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Staff Favorites: Hiking Outdoors in Dallas

Earlier this week we discussed how aerobic exercise can help make your smarter and keep you that way. While exercise of any kind is good for your mind and body, studies have shown outdoor exercise has added benefits. In multiple studies, participants reported enjoying outside exercise activities more.

When given psychological tests, people who exercised outdoors scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue. All from simply walking, outside.

Dallas is often referred to as a concrete jungle, but there’s a surprising amount of nature preserves, centers and trails that allow Dallas residents to enjoy exercising outdoors. Below we’ve rounded up our staff’s favorite places to hike and bike outdoors inside Dallas city limits.

Cedar Ridge Nature Center

Location: 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas

Cedar Ridge Nature Center is like a slice of Hill Country right here in Dallas County. With over 600 acres of wooded hills, Cedar Ridge Nature Center offers nine miles of walking trails ranging from easy to difficult, providing the perfect experience for novice or expert hikers. Bird watching is a popular activity year around, butterfly gardens and ponds provide great opportunities to enjoy nature just 20 minutes away from downtown Dallas.

The Buckeye Trail

Location: Trailhead at 7000 Bexar Street, Dallas, Texas

The Buckeye Trail offers one of the best opportunities to discover the Trinity Forest. The Trinity Forest is one of the largest Bottomland hardwood forest in an urban setting. The Buckeye Trail offers a natural trail that is several miles long and well maintained. There is also a newer concrete trail that is ADA compliant. Both are greatly shaded by the impressive canopies of the forest. Rest spots and adequate signage to guide you to the Trinity River allow hikers to enjoy an unexpected world of nature in their own backyard.

Joppa Preserve

Location: Main entrance is south of Loop 12, about ¾ mile east of SH310 before the Trinity River

A 304-acre preserve that is connected to the Trinity River Audubon Center and Trinity Trail. The Joppa Preserve features a 2 beautiful lakes that are stopping points for migratory water birds. The Preserve features picnic pavilions, table and grills for picnic excursions. There is also a hard surface trail that allows visitors to travel through the Great Trinity Forest, view the Trinity River and reach the Trinity River Audubon Center as their final destination.

Don’t be food by our concrete jungle, outdoor recreation is abundant even within Dallas city limits and remember, stay hydrated while you’re outdoors getting our exercise.