Explore Dallas-Fort Worth

The 10 Best Places to Run in Dallas and Fort Worth

Get in touch with nature while putting the mileage in.

Dallas-Fort Worth may be the the largest metropolitan area in the South but that doesn't mean that runners have to dodge traffic in order to get a soul-satisfying workout. 

Lace up those shoes and find some of the best spots in the area for a run. 

Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

Runners wishing to connect with nature will be pleased with what they find at the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve

See different varieties of birds and plants while traversing eight miles of trails running through the preserve, crossing creeks and wooded areas along the way. 

Katy Trail in Dallas
Katy Trail (©Dave Herholz/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Katy Trail

This beautiful, tree-lined trail is a classic for runners and bicyclists, alike, in the heart of Dallas' Highland Park neighborhood. 

Built on an old railroad line, the historic 3.5 mile path is open from 5 am-midnight.

Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas
Cedar Ridge Preserve (©Alex Butterfield/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Cedar Ridge Preserve

Don't worry about having to share trails as wheeled vehicles are not allowed at Cedar Ridge Preserve.

Select a distance as the preserve, managed by the Dallas chapter of the Audubon Society, has nine miles of trails across its 600 acres. See native birds on the journey and utilize Cattail Pond for a well-earned water break.

Lake Lewis Environmental Learning Area

Pick your choice of environs to run through at the Lake Lewis Environmental Learning Area 25 miles outside of Dallas.

The nature preserve has seven miles of trails and harriers can choose from wooded, prairie, river and wetland view trails. The cost to enter is $5 per vehicle.

Sunset Bay at White Rock Lake
Sunset Bay at White Rock Lake (©Dave Hensley/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Santa Fe Trail to White Rock Lake

Start at the Santa Fe Trail—a 4.2 mile concrete trail—and link up with the White Rock Lake Park Loop Trail.

Follow the nine and a half mile trail along the shoreline of White Rock Lake Park. Find the Audubon Society bird watching area along the way or just enjoy the surroundings while getting mileage in.

Turtle Creek
Turtle Creek (©Bonita de Boer/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Lakeside Park

In Dallas' Highland Park area, Lakeside Park offers a relaxing, scenic place to run along Turtle Creek. 

Discover hidden tennis courts and a pool in addition to traversing the Turtle Creek Bridge atop Turtle Creek Dam and kids will love the large teddy bear statues.

Rockledge Park on Lake Grapevine
Rockledge Park on Lake Grapevine is an access point to the North Shore Trail. (©GrapevilleTxOnline.com)

North Shore Trail 

The North Shore Trail offers up views from lakes, cliffs and shores through nine miles of trails on Lake Grapevine, which makes it one of the most popular trails in North Texas.

Enter from one of three parks—all with trail heads—and while the way is safe, caution is still advised because of some difficult terrain. 

trumpet flower at Trinity River Audubon Center
Discover nature like the trumpet flower on a run at the Trinity River Audubon Center. (©Robert Nunnally/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Trinity River Audubon Center

Once a landfill, the Trinity River Audubon Center has much to offer runners.

The center has five miles of trails that pass through three ecosystems—wetlands, prairie and forests—and is perfect for runners who don't want to share space with motorized vehicles.

See birds like the Great Egret while on the Wetland Trail, the Blackland Prairie is home to the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher—in addition to being one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America—and see a variety of trees and birds on the Forest Trail.

Need a group rallying point? The hilly Overlook Trail is popular for picnics and is home to the Old Pecan Tree, the largest tree on the grounds. 

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve (©jinjian liang/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve

Head to the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve in Plano which is one of the most scenic areas to run in the city.

There are 20 trails—five miles of soft trails and 3.5 miles of concrete ones—on Rowlett Creek. Find the scenic overlook on the west side of the creek or try a trail that leads to everything from an owl habitat to fish-, turtle- and frog-filled ponds or wooded areas to discover native plants and white sycamore trees. 

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
The Trinity Skyline Trail affords a close-up view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. (©Silvio Ligutti/Shutterstock)

Trinity Skyline Trail

The paved Trinity Skyline Trail makes for a fun run next to the Trinity River. 

Connecting to a park called Continental Avenue Bridge, utilize the five-mile trail to trot by playgrounds, life-sized chess boards in addition to a splash park. Travel along both sides of the Trinity River and view the majestic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.