Dallas is a great city to be an active explorer. With great weather almost year-round, there is no shortage of opportunities for taking great hikes in Dallas. With an open afternoon, you can easily spend some time enjoying the great outdoors by hiking in Dallas!
This list is structured for hiking trails within a 2-hour drive of the Dallas city center, however a large majority of these parks are within a 30-minute drive–you definitely don’t have to go far to find some beautiful hiking near Dallas!
The Best Hiking in Dallas
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
Less than a 15-minute drive out of the city center, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is an expansive oasis full of rivers and hiking trails in Dallas.
This area became protected from land development a little over 20 years ago in 1999. There are over 8 miles of bicycle and hiking trails for a variety of different options.
This area also has tons of wildlife for animal enthusiasts or those looking to reconnect with nature away from the city. The Texas Land Conservancy updates the status of the trails online, so if you have any questions about closures or weather definitely check the website before you leave!
Trinity River Audubon Center
This area is the pinnacle of where 5 miles of nature viewing trails meet. Most of the trails explore the area near the wetlands and it offers a beautiful view near the water that can sometimes be rare in a city like Dallas.
Just a heads up, this area is not dog-friendly so if you plan to go please read up on the rules just to make sure you get the most out of your visit.
There are a few bicycle trails that are clearly marked as well if you wanted to try your hand at exploring that way. Whichever way you choose, hopefully, you walk away with a full experience of all the natural beauty Dallas has to offer.
Joppa Preserve contains the entrance to several trails leading out to other parks/preserves in the area. It is a great place to get a 3.5-mile headstart on your walk. The trails line Trinity River in the center of Dallas and provide for a great escape from the metroplex.
The trails are mostly shaded with scenic viewpoints along the way.
Most of the trail is paved allowing people of all age groups access to the beauty of the greenery in Dallas.
Katie Jackson Park
Katie Jackson Park is right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. Once you get on the trails the noise and traffic seem to fade away and the wilderness really engulfs you entirely, making this a fantastic option for hiking in Dallas.
There are a couple of different options once on the trail itself. This is a very popular location for bikers so just be aware of your surroundings!
The trail is in a loop so there will be signage indicating for walkers to go clockwise and bikers to go counterclockwise to prevent any accidents.
There is also a dog park nearby in case your four-legged friends still have some energy to work off!
Harry S Moss Park
When looking for a good hiking spot in Dallas, the first spot you think of is definitely not Greenville. This neighborhood is more predominantly known for its bars and restaurants.
However, there is a little known patch of greenery in the area which has some beautiful trails amidst the city landscape. There are 5 miles worth of trail networks leading to massive tunnels within the green trees.
This little known secret allows you the joy of the Dallas hiking experience without the weekend crowds that often develop in some of the other major parks in this area.
This park also has off-road biking trails and equestrian trails for all of those people looking to explore Dallas in a different way.
White Rock Lake Trail
Located near the Dallas Arboretum, White Rock Lake Trail is a nearly 10-mile loop around White Rock Creek. There are several pathways to branch off if you feel like exploring the area more.
A majority of the trail network is paved and relatively flat.
This area is also very dog-friendly, however, they ask that you keep your pets on a leash as a convenience to other park-goers.
With several water fountains along the way, it is perfect for a long walk or run year-round!
McCommas Bluff Preserve
This area near the Trinity River Audubon Center is part of a never-completed lock and dam system.
There are multiple walkways from the trailhead which are filled with small creeks and foliage. It is a nice, easy trail and is mostly paved.
Due to lower security in the parking lots, I would recommend parking in the residential areas directly adjacent to the preserve and keeping any valuables in the trunk.
The hike is fairly scenic with a small canyon and chalk banks along the way. This area is very dog-friendly and it’s a great getaway for the day!
Goat Island Preserve
Goat Island Preserve is named after one of the islands located in Trinity River. This area is a little further downstream in Hutchins, TX.
This preserve is the second-largest preserve in the county. There is a large effort to completely wrap the Trinity River in public open space so that generations can continue to enjoy the views and wilderness when hiking in Dallas.
The main wooded trail is nearly 3 miles out and back, however there are about 8 miles of trails located inside the preserve itself. There is also paved parking which is very convenient if you’re bringing a furry friend!
Piedmont Ridge Trail
This short one-mile hike in Dallas packs a punch in every step. It is on a bit of an incline so you’re sure to get a workout, but the best part of this trail is the view. The lookout points in this area overlook the Dallas city skyline and beyond.
It can be a little difficult to find from the outside, but once you get started on the trail you’ll be sure to appreciate that it’s so secluded. If you want to capture Dallas amidst the greenery definitely visit this trail!
The Best Hiking Near Dallas
Cedar Ridge Preserve
Cedar Hill Park Reserve is an expansive natural habitat of over 600 acres. The Audubon Society partners with the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation department to preserve ecosystems for various birds, butterflies, and animals throughout the area.
There are roughly 9 miles of trails in this area, however, a really unique aspect of this hiking trail near Dallas is that they have a mini .5 mile hike with an online guide to inform you about the trees and plants growing in the area. This is a great way to learn while you stroll.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Hiking in Arbor Hills Nature Preserve leads up to some of the most expansive views in Dallas.
Located in Plano, Texas, roughly 30 minutes out of the Dallas city center, this park has a little bit for everyone. There is a great mixture of paved and off-road trails throughout the park with a shaded playground area and a pond as well.
There’s an observation tower in the park to provide people with an amazing view over the 200 acres of natural beauty in the preserve. There are also water fountains and restrooms located throughout the park as well, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Just an hour out of Dallas, Ray Roberts Lake State Park is the perfect staycation location. This place would make for the perfect day trip, but if you wanted to stay overnight they have camping locations and a lodge on site.
There are sprawling trails and waterfront views throughout the park which bring you a sense of serenity away from the city.
The 20-mile trail network is one of the most extensive networks for hiking near Dallas and it’ll provide for a really great hike no matter if you prefer paved or off-road trails.
Afterward, feel free to enjoy a “beachfront” stroll as you take in all of the beauty the water has to offer.
There is an entrance fee of $7 for adults but it’s worth every penny!
Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park is another great option for those looking for a bit of a staycation away from the city center. The 1 hour and 15-minute drive make for a great day trip away from home.
For a small $5 entrance fee, you get access to 4 miles worth of trails right off of Lake Texoma.
The park is a little over 460 acres in area and provides unique waterfront hiking opportunities which are about as beachfront as you can get in North Texas! There are even fossil beds located along the trails to show explorers the rich history of the area.
Chisholm Trail Greenbelt
If you don’t feel like going to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve this is a great alternative for hiking near Dallas that is also located in nearby Plano.
The greenbelt has up to 5 miles of trails one way. It links several parks and has several smaller trails that link off of it. T
here are several water fountains along the way in addition to two separate parking lots to allow for more convenience. This is a great way to get a good dose of exercise without having to go too far from home.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway
This great state park is located directly east of Dallas. Keep going through Fort Worth and cattle country to land up in this amazing park area in Mineral Wells, Texas. There are multiple 10+ mile trails, a lake, a rock climbing area, and more.
The Penitentiary Hollow Overlook provides a picture-perfect view of Lake Mineral Wells. During bluebonnet season this is the perfect place to see this unique flower as well.
Be sure to follow the signage posted on the multi-use sections of the trail in order to avoid any accidents with bikers or horseback riders.
Bonham State Park
Bonham, TX is home to yet another picturesque state park. This park is roughly an hour’s drive out of Dallas and is popular for group or school tours. Nearly 9 miles worth of trails allows for some of the best nature watching in the state.
The online resources are abundant, they even have a bird checklist to educate hikers on their journey.
The park prides itself on offering trails for every skill level. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie in the field, this park can give you anything you’re looking for.
Old Alton Bridge Trail
Denton County is home to the Old Alton Bridge, the bridge is named for an old town that used to sit at this location. This is a local hotspot for walkers, hikers, and also…ghostbusters!
Local lore says that this bridge is haunted by the Goatsman. There are a couple of different theories about it, however the spot is free of ghosts during sunlight hours and is a great place to hike.
This trail system is not thoroughly marked so I would recommend using a tracking app to mark your way. AllTrails is a popular app if you’re brand new to the game and need a little help with navigation.
Cleburne State Park
Cleburne State Park wraps around Cedar Lake and has a trail network of multiple different difficulty levels and it also has wooded, paved, and gravel trails. Hikers have been known to see lots of wildlife including white-tailed deer and other local flowers and butterflies.
Members of the Civilian Conservation Corps continue to provide amenities to the park and also built the historic bridge over Camp Creek.
There is so much pride in preserving nature in this area, it’s really a joy to be able to go out and experience it while on the hiking trails near Dallas.
Spring Creek Forest Preserve
The hiking community is really vibrant and present all over North Texas. The value of the community really shines throughout this preserve. There is a convenient interactive walking trail which elaborates on some of the natural features along the trail.
Additionally, they host group walks every 4th Sunday of the month often focusing on different aspects within the preserve. It is extremely family-friendly and they encourage people to learn about the local land and animals throughout the area.