mountains near dallas

5 Most Interesting Mountains Near Dallas To Visit For A Nice Trek

If you live in or around Dallas, you already know that the city is surrounded by green spaces begging to be explored. Living in Dallas provides easy access to plenty of cultural attractions and natural phenomena for you to feast your eyes on.

From short and easy treks to advanced climbs that will leave you breathless, there are plenty of mountains near Dallas where you can stroll under a cooling green canopy, hear the birds chirp, or just listen to yourself think. Lace up your shoes and fill up your bottle of water to get reacquainted with nature!

5 Mountains Near Dallas

1. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

Arbor

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Located less than 30 minutes from downtown Dallas, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano is a sight to behold. This park spans 200 acres and is ideal for a quiet trek, a quick jog, or any other fun outdoor activity.

It boasts 2.3 miles of paved trails, ideal for families with children, and approximately 3 miles of natural unpaved trails. There are also well-maintained bike trails that you can go on.

The nature preserve is particularly gorgeous during Spring when the wildflowers and murmuring streams invite you to take a moment to appreciate nature in all its glory.

Climb up to the Observation Tower to take in the jaw-dropping view or explore your way through the eco-regions, such as the Blackland Prairie, the Upland Forest, and the Riparian Forest. The preserve is also home to diverse wildlife, so make sure you do your research about safety precautions.

From enormous oaks and cedar elms that tower over you to inviting meadows to relax in, this nature preserve does not disappoint.

2. Cedar Mountain Preserve

Cedar

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Just next to the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is the gorgeous Cedar Mountain Preserve. It is included in the protected areas of the Dallas Open Space Program that was launched in 1976 to preserve the natural spaces in Dallas County so its residents can fully enjoy these areas.

Spread over 100 acres, this mountain preserve may not be as large as some others but it offers more than enough sights and experiences that will leave you spellbound.

For one, the preserve is over 700 feet above sea level, featuring some of Dallas County’s highest elevation points. It is also located in a place with two unique geological formations: the black land prairie and a limestone escarpment. This convergence creates a feasible habitat for diverse animals and plants, offering plenty of opportunities to spot the area’s unique flora and fauna.

The mile-long trekking trail will take you up a hill and through dense, untouched forest, finally looping back to the starting point.

3. Texas Buckeye Trail

Buckeye

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In the Great Trinity Forest lies the stunning 1.6-mile-long Texas Buckeye Trail, ideal for spotting the area’s diverse wildlife and bird population.

The North Texas Master Naturalists maintain several miles of the natural trail, creating a small but impressive space for visitors. It ends with a jaw-dropping display of Texas Buckeye trees that are a sight o behold when they bloom white in spring. The buckeyes are flowering trees that typically bloom in March.

You also have the option to take the concrete trail that is about one mile long west of the Texas buckeye stand. The concrete trail interweaves with the soft natural trail at several points.

Along the way, you will come across various signages as well as arbors made of natural materials. And finally, at the end of the trail, you will spot large boulders overlooking the stunning Trinity River.

This is a hidden gem that offers a lot more in terms of natural beauty than you’d have imagined.

4. Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

Dogwood

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Just about 20 minutes from Downtown Dallas is the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, named after the abundant dogwood trees that grow in the area. With about 2 miles of hiking trails, this amazing hiking place will take you to some of the highest elevations in Dallas County.

It is included in the White Rock Escarpment, an incredible geologic feature in the Metroplex. At the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, you can find an array of rare species, including the Black-chinned Hummingbird.

You can choose a trail based on the difficulty level — the Canyon Floor Trail is better suited for beginners while the West Loop Trail connecting to a new Dogwood Trail is more difficult.

Apart from trekking trails, this place also offers the best spots to capture perfect panorama pictures and admire the scenic views. It’s best to visit Dogwood Canyon during early Spring since that’s when the pretty white and pink blossoms are in full bloom. But even if you can’t, the place has plenty to offer all year round.

5. Goat Island Preserve

Goat

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Unlike its name, you won’t find any goats on this preserve, but you may come across the occasional dogs on this pet-friendly trail in Wilmer, Texas. Created as part of the county’s efforts to preserve wilderness areas, Goat Island Preserve is located on the Trinity River banks.

This area is more relaxed than the other mountains near Dallas, but it is ideal for many outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, and fishing.

You will find several individual trails here, such as the Ranch Road Trail, Bevo Loop, Eagles Loop, Roadrunner Trail, Owls Loop, Hog’s Wild Trail, and Mustangs Trail. Some trails are more manageable and are perfect for beginners or for those who want to take a leisurely walk while exploring the greenery and enjoying the remote wilderness.

With over seven miles of well-maintained trails to explore, you can expect to enjoy some stunning scenic views throughout the way. And especially since the area has largely been untouched, it offers numerous opportunities to spot wildlife!

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