mineral Wells State Park. This place has something for everyone: hiking trails, horseback riding, rock climbing, and even natural healing well water!

It has this 1.2-mile rocky trail that passes the lake and through these stunning, tall sandstone formations. 

Trust me, even in the Texas heat, it feels like you’re hiking through a cool, shaded canyon. Such a refreshing escape!

Here’s a little tip: you need to make a reservation if you plan on hiking, camping, or doing any rappelling. Adult day passes are $7, and kids under 12 get in for free.

14. Katie Jackson Park 

Media credit: peakpioneer1 

Address 4900 Haverwood Ln 
Phone 214 670 4100
Operating hoursMonday to Sunday: 5 – 11 pm 
Difficulty Easy 

For an easy stroll that’ll take you about an hour, consider Katie Jackson Park. It has a 5-kilometer loop trail that’s popular for birdwatching, hiking, and even mountain biking. 

And if you time it right, you can have some peace and quiet, especially in the early mornings or late afternoons. 

Don’t worry if you’ve got your dog with you—they’re welcome too, as long as they’re on a leash. Just keep in mind that after heavy rain, parts of the trail can get a bit muddy, so maybe pack some waterproof shoes just in case.

Related topics