We’re in that sweet spot for Texas weather—the cold is behind us and the true heat is yet to come. It’s the perfect time to get outside as a family. We rounded up some of the best trails in Dallas-Fort Worth, for pedaling, for a hike or even riding in a stroller. Trail usage is free unless otherwise noted.
Big Bear Creek Greenbelt // Keller
Where 1 Sport Parkway
The lowdown A paved trail along Big Bear Creek takes walkers, bike riders and stroller-pushers through parks and natural areas. Break your journey up with a stop at Bear Creek Park (about a mile from Keller Sports Park), with two play sets, then keep going to Keller Town Hall to view landmarks through a special telescope.
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center // Cedar Hill
Where 1206 FM 1382
The lowdown Head to Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center for an easy and educational nature hike. (Bikes are not allowed.) With trails that reach some of the highest points in Dallas County, the center offers a nice view of Joe Pool Lake and even AT&T Stadium in Arlington, if the weather is right. Try the Canyon Floor Trail for a half-mile, stroller-friendly walk. Admission is free—but go online to reserve tickets, as entry is currently limited.
Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary // McKinney
Where 1 Nature Place
The lowdown The Heard offers unique hiking through its 289-acre wildlife sanctuary. While you make your way along self-guided or interpreted nature trails, encourage your kids to spot birds and other wildlife. We recommend the appropriately named Hoot Owl Trail for its bird’s-eye view. The trails aren’t paved and, in terms of strollers, are accessible only to running models. Bikes are not permitted. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for kids age 3 and up.
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve // Plano
Where 5901 Los Rios Blvd.
The lowdown Plano’s largest park contains extensive hike-and-bike paths, including nearly 8 miles of concrete trails and five miles of soft-surface trails alongside Rowlett Creek. You’ll find lots of parking and on-site restrooms. Keep kiddos on the path to avoid potential run-ins with poison ivy, chiggers and other critters.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park // Pilot Point
Where 100 PW 4137
The lowdown Explore mile after mile of multiuse trails at Ray Roberts Lake State Park. We enjoy the Randy Bell Scenic Trail, a paved loop of just over 2 miles. Leashed pets are permitted on the trails. Head toward the water to find play structures and picnic tables for a post-walk (or post-ride) treat. Adults pay a $7 entrance fee, while kids 12 and younger are free.
River Legacy Park // Arlington
Where 701 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd.
The lowdown There’s no shortage of routes at River Legacy Park, where the 8-mile, paved hike-and-bike trail follows the bends of the Trinity River. (The park has a 10-mile mountain bike trail as well.) Visitors can also enjoy free nature trails at the adjacent River Legacy Living Science Center—where your children will love the interactive exhibits and terrariums with native wildlife. Admission to the center’s Discovery Room is $5 for age 13 and up (seniors are $4) and $3 for ages 3–12.
Trinity Trails // Fort Worth
Where Various locations
The lowdown The Trinity Trails are a Texas-sized network of paths for walking, running and biking, spanning more than 100 miles through 31 neighborhoods and 21 parks. For newbies, we recommend sticking close to Trinity Park off University Drive. The paths at Eagle Mountain Park are also ideal for a kid-friendly hike. (Bikes aren’t allowed at that section of the Trinity Trails, and neither is the family pet.)
White Rock Lake Trail // Dallas
Where 4600 W. Lawther Drive
The lowdown Hike or bike the paved, 9.33-mile trail around White Rock Lake in East Dallas. Stop to watch kayakers or to look for birds at the Audubon Society bird-watching area; when you’ve completed your walk or ride, enjoy a picnic off the path. If you have little ones along, avoid the side of the lake near Garland Road and the spillway. The path in that area is narrower and tends to attract serious walkers, runners and cyclists. We recommend the more family-friendly section of trail on the West Lawther Drive side of the water.
Photo courtesy of iStock.