Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a hidden gem in the middle of suburban west Plano, 20 miles north of Downtown Dallas. The 200-acre wooded nature preserve spans paved pathways that loop through the wilderness flanked by amazing views. If you so desire, you can veer off the beaten path, as you can access unpaved hiking and mountain biking trails, too. Just take proper precaution—you're sharing the preserve with snakes (yes, snakes) and other unruly characters. If snakebites aren't enough to get you excited, the park also offers three trails with distances from 0.4 miles to 1.3 miles, so there’s something for everyone. Weekends are the busiest, so get there early (as in 5 am early). And if you’re a midnight runner, just like Dexy was, you’ll have to start a little earlier, as the park closes at 11 pm.
This 200-acre park offers a good mix of trails, including three miles of unpaved paths, three miles of paved paths, and another 2.8 miles designated for off-road biking. If you’re visiting for the first time, try taking the Outer Loop Trail, which winds through meadows and forests, with a tributary-adjacent path leading to the scenic Indian Creek. The park keeps long hours and is open from 5 am until 11 pm each day, except for Wednesdays, when morning maintenance pushes the opening back to 2 pm.