Lush greenery, tranquil waterways and untouched forest areas are phrases rarely used to describe the Dallas landscape. And yet, the city was built on the Trinity River, which flows from North Texas to the Gulf of Mexico, and gave life to the Great Trinity Forest.
Just south of downtown Dallas and sprawling across 6,000 acres, the Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood bottomland forest in the country.
Over the years, hundreds of acres were gradually reduced to a manmade wasteland, including the area now known as the Trinity River Audubon Center, Dallas’ “gateway” to the Trinity River Corridor. Located on what was once an illegal landfill site, the ambitious Audubon Center project restored 130 acres of natural habitat in the forest where life could flourish again. Ten years later, a stroll through the center offers proof of revived ecosystems where bobcats, birds, tree-dwelling critters and native plants thrive.
The Great Trinity Forest’s evolution continues with more horseback riding trails, a ziplining park, a golf club that'll host the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson PGA tournament and more. Still, from Big Spring Preserve to hidden ponds and the Texas Buckeye Trail, those who seek solace in the quietness of nature will certainly find it here.
All photos ©Sean Fitzgerald