It's Walking But Better
Where to hike in Dallas-Fort Worth when summer finally turns to fall
Though Dallas-Fort Worth isn't known for our amazing year-round weather, November is a sweet spot of crisp autumn air and mild temps — aka no ice, heat, or humidity.
For anyone who's even the slightest big outdoorsy, that means hiking season. Not sure where to start? Lace up and learn about some of DFW's best places to get your hike on.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Located in Plano, this 200-acre park has three miles of paved hiking trails (plus a 2.8-mile off-road bike trail, if that's more your thing). One of your best bets is to follow the Outer Loop Trail, which starts off in a serene meadow and then meanders along the clear-water tributary of Indian Creek.
Cedar Ridge Preserve
You don't need to go to the Texas Hill Country — a good dupe can be found south of Dallas in Cedar Hill. Formerly the Dallas Nature Center, this preserve cover 600 acres with nine miles of walking trails that range from easy to difficult. Pack a picnic and rest near one of the picturesque butterfly gardens.
Eagle Mountain Park
Four hundred acres of green space await just outside Fort Worth, with a scenic overlook of Eagle Mountain Lake. Families can hike the five miles of trails together, as the loops vary in difficulty, or athletes can really get their hearts pumping by running the hills and steeper trails.
North Shore Trail at Lake Grapevine
This is the most popular of the eight different trails found here, with moderate difficulty that's worth it for the beautiful views of the lake. All told, there are more than 67 miles of trails to explore, and you can even bring your dog as long as they are leashed.
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
A treasure that Cliff-dwellers are happy to share, this 121-acre preserve includes woodlands, prairies, and even fields of wildflowers in the spring. Hikers and bikers can choose from six loops spanning eight miles, and be sure to keep an eye out for trail markings — but when in doubt, just keep turning right.
Spring Creek Nature Area
A paved, suburban trail that's excellent for beginners or those who like to leisurely stroll rather than huff and puff. Across the 2.3-mile loop you might spot heron, hummingbirds, and egrets, as well as coyotes (so be sure your pups are on a leash!).
Trinity River Audubon Center
Did you know that we have the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States, right here in Fort Worth? The Trinity River Audubon Center is smack in the middle of those 6,000 acres, with just under four miles of trails that wind through the open-space park. Be sure to pause a moment to take in the undisturbed wetlands, wide variety of birds, and scenic overlooks of the Trinity River.
White Rock Lake Trail
It's almost like a right of passage to complete this 9.4-mile paved loop around Dallas' iconic White Rock Lake. It takes an average of three hours to circle the reservoir, and you won't be alone — the trail is popular with bicyclists, joggers, families with strollers, and even rollerbladers, especially when the weather is lovely.