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The Best Hiking Trails Near Dallas, TX: The 7 Best Parks near DFW

January 10, 2024

Wanting to escape the DFW area and enjoy miles of trails and gorgeous scenery? You don’t have to go far! Here is a list of some incredible state parks that are perfect for a day trip from Dallas full of hiking or a peaceful weekend spent camping. Reservations are recommended for all.

Wondering if it’s worth it to buy a Texas State Park pass? Check out my Texas State Parks guide, which details the park pass and includes my personal ranking of all of the Texas state parks I have visited!

2024 Update: Dallas is in the path of total eclipse occurring on April 8th, 2024! Dinosaur Valley, Tyler, Daingerfield and Cleburne are all Texas state parks in the path. Make sure to make a reservation 30 days in advance if you plan to visit one of these parks for the eclipse!

Pro Tip: If you’re new to hiking, All Trails is a great tool to use for navigation, recent trail reviews and more. If you do a lot of hiking, I highly recommend paying for All Trails Plus to access offline maps and the “Lifeline” feature, which allows you to send your location to a trusted friend or family member.

Safety: I highly recommend wearing hiking shoes with traction and bringing the ‘10 essentials’ on any hike. It’s better to be over prepared than underprepared! I also carry the Garmin InReach Messenger, which can be used to call for help in an emergency where there is no service.

Leave No Trace: Please make sure to always leave no trace, no matter what trail you’re on! The principles of leave no trace are:

  1. Pack out all of your trash (including food scraps)
  2. Do not feed or approach wildlife
  3. Travel on durable surfaces (for example - walk through the mud instead of around so not to widen the trail)
  4. Respect those around you (keep your volume down)
  5. Respect the local rules for building fires
  6. Leave what you find (please do not collect rocks or anything else)

7 of the Best Hiking Trails near Dallas

1. Dinosaur Valley State Park

A view of the Paluxy River from an overlook in Dinosaur Valley.
The View from the Overlook Trail
  • An hour and a half from Dallas
  • $7 entry without parks pass

Explore where the dinosaurs once roamed at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Swim in the Paluxy River, see real dinosaur tracks, discover secluded mini waterfalls and hike up to views of the Paluxy River Valley. This is my favorite place to hike near Dallas!

2. Lake Mineral Wells

Some rock climbers on a rock wall at Lake Mineral Wells.
Penitentiary Hollow
  • An hour and 20 minutes from Dallas
  • $7 entry without park pass

Lake Mineral Wells State Park is surrounded by a large lake with amazing rocky scenery. Go rock climbing at Penitentiary Hollow, hike around the lake, go swimming or explore the water by boat. Lake Mineral Wells is a gorgeous park with lots of rocky trails to adventure through.

If you are new to hiking, read my 15 best beginner hiker tips before hitting the trails!

3. Tyler State Park

A late with green lily pads, grass and trees.
The Lakeshore Trail
  • An hour and a half from Dallas
  • $6 entry without park pass

Tyler State Park is a popular destination close to Dallas, known for its miles of trails and beautiful forest. Hike through the pine-hardwood forest, paddle around or swim in the spring-fed lake or camp under the stars in this Piney Wood park.

Want to learn about more things to do near Tyler State Park? Check out these activites in the Piney Woods.

4. Daingerfield State Park

A lake surrounded by colorful fall foliage in Daingerfield State Park.
Autumn in Daingerfield
  • 2 hours 10 minutes from Dallas
  • $4 entry without park pass

Daingerfield is a small park but it’s very charming. There are two trails in the park totaling 3.6 miles. Hike both trails for a view of the lake and a stroll around the water. You can also swim, paddle and enjoy a picnic on the shore.

5. Eisenhower State Park

A beach area with a rocky ledge on one side and waves cascading into the shore at Eisenhower State Park.
The beach at Eisenhower
  • 1 hour 15 minutes from Dallas
  • $5 entry without park pass

Eisenhower State Park sits at the border of Oklahoma on Lake Texoma. While there, you can swim at the beach, hike on the rocky ledges next to the water or even bring your ATV and enjoy the many ATV trails.

6. Cleburne State Park

A large spillway area with a boulder in Cleburne State Park.
The Cleburne Spillway
  • 1 hour 10 min from Dallas
  • $6 entry

The focal point of Cleburne State Park is the impressive CCC-built limestone spillway. You can hike along the spillway, mountain bike through rocky and wooded terrain or kayak on Cedar Lake.

7. Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

A river area with grasses mixed in with the water.
The Marsh Boardwalk at the Fort Worth Nature Center
  • 50 minutes from Dallas
  • $6 entry

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Preserve not only has miles of trails, but is also home to a bison range and a prairie dog town. Don't miss the Canyon Ridge trail for a nice work out or the Marsh boardwalk for the chance to see a variety of beautiful birds.

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