Break away from the brick-and-mortar environment of the city with these outdoor activities, which are located within or just outside the city limits of Dallas-Fort Worth. From wakeboarding and bird-watching to stand-up paddleboarding and zip-lining, you'll be surprised just how many outdoor adventures await in North Texas.
The family-friendly zip lining park and aerial obstacle course is a unique, outdoor adventure located a few miles from downtown Dallas. (©Trinity Forest Aerial Adventure Park/Facebook)
Test your Tarzan skills at this family-friendly zip-lining park nestled in the Trinity Forest. Located just 20 minutes from Dallas, the park offers six zip-line courses ranging in difficulty and is decked out with obstacles like balance beams and bridges to make the outdoor adventure even more interesting.
Lake Lewisville, a 29,000-acre lake located 20 miles from Dallas, is also known as the "Urban Bass Fishing Capital of Texas." (©Aaron Jacobs/Flickr, Creative Commons)
This popular lake for locals is bustling with boats on summer weekends and holidays, but outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy fishing, camping, hiking and even disc golfing here, not to mention its Environmental Learning Area featuring educational programs and twilight kayaking tours.
Visit White Rock Lake for fishing, hiking, biking, picnicking and people-watching. The East Dallas gem is also home to a recently renovated dog park and the Bath House Cultural Center. (©Dallas CVB)
A favorite among Dallas residents, the 10-mile running trail around White Rock Lake provides stunning views and plenty of areas to take photos, rest or have a picnic along the way. Not into running or cycling? Grab a cooler, a folding chair and spot under the shade for an afternoon of fishing, reading or both.
Cattail Pond at Cedar Ridge Preserve, a 20-minute drive from downtown Dallas. (©JDna/Flickr, Creative Commons)
With 9 miles of hiking trails varying in difficulty, elevated views and a scenic pond, Cedar Ridge is a dog-friendly nature preserve that includes bird-watching markers and a butterfly garden. The trails get busy in the mornings, especially on weekends, so plan to go in the early afternoon or on a week day for a quieter nearby getaway.
Cowtown Wakepark's close proximity to downtown Fort Worth and nearby attractions make it one of the top cable parks in Dallas-Fort Worth. Get a few runs in for practice or join the all-ages beginner program to hone your skills.
The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose allows visitors the rare opportunity to see, as well as photograph, exotic animals in a natural, cageless habitat. (©Dana Smith/Flickr, Creative Commons)
Feed giraffes and zebras from the palm of your hand at this drive-in natural habitat in Glen Rose. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center's expansive preserve features hiking trails, a café with a picturesque view, and overnight accommodations ranging from "rustic luxury" lodging to Safari-style tent cabins located closer to the animals.
See wildlife like coyotes, beavers, snakes, turtles and a variety of birds while learning about the river's history with a guided interpretive tour. (©Trinity River Expeditions)
Explore the tributaries, hidden coves and active ecosystems of the widespread Trinity River with a kayak or canoe tour along the famed DFW waterway. An interpretive guide can point out regionally specific species like beavers, coyotes, birds and more, as well as geological points of interest offering insight into the river's history.
Acres upon acres of blossoming flowers, water features and green spaces comprise the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which sprawls along the edge of White Rock Lake. Absorb the views or enjoy tea and lunch at the restaurant, or take the little ones to play in the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden.
Named after Fort Worth's former nickname "Panther City," this waterfront music venue is home to concerts and festivals, watersport rentals and more. From tubing to tanning, Panther Island Pavilion has all you need to beat the heat of summer (or spring, or autumn) in Texas.