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The beauty of Fort Worth’s mild climate is the opportunity it provides to get outside and be active any time of year. Even in the dog days of summer, as long as you head out early in the morning, or in the evening, you can escape the worst of the heat and still get out into nature.
Outdoor enthusiasts in Fort Worth have access to hundreds of miles of trails right in their own backyard, some that also double as biking lanes, some that pass by city parks and along pleasant creeks, and others that lead to beautiful overlooks over pretty lakes. When it’s time to get outside, choose from these 10 best hiking trails in the Fort Worth area.
1. Spring Creek Forest Preserve Trail
Take the President George Bush Turnpike. Exit on North Garland Avenue going west. The park will be approximately a half-mile down the road.
This is an excellent hiking choice if you are breaking in new sneakers or hiking boots, or looking to take the dog for a vigorous walk. Easy to get to within the suburbs outside of Dallas, the trail is accessible for all skill levels.
Within minutes, you’re tucked away in an overgrown forest of 300-year-old trees and 650 species of plants and animals, far from the concrete jungle.
You can also access the Rowlett Creek Preserve Trail from here, which offers up to 14 miles of looped trail. The loops are numbered in the order in which they were built.
Half of the trail is wooded, while the rest is out in the open. There are just a few short climbs.
Distance: 1.1 Miles
Elevation Gain: 72 Feet
2. Katy Trail
From Uptown Dallas, drive on Houston Street to the end of Airline Road in Highland Park. Park near the north end of the trail in the parking lot near Knox Street. If you are coming to the southern end, park at Reverchon Park on Maple Avenue in the lot near the baseball fields.
For a long afternoon hike/walk, the Katy Trail checks all the boxes. The dog-friendly, historic trail, built on an old railroad line, takes you through several areas of Dallas.
Make your way from Dallas’ West End and the American Airlines Center arena, past Knox Street, Southern Methodist University and the Mockingbird DART Station. The mixed-use trail is paved, with an adjacent soft-surface track for hikers and walkers. Look for wildflowers in the springtime.
As you get close to the AA Center, there are some inviting bars, including the Katy Trail Ice House, where you might stop in for a refreshing brew. The trail is particularly popular in the evening and on weekends and perfect for an urban adventure.
Distance: 3.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 187 Feet
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3. North Shore Trail
Take TX 121 to Grapevine Mills Parkway, traveling SW. Turn onto Fairway Drive. The southern trailhead is on the left just after the golf course on the right. There are several trailheads for the route, including Rockledge Park, Murrell Park, MADD Shelter and Twin Coves Park.
No need to do all 18 miles in one fell swoop! This gorgeous lakeview trail between Rockledge Park and Twin Coves Park on the north side of Lake Grapevine is best enjoyed in the early spring and fall (fewer mosquitoes, and less direct sunlight).
Time your hike so you’re finishing at the southern trailhead, where you can sit for a beautiful sunset over the rocky shoreline. There is an entry fee to access this trail. Be aware that mountain bikers share the trail with hikers.
Distance: 18 Miles
Elevation Gain: 846 Feet
4. Speakeasy Loop (Marion Sansom Park)
The Speakeasy Loop is within Marion Sansom Park, located off Roberts Cut Off Road northwest of downtown Fort Worth.
This peaceful park made up of several interconnected trails leads hikers through a heavily forested landscape near Fort Worth. Highlight? The scenic views of Lake Worth and a waterfall.
The Speakeasy Loop is a highly rated, moderately challenging route that is popular with hikers, dog-walkers and mountain bikers. It’s kid friendly with some paved areas and some rocky sections. Watch carefully as you pass large rocks; there are fossils embedded in the stone.
There are additional trails throughout the park, many of which take you above the treeline to a far-reaching view of the surrounding greenery and the lake below. Popular options that take you close to the waterfalls are the Lone Wolf Loop, The Dam Drop and the Thunder Road Loop.
Distance: 2.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 190 Feet
5. Canyon Ridge Trail, Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
From Loop I-820, exit onto Highway 199 (Jacksboro Highway) and go west 4 miles. Exit onto Confederate Park Road to the right and stay on the service road. At the stop sign, turn right onto Buffalo Road into the Nature Center entrance.
Take the Canyon Ridge Trail point to point, following limestone and sandstone outcroppings, stopping to catch your breath and take in the great views of Lake Worth.
You’ll descend into shallow canyons from time to time. If you’re not planning to walk all the way to the end, there are three different shortcuts that return you back to Shoreline Drive.
Notice the unique geology of the 3,000-acre Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, where water has carved out streams over the centuries, lined by lush vegetation. At two of the highest ridges, find rock structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
As you explore the numerous trails, watch for wildflowers, butterflies, migrating waterfowl, hawks and vultures, deer, armadillos, yucca and prickly pear cactus.
Don’t miss the dedicated Prairie Dog Town and bison range. The Refuge offers 20 miles of hiking trails in all. There is a fee to enter the nature center and refuge.
Distance: 5.9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 590 Feet
6. Trinity Trails System
The Trinity Trails network maintains more than 100 miles of scenic, safe walking, hiking, cycling and horseback riding trails in the Fort Worth area. The pathways wind along the Trinity River and its tributaries. Trailhead locations are diverse – find more info here.
Trinity Trails connects areas such as the Stockyards, downtown Fort Worth, TCU/Zoo and the Cultural District in Fort Worth, so make a day of it and combine exercise with some local fun.
From the Panther Island Pavilion, the only waterfront stage in Texas, to the Stockyards Stables, where you can sign up for horseback riding outings, there’s always something going on along Trinity Trails. The point-to-point Trinity Trail runs for 18.2 miles, while the Trinity Trail Loop is 2.5 miles long.
One of the most popular routes within the Trinity Trails system is the 1.9-mile Airfield Falls Trail on the east side of the Naval Air Station JRB. The location is in Westworth Village on Pumphrey Drive just a few minutes from downtown Fort Worth.
Some know this trail well, while for others it will be a pleasant surprise. The Airfield Falls trail will take you to Tarrant County’s largest natural waterfall and provide an opportunity to see native wildlife and monarch butterflies during their northward migration.
There are parts of a McDonnell Douglas C-9 aircraft along the hike, as well as two Texas Historic Markers.
Elevation Gain: Varies
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7. Gateway Park Trails
Enter Gateway Park off E. 1st Street, no from Beach Street. Park in the lot next to the soccer fields and walk to the trailhead on the eastern side of the lot.
Gateway Park offers more than 1,000 acres of outdoor recreation space and several hiking options, from a 1.1-mile loop trail, to the 3.8-mile-long Gateway Park West Loop.
This latter trail sits to the west of the Trinity River and is beginner friendly. There is a hillier trail on the east side of the river that is 5 miles long. You can also loop the west and east side trails together by taking the connector along E. 1st Street.
The Trinity Trails also run through the park, allowing you to easily jump on a number of paths that make up the 100+-mile system.
Elevation Gain: Varies
8. Eagle Mountain Park
Eagle Mountain Park is located north of Fort Worth on Morris Dido Newark Road.
For a refreshing hike near the water, head to Eagle Mountain Lake, spanning 8,694 acres in north Texas. There are numerous parks dotted around the lake’s edge and miles of hiking trails, mainly located in Eagle Mountain Park.
The well-maintained, 5- to 10-foot wide trails here are made for hiking and walking, but are not biking-friendly. Six distinct trails within Eagle Mountain Park cover 5 total miles.
As you hike, you’ll find picnic tables, benches, water fountains and restrooms located throughout the park for your convenience. You may even see wild deer or armadillos!
The trails are open daily from sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. There is no park access fee. No pets are allowed.
Popular trail options include the Main Park Trail, approximately 1.5 miles long. To access it, stay to the left and then keep to the left when you enter the trail system. This main trail will lead you to the lake’s edge.
There are two opportunities to go right soon after starting the Main Park Trail – these lead to the Northwest Trail and the Overlook Trail.
The Northwest Trail follows rocky and hilly terrain for about 1 mile; you can add .88 mile of the Ridge Loop Trail if you want to get down to the lake.
The Overlook Trail is the second right off the Main Park Trail and leads you .25 miles to a spectacular vista over the lake.
Additional options include the Shoreline Trail, which you can access about 1.25 miles down the Main Park Trail. It follows the lake’s edge for about .75 mile.
And finally, the South Overlook Trail is beyond the Shoreline Trail, leading to great views of the water from the south end of the park.
Overall, the park offers trails for beginners, as well as those who want some challenging, hillier terrain for a good workout.
Distance: Up to 5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 285 Feet
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9. Stratford Park and Tandy Hills
The Stratford Park and Tandy Hill Natural Areas are located 3 miles east of downtown Fort Worth, adjacent to I-30. Parking is available along View Street.
Welcome to some of the most untouched, pure Texas landscape accessible from downtown Fort Worth. The Stratford Park Natural Areas boast 200 acres of pristine nature, perfect for hiking, bird watching, dog walking, photography and more.
From the hilltops, you’ll have sweeping views of Fort Worth, and in the spring and summer, glorious vistas of diverse and colorful wildflowers, including the popular bluebonnet. The 4-mile Extended Loop is the best way to get a feel for the park.
The Hawk Trail to Cottontail Bend Loop is in the nearby Tandy Hills Natural Area, taking you through 160 acres of indigenous prairie land. The region is home to more than 500 native plant species.
Distance: 4 Miles
Elevation Gain: 465 Feet
10. Arcadia Trail Parks
Access any of the Arcadia parks from Arcadia Park Drive in Fort Worth. Arcadia Park itself is between Island Park Drive to the north, Glenscape Trail to the south, Arcadia Trail to the east and Teal Drive to the west.
Arcadia Trail Parks North and South are divided by Basswood Boulevard. The Arcadia Trail runs through Arcadia Trail Park North and Arcadia Trail South Park, covering 177 total acres and running almost 4 miles in northwest-south and eastward directions.
The green belt follows Whites Brand Creek and is accessible from various streets along the way. A paved hiking and biking trail runs the length of the park and connects several neighborhoods.
As you hike, watch for wildflower meadows and native wildlife species. There are numerous playgrounds and picnic tables along the way, next to the creek, perfect for a rest stop or picnic.
Distance: 5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 72 Feet