Cedar Ridge Preserve
Perched just about 20 minutes southwest of Downtown, this little slice of Hill Country offers a unique terrain with 8 miles of trails. Plus, it’s not too far from here to Joe Pool Lake if you want to do a cardio double-header. A total of 13 trails offer everything from short sprints to the longest trail at 1.9 miles, each stocked with a variety of inclines and descents. Whatever you do, don’t forget to stop and look around at the wildflowers, birds, and the North Texas Blackland Prairie ecosystem in all its glory (alongside a few river otters if you’re really lucky). Feel free to invite your four-legged friend, too—as long as they're on a leash (and hopefully well-behaved). Visit the website for closures after it rains, as many of the trails are subject to flooding.
Pull into the Cedar Ridge Preserve, and take your pick from the network of 13 trails. None are particularly long—the longest taps out around two miles—but they vary in difficulty and scenery, and it’s easy to string together a handful of trails if you want more mileage. Plot your course, and you can cover hills, hang beside a pond, and visit a butterfly garden, all on the same day. Note that the preserve is closed on Mondays, and the gates lock after sunset, so plan accordingly. There’s a donation box at the entrance of the main trail, which is your chance to bank a little good karma before you begin.