Updated June 2020
While most of us might think that we need to escape to Colorado for hiking (and you’re not wrong), you also can look to our great state of Texas for excellent options as well! From wild desert terrain to sweeping forests and waterfalls, there are trail options available to beginners that enjoy the outdoors all the way up to skilled hikers looking for a challenging trek!
Check out these crowdsourced hiking locations you can find here in the Lone Star State, and also check out Deep Bay Spirits for our summer adventures whether boating, tubing, camping etc!
ARBOR HILLS NATURE PRESERVE
Resting in West Plano is a 200 acre nature preserve that is really popular for hiking, jogging and biking! You can enjoy 3 miles of paved trails and 3 miles of unpaved trails, plus plenty of paths to wander and enjoy nature! Additionally, three ecoregions make up Arbor Hills which provides beautiful scenery. There are even great natural spots or tables for picnics!
PLANO | 30 MINUTES FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
Balcones Canyonlands is actually a wildlife refuge to protect the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, two highly endangered migratory birds. But it also offers eight miles of trails to explore its beautiful terrain, but the one to definitely check out? The Indiangrass trail that leads to a beautiful view and waterfall, on the 3.6 mile journey! For good wildlife viewing, try the Vista Knoll loop.
MARBLE FALLS | 3 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
BARTON CREEK GREENBELT
We’ve all heard of Barton Creek, but have you heard of the Greenbelt?! Next time you find yourself in Austin, check it out! There are multiple entrances along Barton Creek where you can take part in hiking trails, swimming, mountain biking, rock climbing or bird watching. You can find the access point locations on their website. If you choose their northernmost access point, you can hike to Twin Falls for breathtaking waterfall views and a quick dip in the clear water!
AUSTIN | 3 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
Big Bend National Park is not one of the most popular hiking places in Texas, it was also the most named spot when we asked y’all for your favorite Texas hiking! You may still be in Texas but you will feel a world away with the rugged rocks, canyons and desert landscape. The 150+ miles of hiking trails range from beginner hikes along the Chihuahuan desert or Rio river to higher effort hikes like backpacking in the Chisos mountains. Check out their website for a list of their trails and what they entail but one worth noting - the Cattaill Falls and Santa Elena Canyon hikes!
You can purchase your $30/vehicle entrance fee, $15/individual fee or park pass at the entrance stations and visitor centers!
SOUTHWEST TEXAS | 8 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
CAPROCK CANYON STATE PARK
About 4.5 hours northwest of Dallas smack dab between Amarillo and Lubbock is a scenic hiking experience unlike any other! More than 90 miles of trails await for a $5 day fee where you can hike, mountain bike, horseback ride and stop for a picnic. The red-sand canyons and cultural heritage will feel like a step back in time. You can expect to see a few desert wildlife on your hike like mule, bison, jackrabbits and bats that hide in the historic Clarity tunnel!
QUITAQUE | 5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
CEDAR HILL STATE PARK
Cedar Hill State Park borders Joe Pool Lake and is just a 30 minute drive southwest from Dallas. Leave the city behind and unwind by exploring the park's stretch of 4 trails. Most visitors pick their trail based on what scenery they’d prefer including wildflower fields or Joe Pool Lake. These trails aren’t difficult to navigate and are great for those who might just want to stretch their legs! Dogs are welcome on leashes, too! There is a $7 day fee to use the trails.
CEDAR HILL | 30 MINUTES FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE
Cedar Ridge Preserve is open again with some health safety guidelines in place! There are 13 trails to choose from that welcome hikers of all experience levels! The preserve is filled with lush native trees, wildflowers and even a butterfly garden near the education center! It’s important to note that the preserve is closed on Mondays and is only open weather permitted.
It’s free to visit the park but they appreciate a donation of $3 or more.
CEDAR HILL | 20 MINUTES FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
CLEBURNE STATE PARK
Cleburne State Park surrounds 116-acre, spring-fed Cedar Lake and encompasses almost 13 miles of trails to explore! These trails have options for beginner to more skilled hikers depending on if you’re up for a stroll or a good workout. If you choose the Spillway Trail and hike up to a hand-carved spillway, it looks like a giant waterfall after it rains and is well worth the $5 entrance fee!
CLEBURNE | 1.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
COLORADO BEND STATE PARK
Two hours north of Austin in Bend, Texas is this giant state park that combines all the best parts of Hill Country and offer a beautiful and unique hiking experience! For a $5 entrance fee you can explore the park or you can make reservations for cave tours or self-guided tours to Gorman Falls, a 70-foot spring-fed waterfall (3-mile round trip hike)! The falls are truly spectacular!
BEND | 3.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
CROCKETT GARDENS AND FALLS
Next time you’re in the Austin area, enjoy one of the prettiest waterfall hikes in the state! Crockett Gardens is a free, 5.8 mile trail that begins in Cedar Breaks State Park. The hike itself is actually quite difficult because of big rocks and rocky terrain. However, it smooths out and ends at a lush, tropical waterfall and hanging garden, naturally made!
ROUND ROCK | 3 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK
This State Park is for our natural history enthusiasts where you can hike where dinosaurs walked, literally! For a $7 day fee you can actually put your feet in dinosaur footprints along the Paluxy River. Google the Sauropod dinosaur and you’ll see why this is so cool! In addition to dino findings you can wander on 20 miles of trails in the rich colors of the unrivaled Texas countryside. In the summer, wear a bathing suit and enjoy wadding in the water.
GLEN ROSE | 1.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
EISENHOWER STATE PARK
If you enjoy bouldering while you hike, this is the state park for you! The rocky shores overlook Lake Texoma and offer high bluffs and large rocks. Walk along stunning, native Texas wildflowers and maybe spot an ancient fossil from where the ocean used to be along your hike! The day fee for the park is $5.
DENISON | 1.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
Considered “magical,” the infamous Hill Country dome is a popular attraction outside of Fredericksburg for hiking and star gazing. The $8 day fee grants you access to 11 miles of hiking trails including the 425 foot tall pink granite that you’ll have to see to believe! Climb to the very top for amazing views of the countryside and stop for a photo showing you conquered the dome. While you can’t camp on top of the dome, there are cabins below and once the sun goes down, you’ll find some of the best stargazing in all of Texas!
They sell out of entry permits quickly and reservations are required!
FREDRICKSBURG | 4 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
GARNER STATE PARK
Travel to Garner State Park just over 1.5 hours west of San Antonio for some great hiking! The clear Frio River cutting through Hill Country makes for some unique terrain to trek with 16 miles of scenic trails. This park is ideal for bringing your family but fills by noon during peak season so get there early! Day fee is $8.
CONCAN | 5.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
While Guadalupe Mountains National Park is currently closed due to COVID, mark it for later because it’s a bucket list adventure! Hikers from all over come to the park to hike the 8.5 mile round trip, 6-8 hour hike to the top of Guadalupe Peak where the views get better with every mile. In addition to the rewarding view on Guadalupe Peak, there are 80 miles of easy trails to hike or backpack through the wildlife. And the views are stunning from whenever you are!
CULBERSON COUNTY | 8 HOURS FROM WORK | DIRECTIONS
LOST MAPLES STATE NATURAL AREA
Hiking along Lost Maples is different from your typical hiking experience. The wildlife, wildflowers and year round color bring visitors from all over to take in its hiking trails. Especially during the fall season when the maple trees turn brilliant shades of bright red, orange and yellow. The day fee is $6 and cell service is slim to none so plan accordingly!
VANDERPOOL | 5.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
MARION SANSOM PARK
Marion Sansom Park had us when we heard that there were waterfalls outside Fort Worth. The vast forest hosts 6 hiking trails, and the cliff views and Lake Worth’s waterfall are the cherry on top of the workout you will get! And if you like to mountain bike, this is the place for you!
FORT WORTH | 40 MINUTES FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
MINERAL WELLS STATE PARK
45 minutes west of Fort Worth is Mineral Wells State Park that combines rich history with fantastic landscape in the heart of “Cattle Country”! Hike to overlook areas for views of the lake and appreciate the North Texas scenery. There is a $7 day fee for use of the 12.8 miles of park trails and the noteworthy natural rock climbing area!
MINERAL WELLS | 1.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK
Did you know that the second largest Grand Canyon in the country is right here in Texas’ panhandle?! Right outside of Amarillo, you’ll find 30 miles of hiking trails that boast rugged, orange rock canyons that sometimes turn purple in the glow of the sunset! The must-do hike within the park? the Lighthouse, and don’t forget your phone for photos!
There’s an $8 day fee for park use and you can camp overnight, enjoy horseback riding, enjoy Jeep tours, see a free range buffalo heard and more! Just be sure to grab a pack of Deep Bay Spirits at your local liquor store to enjoy a mixed cocktail, in a can, while enjoying the stunning views!
CANYON | 5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
PEDERNALES FALLS STATE PARK
Explore huge slabs of limestone and swimming holes here at Pedernales just outside of Austin. While a popular place to spend the day in the water, you can also hike it too, from the .5 mile scenic falls hike to a much more challenging 6 mile Wolf Mountain trail taking you through creeks and canyons. You can also canoe, kayak and horseback ride in the park as well, and camp overnight!
HILL COUNTRY | 3.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
Located right off of Lake Mineral Wells, is a unique geological feature of huge boulders forming a shallow walkway in between. The hike itself is only 1.2 miles but is rugged and beautiful, and also offers the opportunity to rock climb, whether your kids want to play on the small boulders or you’re an experienced climber with equipment. After your hike, you can enjoy the lake next door!
MINERAL WELLS | 1.5 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS
SEMINOLE CANYON STATE PARK
This is a stop to loop into a trip to Big Bend, sitting just 2.5 hours south of the national park. Seminole State Park offers plenty of hiking, biking and camping among its huge canyon, with beautiful blue water below. But the main attraction is actually the ancient rock art. You can hike through these big cliff like rock formations and spot the art adorning the rocks, and you can spend the night out there too! The park entrance fee is $4 daily.
DEL RIO | 7 HOURS FROM DALLAS | DIRECTIONS