As a result of COVID19, my team at work has been reduced to 32 hours a week. Instead of (more accurately, in addition to) being sad about the reduction of income and things to do, I’ve started to do a “trail tour” of Dallas. Each Friday I’m walking a new trail in the area and figured I might as well share for my other Dallas-ites!
Keep checking back here for additions to this list, and let me know your recommendations in the comments below (or the comments on my Instagram post here)!
Want to jump directly to a certain trail? click below
Trinity River Audubon Trails
Location: Southeast Dallas
The week I went to the Trinity River Audubon Trails I accidentally walked 8.5 miles.
I parked at the AT&T Trail Trailhead and took the more southern trail around the water. While this walk was incredibly beautiful, there’s no “loop” or “circle” so you have to walk all the way back where you came from. I was hoping to find a way to connect the two trails to form a circle, but at the Loop 12 Trailhead you’d have to walk under a huge highway and I didn’t think that was the safest choice for me.
There is one small segment of the larger trail that is unpaved and goes to an outlook at the Trinity, but 99% of what I walked was paved.
One of my favorite things about this trail was that at every turn the view is different. There are rolling hills, giant trees, the water, and much more.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
I’ve had the opportunity to visit this nature preserve three time during COVID – once alone and twice with different friends – and I loved it all three times. There’s a good mix of paved and unpaved trails, as well as dirt biking trails.
My favorite part about this nature preserve is that you can play the “right or left” game where you take new paths at random. All of the paved paths connect together along the one larger path, but you’re never too far away to get lost on the unpaved sections.
Texas Buckeye Trail
Location: Southeast Dallas
Let my first start out by saying that some of my “gripes” are likely due to COVID. A little ways into the trail it forks into a paved path and an unpaved path. The paved path, which goes to the Trinity River was closed right at the end because the lookout’s concrete has fallen. The unpaved path was overgrown and so muddy that I was slipping and sliding. While the trees were beautiful, I’m going to have go back when I’m not so concerned about eating it (and the spiders eating me).
Right at the trailhead, there’s a cool restaurant, farmers market, and coffee shop called Bonton Farms. Their goal is to help the food desert problem in South Dallas, which is a cause I can definitely get behind. This is actually the location that I’d recommend you route to because if you type in “Texas Buckeye Trail” into the search, you’ll be routed to the middle of the trail.
Cedar Ridge Preserve
Location: Southwest Dallas
Cedar Ridge Preserve is a big hit in my book because it is all unpaved. There are lots of loops – which is key for me – and lots of great signage . There are maps of the trail, directional markers, and distance signs.
Be warned that there are a lot of hills involved in most trails – while they’re not giant mountains, they do cause the vast majority of people to huff and puff at least a little bit.
The vast majority of the time you’re covered within the trees which cools things down a bit in the Texas summer sun, but that also means your vision is limited in many spots (except for certain scenic lookouts.
Have you been to any of these trails, or have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s a list of the websites I referenced before going on these adventures: