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Em RothPRO

Always up for an adventure!

White Rock Lake is definitely a gem in Dallas. In the middle of an urban landscape, here is a lake you can kayak, surrounded by a paved walking/biking trail. There are many access points for the trail, so if you’re not trying to do the whole 9+ miles at once, every visit can be a new adventure. Winfrey Park is my personal favorite place to get on. There is a good amount of parking, and if you are having trouble finding a spot, just keep driving around. There is not a bad place to get on. On a pretty day, it can be very packed, and watch out for bikers!

This trail runs from McCormick Park all the way down to Bear Creek Park (and dog park). There are several pavilions and picnics tables along the way to stop and rest. There are also a couple of small playgrounds if you have the kids with you. It is very dog friendly. There are doggy waste stations handy. The city keeps it very clean, and it is a great addition to the city of Euless.

This is one of my favorite DFW adjacent State Parks, and it’s primarily because of this trail. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead and a restroom. The trail itself is rocky, but no major elevation changes. The trail is lakeside mostly with many beautiful views of the water. Once you get to Penitentiary Hollow, you will see rock climbers and some very impressive rock formations. Coming from DFW, this kind of terrain is very interesting to me. The first time I did it, I wasn’t wearing the right shoes, so I encourage you to wear hikers. It has made a big difference! I highly recommend this park and this hike.



This is a nice, shady trail that takes you through some fairly think forest land. Don’t make the mistake of going around the lake. The trail loops back to the right instead of left following the lake’s edge. We saw a couple of deer and evidence of wild hogs, so be aware. It could definitely be better maintained by the city, but still a good place to get outside.

This is a great trail to take the whole family. It is paved so bikes and strollers are no problem. It’s also dog friendly. Weekends are evenings are a little crowded, but there’s plenty of parking and access points. One of the better maintained city of Dallas spaces.

This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The property is well preserved and beautiful. It is easy to imagine a thriving plantation as you walk the overgrown paths. Before you swim, you must rinse off so as not to contaminate the water with lotions and such. There are changing rooms and showers to make this all easy, and there are cubbys to leave your stuff. They don’t lock, so be careful leaving anything of high value. The actual swim is amazing! The cenotes have lights at the bottom so you can see all the way down. There is a small river you swim down between the cenotes. Life jackets and goggles are provided, so you really just float. Someone with mobility issues may have a hard time with this as you do have to walk down some steps to enter the water. Make sure you book your spot in advance. The restaurant on property was very good as well. They served traditional Mayan food and really good margaritas! I will be visiting this place again!

I have visited Mayan ruins in Tulum and the larger site nearby, but Mayapan is in a class of its own in my opinion. The structures are very well preserved, and it’s easy to imagine it as a thriving Mayan city. What makes it special is visitors are allowed to climb the biggest temple and the other ruins. The level of exploration you are allowed is amazing. You aren’t looking past roped off areas like in the other spots I’ve visited. We climbed and explored for several hours. Make sure to wear closed toe shoes if you are planning on climbing. I highly recommend this spot!

Cedar Ridge Preserve is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. There are trails of all levels, and the nature you will see is outstanding. The Cattail Pond Loop is a good starting point for new visitors. I would rate it easy to moderate, but be warned it does get hot out there. Bring plenty of water and wear shoes you like for rocky terrain. A lot of the path is rocks, so be prepared. The trail crosses some of the others, so take a picture of the map before you go. It is easy to get turned around if you aren’t paying attention. Check their Facebook page before heading out. They do have adjusted hours sometimes for weather. In the summer especially if the heat index is too high.

These gardens on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University are a must visit. The paths are very wide and suitable for the whole family. When in bloom, the flowers are magnificent! Even when it’s not azalea season, the gardens still offer a nice shady stroll. There are sculptures and a wooden swing to stop and rest. Lanana Creek Trail runs through the gardens, so this could be a pitstop on a longer walk if you choose.

This is a nice park with several different trails. The loop is the longest, but intersects several others so you can make your walk as long as you want. On a pretty day, it’s crowded. Keep that in mind with dogs and bikes.

This is a great little hike that seems to be kind of unknown. It was a beautiful day and we didn’t run into anyone else on the trail. There are a couple of spots where you feel it in your legs, but overall an easy trek. Lots of interesting foliage and informational signs to help you identify it.

Klyde Warren is a great spot to take the kids or hang out with friends. The food trucks have something for everyone, and the people watching is outstanding. My son has grown up coming here, and even as a teen still enjoys it.



Ok so it’s not a typical walk in the woods, but it’s a great resource for those of us who live nearby. I like that there are plenty of access points, so your walk is as long as you want it to be. Plus, it really is beautiful and gives a break from city life when you don’t have time to drive out somewhere and hike.



Great place to cast a line. I grew up going to fishing tournaments out here with my dad, so it’s got some fond memories for me. It’s always clean and the care the owners put into that is obvious. Also they are super helpful if you are a newcomer to fishing and boating.

I give this 4 stars because sometimes is a 5 and sometimes it’s a 3. On a good day, the bathroom and showers are clean and stocked. Trash isn’t overrunning the cans in the park and all is well. Bad day…well the opposite. Overall, it’s a nice place to spend the day or even camp. There are plenty of spots to get in the water for a swim or just dip your feet. There are also several grills you can use. Just make sure to bring foil because sometimes they are nasty looking. With all that being said, I’ve never had a bad time out there.

Arkansas is beautiful, and this trail is no exception! There are some elevation changes, but nothing too strenuous. I really liked this one because you got the forest, but also some rocky terrain. Wear shoes to maneuver both.



The trail itself is uneventful. Check the map near the pavilion so you go the right way. Once you get to the sawmills though, it’s pretty cool. The graffiti is unfortunate, but still cool to imagine what life was like when Aldridge was a booming place.

This is one of the easier hikes in the park. It stays beside the river and will take you all the way around. It’s an in and out, so go as far as you want. On a hot day, take a quick dip anywhere along the route to cool off. Dog friendly, and if your dog loves water, even better!

This is an easy trail for the whole family. It takes you through the woods and beside the lake. Dog friendly and just long enough to feel like you got some exercise without exhausting yourself. Shady, so good for a sunny day!

This hike is about 1.5 miles overall. It isn’t too hard, but make sure you take plenty of water and stop for breaks. The path is clearly marked. The view from the top is breathtaking. It is the highest peak around, so you can see for miles in all sides.

The Oak Grove camping area is perfect if you want a spot with beautiful views and nearby restrooms. It was my son’s first time to tent camp, so it was a good start without “roughing it” too much. There is a parking lot, then a short walk to the campsites. The sunsets are gorgeous!

Beautiful drive with plenty of places to stop for photographs. Some of the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever experienced.

The botanical gardens and cactus museum are a beautiful showcase of the plants of the Chihuahuan Desert. Easy enough trail for the whole family. Make sure to visit the bird blind on the outside of the fence as well. The volunteers in the Powell Visitor Center are very helpful and will answer any questions you have.

This isn’t what I expected out in the middle of nowhere! Surfing the dunes is fun, but the climbs up are a little rough. We visited in the heat of summer, but I can imagine in milder temps it is very enjoyable.