The Best Hiking Trails Around Fort Worth
Hiking is a great way to escape from stressors of everyday life, get some exercise, and enjoy time in the great outdoors. Whether you choose to go solo or hike the trails with friends and family, there are a wide variety of trails in and around Fort Worth, Texas, to choose from. Here is a look at six of our favorites.
The Katy Trail is an iconic destination for people in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. It runs east-west between the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas and Southern Methodist University, along the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad path.
The trail is 7.5 miles long and features shaded trees, walkways to parks, and an abundance of wildflowers. Even though it’s located right in the middle of Dallas, it’s a peaceful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the beautiful views of downtown make this trail a favorite for locals.
The trail is paved, making it ideal for joggers and bikers alike. If you are entering the trail from the north end, it’s best to park near Knox and Travis streets. If you are at the south end of the trail, look for parking in the Reverchon Park area, located at 3505 Maple Avenue. There are no fees to access or use the trail.
North Shore Trail
If you’re into mountain biking, then the North Shore trail between Dallas and Fort Worth is the place to go. This trail winds along the north side of Grapevine Lake from Rockledge Park to Twin Coves Park.
There are two main loops to choose from. If you are a more advanced mountain biker, you may want to take the more adventurous West Loop through dense brush and forest. It offers an exciting challenge for advanced bikers with steep hills and major rock gardens.
If you are looking for an easier ride — although one that is by no means easy — try the East Loop. This ride offers sandy stretches, rock ledges, and root steps, as well as clearings and meadows. In total, the trail gives bikers and hikers over nine miles of tree-covered trails and picnic areas.
You can start in either Twin Coves Park, Murrel Park, or Rockledge Park, all of which have designated parking. If you park at Murrel Park or outside the gate at Twin Coves Park, you can get on the trail for free. The other two designated parking spots charge a low fee.
Big Cedar Ridge Wilderness Trail
While this South Dallas trail is mostly rated as difficult, there are options for beginner hikers as well. It’s a five-mile-long, unpaved trail with options for longer climbs, challenging descents, a few switchbacks, and some rocky areas. The trail is open from dawn until dusk from Tuesday to Saturday. While the park is generally closed on Mondays, it is open on holidays that fall on Mondays. It is also open on Sunday after 1:00 in the afternoon to allow time for the Sunday church service, as the trail is located on the property of Mountain Creek Community Church.
Trinity Park Trails
Trinity Park Trails offers more than 70 miles of scenic trails that wind along the Trinity River and its tributaries. They are perfect for a wide variety of activities, including walking, running, cycling, or even riding horses. With so many trails available within the park system, it has something for everyone and offers both paved trails as well as rougher, unpaved trails.
This trail system is extensive and connects major areas like the zoo area, the cultural district, the stockyards, and downtown. Since the trail system is so elaborate, it’s a good idea to check out the map legend to decide where you want to enter and exit the trail.
Marion Sansom Park Trail
The Marion Sansom Park Trail is made up of several loops that wind through a wooded area and provide scenic views of Lake Worth. Marion Samson Park is actually comprised of six great trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking, and more. The main rim loop is considered an intermediate level trail while the section off the main loop is considered an expert level trail. Marion Sansom Park offers over 650 acres of land to explore with spectacular waterfalls and lake views through the trees.
The trails range from 2.1 to 5.5 miles in length and 738 to 744 feet above sea level. There is no entry fee and the park is always open, but they suggest exercising caution if you go at night. The park is located at 2501 Roberts Cut Off Road, Fort Worth, Texas.
Eagle Mountain Lake Trails
Many would argue that we saved for the best for last, as the trails at Eagle Mountain Park are some of the best you’ll find in North Texas. Well-suited for hiking, walking, and sometimes jogging, these trails are not intended for biking. The trails are open from sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset seven days per week and are completely free to use.
The trail system is approximately five miles long and consists of six distinct trails. The trails, themselves, are well-maintained and between five and 10 feet wide, although unpaved. The majority of the trails are relatively easy for all ages, although the Ridge Loop Trail and the South Overlook Trail are moderately challenging in parts. The Overlook Trail takes you to a spectacular overlook area where you can view Eagle Mountain Lake and the Shoreline trail runs along the edge of the lake, where visitors can enjoy beautiful views.
So there you have it, six of the best trails in and around Fort Worth for you to try during your next weekend adventure. However, there are so many great trails in the area, there is no way to cover them all, and chances are we missed some local favorites. If we missed one you love, let us know! Drop us a line and we’ll get it added to our list.
Image via Flickr by Daquella manera