Best Hike and Bike Trails
Aching to get away from the fluorescent lights of the office and ready to stretch your legs in nature? Sure, you could venture down to the Hill Country, or you could explore the hiking and biking trails right here, in and around Fort Worth.
These offer everything from wet river crossings and paths along lake cliffs to educational hikes for the kids and challenging off-road adventures for experienced cyclists.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Located less than an hour away from downtown Fort Worth in Glen Rose, Dinosaur Valley State Park offers several trails suited for intermediate cyclists. The ride starts with Cedar Brake Trail, which will require that you jump off your bike to cross the Paluxy River.
From there, the trail breaks off into a fork that can either present you with a nice ride with a gentle gain, a few “S” turns and rock gardens, or an encounter with Denio Creek that is passable only on foot. Other trails and paths branch off the main one, offering various degrees of difficulty for both cyclists and hikers. The park, complete with campsites, restrooms with showers, and picnic areas, makes for a fun destination for a weekend away from it all.
Eagle Mountain Park
Located on the east side of Eagle Mountain Lake off Morris Dido Newark Road, Eagle Mountain Park is a lovely hiking trail — no bikes allowed — through the 400-acre park. Hikers can get in touch with nature thanks to the park’s five miles of maintained hiking trails, making it a comfortable walk for novice hikers and kids.
Although it’s only open during the day, the park is free. Amenities include public restrooms and water fountains, two pavilions, picnic tables, and incredible views of the lake.
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
With more than 20 miles of hiking trails, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States. You’ll have to pay to gain access to the trails — $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 3 to 12, $3 for seniors — but the wetlands and forest make you feel like you’re out in the wilderness, rather than a half-hour from downtown.
With educational programs throughout the year, free-roaming wildlife including bison and prairie dogs, and a few wheelchair-accessible trails, the nature center and refuge is suitable for the entire family.
Boasting views of downtown Fort Worth, Gateway Park stretches across more than six miles of mountain biking trails. The second trail project adopted by the Fort Worth Mountain Bikers’ Association, Gateway Park is great for beginners and intermediate riders alike.
It’s also a terrific place to hike. Leashed dogs are allowed on this gentle and lush trail that’s open to the public and entirely free to explore.
Horseshoe Trail at Grapevine Lake
A gain of only 21 feet over its four-and-a-half mile distance makes Horseshoe Trail a gentle hike that takes about two hours to complete. The central trail is paved, making it suitable for cyclists of all skill levels, while loop side trails offer another option for exploring this trail, located on the west side of Oak Grove Park.
The best wildlife viewing happens when the park opens at 6 am or at dusk. While better for bike riders, the trail offers a lovely stroll for those who want an easy hike.
Marion Sansom Park
Several interconnecting loops of trails wind through Marion Sansom Park near Lake Worth, offering a challenge to cyclists who dare ride its trails. The main trail is rated as intermediate, while the winding loops are expert trails, but the 10 miles — with a gain of nearly 2,000 feet — offers some of the best views of the lake.
Maintained by the Fort Worth Mountain Bikers’ Association, the park is open and free to all bike riders and hikers who want to take it on.
North Shore Trail
North Shore Trail runs for about 10 miles, from Rockledge Park to Twin Coves Park along Lake Grapevine’s north side. Moderate difficulty trails and stunning views of the lake and area cliffs draw nature lovers to the trail throughout the year.
Three different trailheads are located at Twin Coves Park, Murrell Park, and Rockledge Park, although there is a fee to enter the latter. Rough though the trail may be at certain points, visitors can enjoy public restrooms, pavilions, grills, and picnic tables along their trek.
Tandy Hills Natural Area
Located just five miles from downtown, Tandy Hills boast 160 acres of indigenous prairie and more than 10 hiking trails. These trails are decorated with more than 500 native species, and the wildflowers are absolutely breathtaking.
Swing by in the spring for its annual Prairie Fest, which promotes nature through the arts and features prairie wildflower tours, nature-science hikes, and eats from local restaurants.
More than 40 miles of trails run along the Trinity River. Aptly named Trinity Trails, the network includes various trailheads at local parks across town. Jump on the westernmost point of the trails at the Meandering Road Trailhead in Keller if you want a crushed limestone trail great for biking or hiking, or try the southwest paved trail that begins at the Cobb Park Trailhead off Old Mansfield Road.
The network of trails also extends north to Buck Sansom Park Trailhead at Angle Avenue, and as far east as Quanah Parker Park, connecting 21 parks, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Fort Worth Zoo, the Stockyards, and downtown along its network.
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