Climbing & Hiking Trails - 16 min read

20 Best Hiking Trails in Dallas, TX (Beautiful & Dog-Friendly!)

Nicole Abbott

Nicole Abbott, Updated September 28, 2022

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When you live in Dallas Texas, the last thing you probably think about are hiking trails. You probably think more of downtown city living. The hiking trails in Dallas have natural pathways and are just long enough so you can get some exercise. Some will give you the isolation that you’re looking for and some will be quick and more crowded.

To thoroughly enjoy these hikes, all you need to do is have a sense of adventure, plan your trip out ahead of time, and have a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. Depending on the season you’ll see wildflowers, tall trees, fall foliage, shrubs, rocks, and even birds.

Even though Dallas doesn’t have a lot of forests or mountain ranges, you will get to experience the urban forest. When you look over our list, just know some of these trails are not very well-marked or maintained. However, some trails have groups that offer maintenance.

Hikes that are well-maintained will offer clear navigation. Since many of these trails are in urban areas, it’s more than likely you may come across some trash. Not like your typical hike in the mountains. Here are our top twenty trails in Dallas, Texas.

**Please Remember: Before making the trip, always call ahead for operating hours and to see if there is a parking fee. For trails not well-marked bring maps for navigation. You’ll also want to make sure you wear a sturdy pair of hiking boots or shoes, a hat, and have plenty of water, food, bug spray, and sunscreen. If you plan to bring your dog, call ahead to check for pet rules.

20 Top Hiking Trails in Dallas, TX

1. Boulder Park Trail

Credit: Daniel Koglin

The Boulder Park trail is a moderately challenging hike that takes about ninety minutes to complete. This trail is pet-friendly as long as they are on a leash. Be aware that this trail is heavily used by bikers, so you’ll want to take precautions during your hike. The terrain is a little rough so make sure you pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots. This trail is not very well marked so make sure you come prepared with a map route before your hike. It offers open fields, wooded areas, rocky descents, and even creek crossings.

Based on reviews, visitors say this hike is a great mix of easy and challenging routes. It’s a great trail, but you can become lost very easily.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 259 Feet

2. Cedar Ridge Outer Loop Trail

Credit: Daniel Koglin

Cedar Ridge is scenic and rich with wildlife. The preserve spans over six hundred acres and is a short twenty minutes from downtown Dallas. Among the preserve, you’ll see native trees, grasses, wildflowers, and gorgeous views of its natural beauty.

The Cedar Ridge Outer Loop Trail is a moderately challenging hike that will take you around two hours to complete. This hike is pet-friendly and in some areas will allow them to roam off a leash. This trail gets pretty crowded on the weekends, so if you want a less-crowded hike, we recommend going early and on a weekday. There are many inclines and elevation changes on this hike which give it a moderate rating. The trail is rocky, woody, and has stairs so make sure to come prepared with a sturdy pair of hiking boots.

Based on reviews, visitors say this trail has amazing views and is decently shaded with a great breeze. The trail also has benches that are conveniently placed throughout if you need to take a rest.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.4 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 682 Feet

3. White Rock Lake Trail

Credit: The Travellers

White Rock Lake is located five miles northeast of Downtown Dallas. It’s one of the most heavily visited areas that hold special events and runs. This trail offers a lot of activity options and is one of the best places to encounter natural areas and wildlife. This park includes the White Rock Lake Museum, Bath House Cultural Center, Audubon Society Bird Watching area, wetland, dog park, picnic areas, pavilions, piers, boat ramps, and a kayak concession.

The White Rock Lake Trail is an easy trail that will take you almost three hours to complete. Pets are welcome on this trail as long as they are on a leash. This is a family-friendly trail that is perfectly paved and easy on the legs. During the hike, you’ll pass a dog park, kayak rental area, and ducks. There isn’t much shade so make sure you pack plenty of sun protection, especially on hot days.

Based on reviews, visitors love the view of the lake and said the sunsets are gorgeous. It is very serene and you can hear the sounds of the water and birds. Visitors have complained about too many people leaving trash on this trail.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 9.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 180 Feet

4. Santa Fe Trail

Credit: Anandpreshob

The Santa Fe trail begins in northern Dallas. It is twelve feet wide and begins at Winstesd near White Rock Lake. It connects through numerous neighborhoods, apartment communities, and restaurants, and will provide many unique views of Dallas.

The Santa Fe Trail is an easy trail that will take you around an hour to complete. This trail is pet-friendly, as long as they are leashed. This trail is smooth, well-marked, and great for beginner hikers. The trail runs through historical neighborhoods and will take you through four local parks along the way. There are water fountains throughout, benches for resting, and even a bike repair station.

Based on reviews, visitors say if you’re looking for a laid-back hike, this is the perfect one for you. Since this hike is four miles, make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.3 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 124 Feet

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5. Oak Cliff White Loop Trail

Credit: Fotoluminate LLC

The oak cliff nature preserve is one hundred and twenty-one acres located near urban Dallas. There are over eight miles of multiple trails to hike and use bikes on. It is open from dawn to dusk for birdwatchers, bicyclists, and for hikers that want some peace.

The Oak Cliff White Loop Trail is a moderately challenging hike that will take you around forty minutes to complete. Pets are allowed on this trail, but they must be on a leash. Bikers are also allowed on this trail so make sure to use precautions when hiking. This is a scenic hike, but it’s not very well-marked so make sure to prepare directions before your trip. It’s a mostly flat, dirt trail, that is also winding and intertwined.

Based on reviews, visitors love the elevation changes on this trail but seem to dislike the poor markings. If you go during the early morning before it gets busy, it’s a nice spot for peace and tranquillity.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 49 Feet

6. Harry Moss Trail

Credit: Roschetzky Photography

The Harry Moss Trail is located near the bank of White Rock Creek. It is a great treat for only skilled hikers. It is compromised of five connecting loops. The trails are among the trees to provide some light and wooden mounds with wooden bridges.

The Harry Moss Trail is a moderately challenging hike that takes around thirty minutes to complete. It is open all year long and is pet-friendly, as long as they are on a leash. There are many trail routes and it’s easy to become lost so make sure you have a good set of directions and follow the markings. It has great elevation changes and is popular among mountain bikers.

Based on reviews, visitors love the challenge of this hike but say the trail is not very well-maintained. Some portions are overgrown and a lot of trash needs cleaned up.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 39 Feet

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7. Northaven Trail

Credit: Leena Robinson

The Northaven Trail is an easy hike that will take you around two and a half hours to complete. It is open all year long and is pet-friendly as long as they are leashed. The trail has a paved surface that is smooth and twelve feet wide. This trail is family-friendly and can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs. It is wide enough for you to walk side-by-side with plenty of room for passers. Before your hike, pack sun protection as this trail offers little shade.

Based on reviews, visitors say this is a great city hike to go on with the family. It can become crowded especially on weekends so if you want a less-crowded hike, go in the early morning or on a weekday.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 7.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 226 Feet

8. Possumhaw Trail

Credit: Barbara Smyers

The Possumhaw Trail is a shorter loop that is a great warm-up trail for the beginner hiker. It’s peaceful, has lots of trees, and is easy enough for dogs to nice stroll. It’s the perfect small loop if you need something to wake you up. This trail has a lot of elevation changes, is well-kept, easy to navigate, and has easy markers to follow.

Based on reviews, visitors say this is a simple, great hike for a morning stroll.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 0.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 85 Feet

9. Trinity Forest Trail

Credit: Nate Hovee

The Trinity Forest Trail is an easy hike that will take you around five hours to complete. It is open all year long and is pet-friendly. If you are bringing your dogs, they are allowed to be off-leash in some areas. It is a paved trail that is recommended to hike in the early mornings as it can become very hot, especially during the summer. The trail is well-maintained and will provide tranquility in enjoying nature’s beauty.

Based on reviews, this is a beautiful trail, but many visitors have reported their cars being broken into. If you do decide to hike this trail, just use extra precautions. Many have given this trail five stars.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 16.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 200 Feet

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10. Rawhide Park Trail

Credit: Emily on Time

Rawhide Park Trail is an easy hike that will take you around ninety minutes to complete. Not only is it great for a hike, but you can go trail running, birdwatching, and biking in this area. This trail is pet-friendly as long as they are on a leash. During the hike, you’ll come across several road crossings so please make sure to use extra precautions. This trail follows along the creek, is a beautiful place to have a picnic, and there are even plenty of bridges to cross.

Based on reviews, visitors say this is a great family-friendly trail. The trails are well-maintained, well-marked, and offer a decent amount of shade earlier in the day.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 88 Feet

11. Kiest Park Trail

Credit: Aphotostory

The Kiest Park Trail is an easy hike that will take you around forty minutes to complete. You can bring pets along on this trail and they may be off-leash in some areas. This trail is located in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas and goes through two hundred and sixty-four acres of Kiest Park. The park has playgrounds, athletic fields, gardens, natural areas, and a recreation center if you want to bring the kids along.

Based on reviews, visitors say this is a peaceful trail. There aren’t a ton of people on a Saturday morning and the trail is wide enough to hike with a friend.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 52 Feet

12. Dragonfly Trail

Credit: Emily on Time

The Dragonfly Trail is an easy hike that is perfect to take kids on. It only takes eleven minutes to complete and is great for walking, running, bird watching, and more. This trail is pet-friendly as long as they are on a leash. It’s a great short loop that looks beautiful when it’s snow-covered, which is rare in Dallas. This is a forest area so make sure you bring bug spray.

Based on reviews, this trail isn’t that challenging and is great for a beginner warm-up. If you want to take the kids out for a good stretch we highly recommend this trail.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 13 Feet

13. Coombs Creek Trail

Credit: Nate Hovee

Coombs Creek Trail is an easy hike that will take you about an hour to complete. Not only is this a great trail hiking, but you can go trail running, walking, road biking, and more. This is a family-friendly trail so you can bring a stroller if you need to bring small children. The trail is paved and runs along a golf course. You’ll want to bring plenty of sunscreen on this hike because it’s only partially shaded. There is one steep downhill section so use precautions when hiking.

Based on reviews, visitors say this is an easy hiking trail in a beautiful urban setting. If you’re a beginner hiker, this is the perfect trail for you.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 88 Feet

14. Big Cedar Sunset Trail

Credit: Aphotostory

The Big Cedar Sunset Trail is a moderately challenging hike that takes a little over an hour to complete. It is not very well-marked so make sure you come prepared with directions to avoid losing your way. The trail is adventitious, the terrain is rocky, and it’s a great place to bring your furry friends.

Based on reviews, visitors say some of the hills on this hike could pose a challenge for those who are out of shape. You’ll see plenty of cactus along the way so make sure to watch your step.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 383 Feet

15. Texas Buckeye Trail

Credit: Trong Nguyen

The Texas Buckeye Trail is an easy hike that will take you around forty-five minutes to complete. This trail is pet-friendly, as long as your dogs are on a leash. If you’re into birdwatching, this area is very popular so bring your binoculars and bird books! It has some overgrown areas but is a quiet hike if you need some peace in your mornings. It’s a great getaway spot to view nature and you can’t hear the business of the Dallas cars, which is a positive.

Based on reviews, visitors say the planes and trees are gorgeous, even in the wintertime. The trail is very well-marked and you’ll be able to see the buckeyes bloom in late March. At the end of your hike, you’ll be able to stop at Bonton Farms Coffee Shop and the farmers market.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.1 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 9 Feet

16. Man Bites Dog Trail

Credit: NicholasGeraldinePhotos

The Man Bites Dog Trail is a moderately challenging hike that will take you around forty-five minutes to complete. Even though this is a hiking trail, it is popular among mountain bikers, so use precautions during your hike. This trail seems to be the hidden gem of Dallas. It has lots of hills, rocks, bridges, ramps, and shade. The trails are narrow and not very well-marked so make sure you bring your map ahead of time.

Based on reviews, visitors say that even though this hike isn’t marked very well, they like the sense of adventure in not knowing where they’re going. It is recommended to go before the mountain bikers get there to avoid the crowds. It is recommended to not park in the church parking lot.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.6 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 141 Feet

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17. Piedmont Ridge Trail

Credit: Carles Trujillo

The Piedmont Ridge Trail is a moderately challenging hike that takes around thirty minutes to complete. The trail is open all year long and is pet-friendly as long as they are on a leash. The trail is very clean and you’ll see some wildlife such as snakes, lizards, and turtles. This trail has dirt paths and is challenging going up, but the scenic views on the way are amazing.

Based on reviews, visitors say this is a nice out and back trail. The trail is simple and has some uphill challenges. The hills are fairly rocky so if you’re hiking after a recent rain you may run into muddy conditions. The views of downtown make this hike very rewarding.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.3 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 104 Feet

18. Katy Trail

Credit: Luri S Design

Katy Trail is an easy hike that will take you a little over two hours to complete. This is a very popular trail and is pet-friendly as long as they are on a leash. This trail is paved, shaded, and has a separate trail for biking. It goes through downtown Dallas and is accessible from many spots. It is very well-maintained and visitors seem to be respectful of its cleanliness. It is heavily trafficked so if you want less of a crowd make sure you plan to arrive early.

Based on reviews, visitors say this trail has beautiful scenery and a lot of dogs walking on leashes. You’ll want to use precautions if the bike riders and runners.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 7.7 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 187 Feet

19. Fair Park Loop Trail

Credit: Trong Nguyen

The Fair Park Loop Trail is an easy hike that takes around forty-five minutes to complete. This trail is popular and pet-friendly as long as they are leashed. It features beautiful wildflowers, is great for birdwatching, and is suitable for all skill levels. It’s an easy, concrete trail that is great for both walking and running. While you’re on the trail you can enjoy the splash pad, dog park, and workout bars along the path.

Based on reviews, visitors love this trail because of the additional features that it has.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.8 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 55 Feet

20. Oak Cliff Red Loop Trail

Credit: Aphotostory

The Oak Cliff Red Loop Trail is a moderately challenging hike that will take you around one hour to complete. You’ll be able to go hiking, biking, and trail running along this path. This trail is not very well-marked so make sure you bring a map ahead of time for navigation. Once you get to the trail, it’s a nice path that will take you through a big forest and make you forget that you’re in Dallas. There are a lot of steep drops and climbs so make sure to bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Based on reviews, visitors say this trail is like a breath of fresh air is so close to the city. The trails are less busy in the mornings

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.9 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 160 Feet

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