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Best Hiking Trails Around Dallas/Fort Worth

October 25, 2010 6:30 PM

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(credit: www.tpwd.state.tx.us)
Visitors may not think of Dallas / Fort Worth as being hiker-friendly, but North Texas has plenty to offer both guests and residents wanting an invigorating tramp in the great outdoors.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Park Road 59
Glen Rose, TX 76043
(254) 897-4588
www.tpwd.state.tx.us

One of the most popular tourist destinations in North Texas, Dinosaur Valley State Park attracts hikers, campers, picnickers, horseback riders and amateur paleontologists lured by the wildlife and prehistoric dinosaur tracks scattered throughout the 1,524-acre park. While some visitors opt to spend the night in the park’s various campsites, most choose to stay in one of the many quaint bed & breakfast inns in nearby Glen Rose. The park is open seven days a week year-round, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Grapevine Lake

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Grapevine Lake Office
110 Fairway Drive
Grapevine, TX 76051
(817) 865-2600
www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil

Closer to the heart of the Metroplex is Grapevine Lake, which encompasses 8,000 acres and draws thousands of cyclists, hikers, boaters, campers, fishing enthusiasts and other outdoor fans throughout the year. Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake, to find out about current lake conditions, operating hours and park closures.

Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

9601 Fossil Ridge Road
Fort Worth, TX 76135
(817) 392-7410
www.fwnaturecenter.org

The serene wilderness is located just inside Fort Worth and spreads across 3,600 acres. The Fort Worth Nature Center offers over 20 miles of hiking trails and allows visitors to experience up close the diversity of North Texas flora and fauna. Staff naturalists at the Center are on hand to assist with hikers interested in learning more about the area and upcoming events. The park is open year-round, except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter (October through April); and during the summer (May through September) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Cedar Hill State Park

1570 FM 1382
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
(972) 291-3900
www.tpwd.state.tx.us

Just southwest of Dallas is Cedar Hill State Park, a 1,826-acre nature preserve that surrounds 7,500-acre Joe Pool Lake. Families around the area love Cedar Hill State Park for its 100 miles of shoreline, water activities, hiking trails, camp and picnic sites, mountain biking trails and bird watching opportunities. There’s also a marina on site for boating and fishing, including rental shops. The park is open year-round, but visitors should call the park headquarters in advance to ask about opening hours, which vary each season.

River Legacy Park

703 N.W. Green Oaks Boulevard
Arlington, TX 76006
(817) 860-6752
www.riverlegacy.org

Although not quite as “rugged” as the parks discussed above, River Legacy Park is nonetheless one of the most popular walking and hiking destinations.   River Legacy Park’s 1,300 acres is adjacent to the much larger, 12,000-acre River Legacy Living Science Center, an urban nature reserve that provides environmental educational opportunities to the local community. The park itself has eight miles of paved hiking trails, a 6-mile mountain bike trail, and various picnic and playground areas.

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