Dallas is the heart of North Texas, where you can experience all four seasons. From the occasional snow fall in the winter and blooming wildflowers in the spring to the vibrant oranges and yellows of fall, there’s always something to savor as you’re enjoying the outdoors. Fortunately, there are many Texas state parks near Dallas that offer gorgeous views, scenic hiking trails, and some of the best fishing in the Lone Star State. Read on to get to know a few of them and start planning your next visit to a Texas state park today.
Hike more than four miles of trails that meander along high bluffs and through dense woods. Cast a line from the shoreline or one of two piers in to one of the best fishing lakes in Texas, where large and smallmouth bass, blue catfish, and striped bass are abundant. Ride your ATV or dirt bike through gorgeous backcountry woodlands (permit required). When it’s time to kick back and relax or go for a swim, head to the pristine beach set inside a cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs.
Then sleep under the stars at one of the more than 150 campsites. If you prefer a roof over your head, reserve “Ike’s Cabin,” a limited cabin with two bunk beds that can accommodate up to five people.
Today, the fort (now Fort Richardson State Park) stands as a living tribute to an era when much of Texas was still unsettled frontier. Get a sense of what life was like at the fort as you visit the restored post hospital, officer’s quarters, powder magazine, morgue, commissary, guard house, and bakery, as well as the two replica structures: the officers’ and enlisted men’s barracks.
Discover the fort’s own chapter in Texas history, then hike, bike, or ride horseback on the nine-mile Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway. Admire all the pecan and oak trees and colorful wildflowers as you travel past the scenic Lost Creek and around the Lost Creek Reservoir. With historical buildings and plenty of outdoor sights to take in, Fort Richardson State Park has something for everyone.
Horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and playing a round of disc golf are great ways to explore the park’s 300 acres of terrain, while you can revel in the sunshine on the unsupervised beach. A boat slip gives you access to the lake for boating and water skiing, while the fishing pier provides a great place to fish as you admire the view.
Don’t miss a visit to the black-tailed prairie dog town, where you can watch these adorable critters run and play.
Want to test your bouldering skills? Pay a visit to Penitentiary Hollow, one of the few natural rock climbing areas in North Texas.
There’s no end of the ways you can celebrate the outdoors at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. Better yet, it’s just 45 minutes west of Fort Worth, meaning you’re not far from an unforgettable adventure.
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