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8 Must-Do Hikes Near Dallas, Texas

Grab your day pack and plan a visit to one of these 8 classic hikes near Dallas, Texas.

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

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When it comes to metropolitan areas in the lower 48, Dallas is home to one of the most diverse selections of outdoor activities, despite its distance from a major mountain range or ocean. A series of lakes and rivers dot North Texas, and many of them host adjacent trails perfect for mountain biking, trail running, or hiking. Compared to other guidebooks centered around Dallas, this round-up highlights some classic day hikes in the area, from short one-hour hikes in town to an epic day trip on the southern edge of Lake Texoma.

Kicking off the list are trails like Arbor Hills and Oak Point, both serving Plano and the northern suburbs. Arbor Hills is known for its abundant mountain biking, hiking, and trail running opportunities, as well as a Lookout Tower you’ll visit on your hike. It’s one of the more popular areas to enjoy the outdoors in western Plano, though the 800-acre Oak Point Nature Preserve takes the title of the city’s largest park. Hosting a lake, adventure center, event pavilion, and plenty of paved and unpaved trails suited for all abilities, the park also provides excellent access to Plano’s extensive network of greenways, many of which can be accessed from nearby neighborhoods. Other easy and family-friendly hikes to make the list are the Cedar Ridge Preserve and the Rowlett Nature Trail.

If a longer day hike in the metroplex is what you’re seeking, then Lake Grapevine’s iconic Northshore Trail and Lake Lavon’s Trinity Trail are both perfect options. With over 22 miles at Northshore to explore, we’ve mapped a 5-ish miler from the trail’s eastern terminus at Rockledge Park. Rolling along hillsides on the shore of the lake, this forested hike is great for anyone in the family and offers plenty of options to shorten or lengthen the route based on what you’re looking for. Alternatively, the remote and wild Trinity Trail northeast of town offers 25+ miles of hiking and equestrian trails, as well as the Sycamore Loop you’ll find mapped here. Though not particularly hard, the trail will make you feel far from the city, and you’ll pay a visit to the largest-known Sycamore tree in Texas.

When the weekend or holiday rolls around and you’re ready to venture a little further from home, consider hiking the technical and rocky Cross Timbers Trail along Lake Texoma, or make your way southwest to Dinosaur Valley State Park, where you can enjoy remote singletrack, limestone ledges, abundant views, and riverside dinosaur tracks. The park is also home to the Blue Hole, a swimming hole on the Paluxy River perfect for the entire family to enjoy during the summer. While the hike is located further from downtown Dallas than any others to make this list, some would argue that it’s one of the best day trips to explore outside of town. It’s also well-worth the detour if you find yourself on a road trip and are looking for somewhere to stretch your legs.

As with most trails in North Texas, each trail is prone to closures following rain or flooding. Many of the classic hikes are situated along lakes, rivers, and creeks, while others require water crossings that can be dangerous until the water subsides. Should you find a trail marked as closed when you arrive, please be respectful of the decision and mindful that the trail will re-open once singletrack has time to dry out.

Routes included

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