Top 10 Trails in DFW for Trail Running
Get outside for your running and training by hitting the 10 most popular running trails around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
1. Fort Worth Trinity Trails
Winding around the city of Fort Worth, the Trinity Trails are the most notable trail for locals looking for a place to cycle, run or walk. By connecting 21 local parks, the Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Japanese Garden, the Stockyards and downtown Fort Worth, the Trinity Trails span over 40 miles; giving you easy access to hop on and get back home wherever you’re located in the city.
Many trail-goers find themselves at Woodshed Smokehouse right off South University Dr. or Chuy’s Mexican restaurant off West 7th street for a bite to eat or to meet up with friends before or after their run or bike ride.
2. Trinity Skyline Trails
Similar to the Fort Worth Trinity Trails, the Trinity Skyline Trails originate from the same Texas river system but offer trail-goers impressive views of downtown Dallas. At just over 4.5 miles, and accessible off Trammell Crow Park, the Continental Avenue Bridge or the Trinity Overlook, you won’t want to miss trail running along the scenic Trinity Skyline Trails.
3. Katy Trails
Built on the historic Katy Railroad line that connects the Victory Park and Uptown neighborhoods, the 3.5 mile-long scenic Katy Trails is dotted with great eateries and entertainment for trail-goers to enjoy before or after their trail running. Starting from SMU and weaving down to the American Airlines Center, the Katy Trails features both a 12 ft-wide concrete path and a 8ft-wide dirt running path for you to choose from.
4. North Shore Trails
Near Grapevine Lake, the North Shore Trails are ten miles of dirt roads, and scenic views of lakeside cliffs and the beautiful Northern Shore. Open all-year, the North Shore Trails are for runners who prefer tougher terrain as the trail ranges from rolling terrain to more wooded areas. Located on the northside of Lake Grapevine, the North Shore Trails connect Rockledge and Twin Coves parks.
5. White Rock Lake
With nine miles of paved paths encircling White Rock Lake, this trail is great for everything from biking and running to walking. The larger White Rock Lake park stretches over a thousand acres and offers a great view of Downtown Dallas. With the popular entry point being Big Thicket cabin, most runners follow the yellow line around the lake along the concrete trail.
6. Cedar Ridge Preserve
Located near Arlington, Cedar Ridge Preserve features over eight miles of hill country just twenty minutes southwest of Downtown Dallas. With a total of 13 trails, there’s plenty of terrains and trail lengths to choose from. Entry to the Preserve is free but donations are welcomed. Dogs are welcome too, as long as they stay on leash, and with over 600 acres, many visitors enjoy the north Texas blackland prairie ecosystem with beautiful trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. Since this trail system doesn’t allow cyclists, the Cedar Ridge Preserve is great for Dallasites who want to escape the bustling city for their run.
7. Cedar Hill State Park: DORBA Trail
Found just miles away from Cedar Ridge Preserve, the Cedar Hill State Park DORBA (Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association) trail is great for cyclists who also want to escape the busy Dallas environment. The DORBA Trail has three loops — a 3-mile short loop, 8-mile mid-sized loop, and a 12-mile long loop — designating the area as an intermediate-level course with tight turns, making it perfect for endurance training cyclists and runners alike.
8. Fort Worth Nature Center
Slow down by taking a hike or peaceful run on 20 miles of hiking trails at the Fort Worth Nature Center. With 3,000 acres to enjoy, the Nature Center and Refuge is home to buffalo, a prairie dog colony, alligators, deer, and other extraordinary wildlife. Just ten miles from downtown Fort Worth, the Nature Center is great for trail runners who want to escape the often busy Trinity Trails for a more relaxed environment. Be sure to check the Nature Center’s website before you head out to research the various trails and to make sure they’re open for the season.
9. Chisholm Trail
Plano’s Chisholm Trail is a paved 9.3-mile trail that spans across Harrington Park on the southern end to Jack Carter Park on the trail’s north side. Connecting community areas like the Copper Creek Playground and Big Lake Park, makes the Chisholm Trail easily accessible and centrally located in Plano; making it a safe, family-friendly trail for everyone to enjoy.
10. Campion Trail
Offering a mix of urban and nature views, the Campion Trail winds through the Dallas suburb of Irving with separate northern and southern sections; totalling over 13 miles of paved trail. Frequently used as both a commuting and recreational-use trail, the northern section begins in the Valley Ranch community (at Sam Houston Trail Park) and follows the Elm fork of the Trinity River south to Irving’s central business district, Las Colinas.
Similar to the north, the southern part of the Campion Trail follows the West Fort of the Trinity River; beginning in Trinity View Park and traveling along through Twin Wells Park and Mountain Creek Preserve. Eventually, the city is hoping to connect the pathways along tributaries of the Trinity River in part of the larger regional effort to join the Irving, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas trail systems, but until then, lace up your running shoes and pick a side and enjoy!
Whether you’re wanting a view of urban downtown Dallas or Fort Worth on your run or wanting to opt for a more scenic view of North Texas landscape, we hope you enjoy these Top 10 trails for your trail running adventures.