When winter chills arrive, some may seek warmth by an indoor fire. Yet the adventurous DFW denizens will still crave fresh air, Texas flora and natural landscapes. They need the great outdoors year-round! Fortunately, Dallas/Fort Worth has plenty to offer in hiking and biking trails, forests and preserves that will enchant your eyes, regardless of the temperature or the season.
7171 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75249
www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.htmlCedar Ridge Preserve, only a short drive from downtown Dallas, teems with natural beauty. Within its borders lie about 600 acres of trees, animals, trails and even picnic areas. For those who seek a leisurely stroll, there are plenty of places to do this. As no wheeled vehicles are allowed on the trails at Cedar Ridge Preserve, the trails stay open for those who wish to admire their surroundings while only leaving a footprint. Winter hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the preserve is closed on Mondays.
8525 Garland Road
Dallas, TX 75218
www.dallasarboretum.orgThe Dallas Arboretum is splendidly beautiful year-round and should not be left of the list of places to explore in the winter. Mixed into the palette of flowers and native plants will be the welcomed 12 Days of Christmas exhibit. Natural Texas floral residents as well as exotic, exciting and eye-pleasing blended gardens are on display all year to bring a little spring back into your step and sparkle in your eye as you wander through them this winter.
9601 Fossil Ridge Road
Fort Worth, TX 76135
www.fwnaturecenter.orgFort Worth Nature Center and Refuge proves that the outdoors is great any time of year. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge hosts a guided morning walk. Free with paid admission, this hike is for anyone who wants to attend, without reserving a spot. All you have to do is dress for the weather of the day, especially in winter, and arrive early to make sure you have a spot. The guided walks accommodate only 15 people at a time.
1770 Holford Road
Garland, Texas 75044
www.garlandtx.govSpring Creek Forest Preserve, located in Garland, boasts a unique forest environment. Over 600 different species of plants and animals have been found here, living peacefully, just far enough away from the city. Spring Creek Forest Preserve has a third of a mile of paved walking trails, for those who are just starting out on their hiking habit, and half a mile of unpaved trails, for those looking for the path less traveled. Bird-watchers will have the chance to admire Fox Sparrows, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Great-horned Owls and Carolina Chickadees, to name a few. Although migration calls a few of them, those that stay are in paradise between the hardwood, elm and oak trees that stand tall and proud 365 days a year.
3505 Maple Ave.
Dallas, TX 75219
www.reverchonparkfriends.comNestled in the soul of Dallas, Reverchon Park has served as the liaison between urban and natural environments. With over 40 acres of space, hikers, walkers and explorers can find the level of nature they are most comfortable with here. There is plenty of park area where one can disappear into the greenery for a while and then re-emerge to find picnic spaces and a playground. Those who need to experience nature while keeping their feet on the solid ground will be happy to know that Katy Trail is easily accessed from Reverchon Park, one of the most walked, run and biked paths in the city. Hiking yoga takes advantage of this blend of landscapes at Reverchon Park as well. Feel free to duck out of civilization for a while amidst the thousands of native plants within Reverchon's borders or stick to the path less traveled. This winter, it's all up to you; so put on your coat, boots and enjoy.
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