Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs across 20 miles of trails that were once way beneath the waves of an ancient ocean. Today, there’s usually just a trickle of water in the river that runs through the park, but depending on the last rain you could enjoy some kayaking, swimming, and fishing, too. Because it’s 90 minutes by car from most parts of the DFW metroplex, consider making a weekend of it by booking campsites and guided tours for enhancements of your own explorations of the area. A visit to nearby Fossil Rim and its many giraffes and other exotic wildlife will truly round out the experience.
No matter how small they may be compared to, oh, Hawaii’s, our handful of waterfalls in DFW will always inspire us to get outdoors for a few moments of tranquility. The Prairie Creek Waterfall within Prairie Creek Park. Venture across wooden bridges and well-maintained gravel trails for one of the most easily accessible waterfalls in the region. The park—and especially the waterfall—can get busy on weekends, so early weekday mornings will be your best bet to get in a run and maybe a few moments to yourself by the cascading waters.
A dam dating back to 1874 can be accessed via trails at the multi-acre Allen Station Park. Many historic features can be found along the routes, including water towers once used by the railroads in the late 19th century. Overlooks can be accessed along the crushed granite walkways at this Texas State Archaeological Landmark, which can also be found on the National Register of Historic Places. So if you break your own time running or walking this trail, you’ll be making a bit of history yourself for a full-circle moment.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, the saying goes, and the 100-plus miles of trails within the Tarrant Regional Water District certainly make that argument compelling. Among the highlights of the numerous trails, Airfield Falls Trailhead and Conservation Park easily ranks at the top of the list with the region’s largest natural waterfall (lower your expectations for this particular superlative), a migration stop for Monarch butterflies, and paved pathways to make things easier on the ol’ knees. Marine Creek Lake & Trails, Trinity Park, and various other pathways that run parallel to the Trinity River round out some of the best in the greater Trinity Trails system.
River Legacy Parks consist of two different areas, River Legacy Park and River Legacy Park East. Combined they’re a 1,300-acre urban retreat on the shores of the Trinity River as it meanders through Arlington between Dallas and Fort Worth. Featuring wetlands, a bottomland forest, and wide-open prairies, it’s home to countless wild species eager to cheer you on as you try to beat your own best time. Run up to eight miles on paved hiking trails, then take a break in one of the river-view pavilions and picnic areas. Plus, you’ll find restrooms onsite so you can stay nice and hydrated without wondering which tree provides the most privacy.
Though the Katy Trail is known for its exercising hotties—and that’s certainly very Dallas—we think a more quintessential Big D experience can be found on the Trinity Skyline Trail. That’s because, for much of the trail’s 4.6-mile expanse, you’ll be rewarded with both physical longevity via the cardiovascular activity and spectacular views of the downtown Dallas skyline, including the majestic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. And with all the rain we had earlier in the year, the Trinity River promises a little more river-like qualites than normal.. Start your jogging journey at Trammell Crow Park, Continental Avenue Bridge, or the Trinity Overlook, each equipped with 12 to 75 parking spaces.