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Best Of Home

Best Summer Backpacking Trips Near DFW

May 3, 2014 7:00 AM

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 (Photo credit: PETER MARTELL/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: PETER MARTELL/AFP/Getty Images)

Backpacking in the summer in Texas might seem like a brave idea, facing the peak season of heat in our great state. However, there are some trails and beltways that are made for the summer’s challenges. Both in and outside of the metroplex, North Texas landscapes have plenty of room for those who like to roam.

Lake Texoma
Cedar Bayou Marina
513 Cedar Bayou Blvd.
Gordonville, TX 76245
(903) 523-4248
www.cedarbayou.com/cross-timbers-trail

Only a pair of hours northeast of the metroplex, the Lake Texoma area is ripe with gorgeous views and backpacking treks, one of the most enjoyable being the Cross Timbers trail. Accessible by car or by crossing the lake by kayak or canoe, this 14-mile trail system is impeccable. After a long hike, feel free to cool off in the lake. Supplies should be picked up at Cedar Bayou.

Trinity Trails
300 N.E. 6th St.
Fort Worth, TX 76164
www.trinitytrails.org

With 40 miles of trails weaving in and out of cityscapes and picturesque photo opportunities, this is the most extensive way to enjoy both natural and man-made facets of Fort Worth and the river that shaped North Texas history. Recently connected, the trails in Fort Worth provide for plenty of extra activities with kayak rentals, biking and even paddle boarding pit stops if a backpacker has the urge to mix things up.

Ray Roberts Lake Greenbelt
Isle du Bois Unit
100 PW 4137
Pilot Point, TX 76258
(940) 686-2148
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake

The Ray Roberts Lake Greenbelt spans 20 miles for hiking and biking. Water activities, horseback riding and rollerblading are also great options for this expansive network of trails. Stretching from the Ray Roberts Dam all the way to Lake Lewisville, the Greenbelt provides a variety of views including the industrial dam, the recreational fun of the lake and wide open North Texas flora and fauna.

Related: Ask A Guide: Packing List For Your Campout

Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway
100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells, TX 76067
(940) 328-1171
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/lake-mineral-wells/trailway-1

From the Weatherford Trailhead to the Mineral Wells Trailhead, horses, bikes and hikers are welcome to cross these bridges and fields. For those with a mountaineering gene, Lake Mineral Wells State Park has the most well-known natural rock climbing in the area. Clear skies and open terrain make this Trailway a top favorite.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve
1770 Holford Road
Garland, TX 75044
(972) 205-2750
www.ci.garland.tx.us

Within this wooded preserve are a plethora of trails including both concrete and primitive trails ranging from 0.2 miles in length to up to 14 miles, fitting for backpackers and hikers of all skill levels. Many of these begin in parks allowing for a well-deserved break between hikes and trails. This less-frequented preserve has a gallery of options and will likely give lovers of the great outdoors less traffic and more sunshine for the soul.

Related: Best Campgrounds Around Dallas/Fort Worth

Kena Sosa is a freelance writer in Dallas. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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