Great spots to explore the Outdoors close to DFW?
We have a huge list of options within Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, a further drive outside of Fort Worth and North of DFW towards Oklahoma.
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Outdoor Spots around Dallas
We love a trip to Klyde Warren Park and enjoy the Food Trucks.
The Trinity River has some great hiking and trails and is a short drive from Plano.
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Go East and head to the White Rock Lake, near the Dallas Arboretum.
You’ll find the White Rock Paddle Company where you can rent kayaks per hour. You can reserve in advance – tandems are also available for families!
Outdoor Spots in Fort Worth
Head to the Sansom Park in Fort Worth.
The Marion Sansom Park Trail is comprised of several interconnecting loops that wind through a wooded area with scenic vistas overlooking Lake Worth.
Take the Dam Drop trail takes you to lead you to 2 water falls and huge swimming hole!
Burger’s Lake, Fort Worth
Cost: Admission into the park for 2019 was $15 per person, $5 for children 6 and under and children under 1 are FREE.
Hours: 9am-7pm daily from May 26th-September 3rd.
Where: Burger’s Lake 1200 Meandering Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76114 (817) 737-3414
The water in Burger’s Lake is filtered and chlorinated, making it clean and safe for swimming.
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Burger’s Lake in Fort Worth:
Life jackets and flotation devices are allowed for children’s safety. You can bring your own coolers and snacks, and there are plenty of charcoal grills around the lake. Or, you can purchase snacks and beverages from their cafe. Ice cream, snow cones, pizza, burgers, Frito pies, sodas, water, and more available for purchase.
- Life guards
- 2 Sandy beaches
- Shady areas with tables and chairs
- Multiple water slides
- Trapeze over the water
- 6 Diving boards
- Splash Park for little ones
- Large bounce pad
- Restrooms and Changing rooms
Head to Dream Park, Fort Worth
2401 S. University Dr
Fort Worth, Texas
Dream Park is located in Trinity Park, Fort Worth. This huge play space covers 57,000 square feet and is fully fenced for safety. A child with special needs can go down the same slide, with their able-bodied sibling or friend mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments.
They have poured-in-place rubber surfacing for wheelchairs and walkers, as well as ramps, transfer stations and specialized seating.
The Park features:
- Swings, including adaptive and toddler swings (high backs) and a Stainless steel roller slide
- Sensory rich environment including musical elements and Play elements that promote parallel play with imaginative interactive panels.
- Handicap accessible parking and extra wide sidewalks
- Pavilions, structures providing shade, picnic tables and seating
North of DFW
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
We also recommend Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Sherman TX if you are bird lovers.
You’ll see migrating birds and geese, in northwestern Grayson County, Texas on the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma.
This National Wildlife Refuge is made up of water, marsh, and upland habitat. Visitors can hike, observe wildlife, hunt, and fish throughout the year.
Location: 1670 Massey Road, Pilot Point, Texas
Open to the Public on Saturdays and Sundays only. Check hours before you go. Arrive by 2pm to have enough time for your visit and check for any variations due to Covid before you leave.
Perfect for younger kids, it’s a wildlife sanctuary and petting zoo all in one and only an hour’s drive from West Plano/Frisco. This non-profit provides fun educational experiences including feeding, live exhibits and other interaction and houses lions, sloths, goats, zebras and giraffes!
What can you do?
- See the animal presentations: Lemurs, Kangaroos, Bears and various Reptiles
- Visit the Petting Zoo and feed baby sheep, goats and mini cows. Ride the ponies for $5
- Ride the Wildlife Safari Tram – 35 minutes through the Sharkarosa farm. They’ll drop you off and pick up at different areas to feed horses, zebras, emu, endangered deer, camels, wild pigs and more!
How much are tickets?
Tickets are $12 for adults 13 and over, and $10 for children and seniors. Toddlers 2 and under are free!
You can get a great deal on Groupon for 2 tickets for $12, but these discounted tickets must be purchased ahead of time. If you purchase these discounted tickets the same day, they will not be accepted.
Location: 5198 Riverside Dr • Davis, OK 73030
Cross the border into Davis, Oklahoma via Gainsville up the I35 and check out our most local American waterfall, at 77 feet. The falls are located on Honey Creek in the Arbuckle Mountains in south central Oklahoma, 6 miles south of Davis.
It’s a great swimming hole and if you are brave enough, you can go plunging into a natural swimming pool, with campsites & snack bars nearby.
Arbuckle Wilderness Park
Location: 6132 Kay Starr Trail, Davis, OK 73030
If you are heading to Turner Falls, be sure to plan a few hours to visit the Arbuckle Wilderness Park, which is across the highway.
Drive 90 miles North and across the border with Oklahoma and you’ll discover this gem of a Drive-thru on Kay Starr Trail in Davis, OK. Just head 45 minutes north of the Winstar Casino on Interstate 35 North.
They have a drive-thru Safari and hundreds of exotic animals roaming free and a House of Reptiles and Petting Zoo onsite. They also have pony and hay bus rides too (but call ahead as it is weather permitting)
Cost: Adults $16.99, Child $14.99 (ages 4-11)
Lake Murray State Park
Location: 13528 Scenic Hwy 77, Ardmore, OK 73401
A 30 minute drive South of Arbuckle Wilderness Park and around 90 minutes from Plano, you’ll reach one of our closest State Parks, over the street from Oklahoma.
They have a pool, nice lake, horseback riding, hiking, volleyball, waterskiing, canoeing/rafting/kayaking, putt-putt golf, water slides, water trampoline, sunset cruises and a nature center so your little one could go in there and explore and learn.
You can rent Canoes, Fishing Boats, Horses, Houseboats, Jet Ski’s, Kayaks, Paddleboats, Pontoons, Sail and Ski Boats.
Their lake is one of the most beautiful in the area.
You can stay in a lodge and cabins, book a campsite or even play golf.
West of Fort Worth
What can you do in the Mineral Wells area?
Take a self-guided tour around Downtown Mineral Wells, to find all the Most Instagrammable spots!
Dig for Fossils: it’s free, all natural (not stocked), if you look down for about 5 seconds you WILL find fossils because there are TONS of them and you get to keep what you find
Get in or on the Water: You can go Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Fishing and Paddle boarding
Lake Mineral Wells State Park
LOTS of great trails for the beginner to the experienced. Be adventurous and go Rock Climbing, Horseback Riding, Biking at the Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway – or simply float down the River.
Look out for The G-Scale Model Trains which run seasonally: Labor Day weekend through Thanksgiving weekend; and the first weekend in March through July 4th weekend, but not in the rain.
This beautiful garden has historic tree trails, lots of water features, peacocks, ducks and fish
10 Day Trips within 2 hours drive from Dallas
Possum Kingdom Lake – west of Fort Worth
It is located at 3901 State Park Rd. 33, Caddo, TX 76429
The closest towns are Graham, Mineral Wells and Breckenridge.
Possum Kingdom Lake is has some of the area’s most beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, clear cool water, and beautiful cliffs. Within the Palo Pinto Mountains and Brazos River Valley, you’ll find incredible cliffs tower 92 feet above the lake and are appropriately named Hells Gate.
The lake twists for 65 miles down the Brazos River and is known for crystal blue waters. Unlike the metroplex, this area enjoys low humidity year round and it’s only an hour’s drive!
What to do:
- Observe wildlife
- Catch a fish! Look out for largemouth, striped, and white bass; channel and blue catfish; and white crappie. You do not need a fishing license to fish from a shore at a Texas state park.
- Go camping at Possum Kingdom State Park. You can stay overnight in an air-conditioned cabin or pitch your tent at one of their sites. It only costs $4 to get in and children 12 and under are free! If you want a luxury overnight stay – there is an area hotel you can stay at
- Water fun at P.K. Lake includes swimming, boating, water-skiing, canoeing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
A private store and marina at the park rents canoes, boat slips, wakeboards, kneeboards, water skis, and tubes. They also sell a few grocery, camping and fishing supplies.
You will need to bring your own water though since the water here is non-potable due to high salt content.
Texas’ Biggest Fireworks Display is held at Hell’s Gate on Possum Kingdom Lake every 4th of July!
Location: 5800 Park Road 21
Cleburne, TX 76033
Head just 30 minutes southwest of Fort Worth on the northern edge of the Hill Country. This park surrounds the clear blue water of the 116-acre Cedar Lake.
Things to Do
The park offers fun for the whole family, for an afternoon or a weekend. On the lake, you can canoe or kayak, fish, swim and boat (no wake). You can also bike or hike the 13 miles of trail and camp there.
In nearby Cleburne, you can also find tons of places to eat and explore, like the CHISHOLM TRAIL OUTDOOR MUSEUM & BIG BEAR NATIVE AMERICAN MUSEUM which is very popular with families.
Cleburne is the home of the famous Chisholm Trail Museum where people can step back in time to the 1800s in Wardville, Texas, complete with a working blacksmith shop, a school house taught in that period where kids can get actual school credits, a sheriff’s office, and more.
Once you head out in that direction, you are really close to Granbury and Fossil Rim at Glen Rose.
Fossil Rim is a really fun drive-thru safari, with all types of animals you can see from the comfort of your car, and some nice scenic views.
Dinosaur Valley Park is great for camping, hiking and getting outdoors. You should also include a visit to Big Rocks Park.
A visit to Glen Rose can include a safari featuring exotic animals and the top cheetah breeding program, discover dinosaur tracks, and relax in a local B&B. Glen Rose has a little bit of everything!
Check out these ideas Take a Trip to 6 Spots in Glen Rose, Texas and find the best Beaches and Lakes nearby
We hope you get out there and enjoy your time exploring outdoors!
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