Every Destination on the Wiki
- There is no alphabetical list of destinations. But you can use the search box in the top right corner of the screen to search the entire wiki. Or you can use Ctrl-F to search this page.
- Destinations in Blue-Bold have their own dedicated wiki page. Destinations in Black-Bold-Italics do not.
1 Destinations within the Four DFW Counties
Most outdoor destinations within the four DFW counties are "day use only." If you want to camp overnight somewhere in DFW, then it will be faster to see Car Camping. But if you just want to go somewhere outdoors for a few hours before returning home to sleep at night, then there is a lot to choose from on this list that is close to home.
1.1 Tarrant County
- Benbrook Lake • CoE Lake Home Page • CoE Map of Parks • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities • CoE Park Maps • CoE Park Descriptions
- Lake Arlington • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Eagle Mountain Lake • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Marine Creek Lake • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Trinity Trail - Tarrant County from Benbrook to downtown Fort Worth
- Lake Worth • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Fort Worth Nature Center. • Day use only • Nature trails • Prairie dog town
- Lake Grapevine • See Denton County below
1.2 Denton County
- Lake Grapevine • CoE Lake Home Page • CoE Map of Parks • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities • CoE Park Maps • CoE Park Descriptions 1 • CoE Park Descriptions 2
- Meadowmere Park • Website • Overnight camping is available, but day use only for non-family youth groups • Day use fees • Camping fees and rules • 250 acres • 1.9 mile out and back hiking trail with views of Lake Grapevine, Rob Moors Trail comments • Primitive campsites with fire ring and picnic table, no water or electricity, nearby restrooms with showers, this is camping on a nice grassy suburban field that also serves as the city's special events location, tents can even be rented and set up for you • On-the-water aqua park • 3000 Meadowmere Ln, Grapevine, TX 76051 • Gatehouse: 817-488-5272 • Grapevine Parks & Recreation Department, 817-410-3450.
- Murrell Park is located in Flower Mound partway along the North Shore Trail of Lake Grapevine. This is by no means wilderness, and in good weather the trail will be shared with suburban joggers and mountain bikers. But the trail is long, wooded, and pretty. And the park is large, with room to spread out and camp under trees between the park roads and the lake. This is car camping unless you make a point of hiking in, but cars are not parked right in each campsites like they are in a stereotypical state park campsite. Murrell Park will feel more remote in winter than in summer.
- West End (or Northshore) Trail & Cross Timbers Trails
- Rocky Point Park & Nature Trail
- Northshore) Trail (Rockledge, Murrell & Twin Coves Parks)
- Walnut Grove Park & Trail
- Horseshoe Trail Park (?)
- Lake Lewisville • CoE Lake Home Page • CoE Map of Parks • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities • CoE Park Maps • CoE Park Descriptions 1 • CoE Park Descriptions 2
- LLELA (Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area) is located below the Lake Lewisville dam near old town Lewisville. LLELA offers primitive camping in the middle of a large (2,000 acre) secluded area. Some campsites are within sight of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River near a launch point that will send you downstream toward Dallas. There is also a tranquil beaver pond with a nature trail for canoes and kayaks. There are also nature trails, each about two miles long, including one that passes next to an old log house from the mid 1800's that is in excellent condition.
- Pilot Knoll & Elm Creek Trails. (Pilot Knoll & Sycamore Bend Parks)
- Harbor Lane Park • Isolated, small, Hickory Creek.
- Hickory Creek Park • Located just north of the I-35E bridge over Lake Lewisville.>
- Willow Grove Park • Overnight camping • 800 E Hundley Dr, Lake Dallas, TX 75065 • City of Lake Dallas Parks & Recreation Department, 940-497-2226.
- Hills and Hollows. Offers overnight camping in a wooded environment in southwest Denton. The camp is quite small (25 acres), but has a lot of vertical relief, making this a great place to teach beginning topographic map skills before attending an NTOA orienteering meet. Some campsites are accessible by car.
- Downtown Denton & UNT Urban Hike.
- Johnson Branch Unit of Lake Ray Roberts State Park
- Jordan Unit
- Isle du Bois Unit of Lake Ray Roberts State Park
- Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Plano.
1.3 Collin County
- Parkhill Prairie. A 436 acre day use facility in northeast Collin County
- Lake Lavon • CoE Lake Home Page • CoE Map of Parks • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities • CoE Park Maps • CoE Park Descriptions 1 • CoE Park Descriptions 2
- Sister Grove Park Trail. DORBA trail. Day use only.
- Erwin Park McKinney.
- Meard Museum and Wildlife Refuge. McKinney.
- Bob Woodruff Park. Plano.
- Breckenridge Park. Richardson.
- Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve • 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, 75074 • 512-466-7496 • https://www.plano.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/23
1.4 Dallas and Rockwall Counties
- Still need to add paved bike trails
Northwest Dallas County into Downtown
- Elm Fork Nature Preserve • Website 1 Website 2 • Day use only • 22 acres • 1 mile of natural surface trails • 2335 Sandy Lake Rd, Carrollton, TX 75006 • Carrollton Parks & Recreation Department, 972-466-3080.
- Grapevine Springs Preserve • Website • Day use only • 16 acres • paths • 700 Park St, Coppell, TX 75019 • Coppell Parks & Recreation Department, 972-462-5101.
- Bachman Lake • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Trinity River Mountain Creek Preserve • Website • Day use only • 52 acres • 4 miles of hard surface trails in Irving Campion Trail System extending 6 miles into Grand Prairie • E Hunter Ferrell Rd & S Nursery Rd, Irving, TX 75060 • Irving Parks and Recreation Department, 972-721-2501.
- Campion Trail System, Irving.
- California Crossing / LB Houston
- LB Houston Greenbelt • 1366 California Crossing, Dallas, TX 75220 • DORBA Trail Webpage.
- Trinity River Trails
- Trinity Strand Trail
- Trinity Skyline Trail DORBA (Paved) Trail Webpage
- Santa Fe Trail
Northeast Dallas County
- Muddy Creek Preserve • Website • Day use only • 205 acres • 1 mile paved trail • 5200 Pleasant Valley Rd, Sachse, TX 75048 • Sachse Parks and Recreation Department (south of Pleasant Valley Road), 469-429-0275 • Wylie Parks and Recreation Department (north of Pleasant Valley Road), 972-516-6370.
- Harry Moss Park • Website • Day use only • 284 acres • 6 miles of DORBA trails Also • 8000 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75231 • Dallas Parks & Recreation Department, 214-670-1923.
- Spring Creek Parks
- Spring Creek Forest Preserve • Day use only • 1770 Holford Road • also Greenbelt Trail
- Lee Jackson Spring Creek Forest Preserve • Website • Day use only • 69 acres • natural surface trails • 1 mile paved trail • located across Holford Road from Spring Creek Park Preserve • may be in two separate parcels separated by • 2090 Holford Rd, Garland, TX 75044 • Garland Parks & Recreation Department, 972-205-3589.
- White Rock Lake • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
East Dallas County & Rockwall County
- Lake Ray Hubbard • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- North Mesquite Creek Preserve • Website • Day use only • 22 acres • 707 Purple Sage Trail, Mesquite, TX 75149 • Access through Shaw School Park, 807 Wildflower Ln • Mesquite Parks & Recreation Department, 972-216-6265.
- Rowlett Creek Preserve • Website • Day use only • 97 acres • 16 miles of DORBA trails • 4200 E Centerville Rd, Garland, TX 75040 • Garland Parks & Recreation Department, 972-205-3589.
- Squabble Creek • DORBA Trail Webpage - Rockwall.
Southeast Dallas County
- Cottonwood Creek Forest Preserve • Website • Day use only • 220 acres • 2.2 mile natural surface loop trail • 1200 Cottonwood Valley Rd, Wilmer, TX 75172 • Wilmer Parks & Recreation Department, 972-441-6373.
- Joppa Preserve • Website • Day use only • 307 acres • 5 mile paved multi-use Trinity Trail connects Joppa Preserve to Trinity River Audubon Center • 4911 River Oaks Rd, Dallas, TX 75241 • Dallas Parks & Recreation Department, 214-671-0234.
- Trinity River Audubon Center • Website • Day use only • 130 acres • hiking, classes • Fees and hours• 6500 S Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, TX 75217 • Audubon Dallas, 214-309-5801
- McCommas Bluff Preserve• Website • Day use only • 111 acres • 2 mile natural surface ranch road connects Riverwood and Fairport Roads • Located across Elam Creek from the Trinity River Audubon Center • McCommas Bluff Preserve, Fairport Road, Dallas, TX 75217 • Dallas Parks & Recreation Department, 214-671-0234.
- Post Oak Preserve • Website • Day use only • 335 acres • 2.75 miles of natural surface trails • Blog Post • 1501 Bowers Rd, Seagoville, TX 75159 • Dallas ISD Environmental Education Center, 972-749-6900.
- Tenmile Creek Preserve • Website • Day use only • 125 acres • 2 mile natural surface trail • 801 Nokomis Rd, Lancaster, TX 75146 • Lancaster Parks & Recreation Department, 972-227-1112.
- Goat Island Preserve • Website • Day use only • 501 acres • 9.5 miles of DORBA trails • Riverbend Preserve is adjacent to the south • 2800 Post Oak Rd, Hutchins, TX 75141 • Dallas County, 214-653-6653.
- Riverbend Preserve • Website • Day use only • 518 acres • foot, bike, and horse traffic on old ranch roads • Goat Island Preserve is adjacent to the north • 3899-3479 Malloy Rd, Dallas, Texas • Dallas County, 214-653-6653.
Southwest Dallas County
- Mountain Creek Lake • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Oak Cliff Nature Preserve • Website • Day use only • 121 acres • 8 miles of DORBA trails • No facilities • 2875 Pierce St, Dallas, TX 75233 • Texas Land Conservancy.
- Cedar Mountain Preserve • Website • Day use only • 123 acres • 2 miles of natural surface trails • 1300 FM 1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104 • City of Cedar Hill Parks and Recreation Department, 972-291-5130.
- Cedar Ridge Preserve • Website • Day use only • 598 acres • 8 miles of natural surface trails • 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75429, Owned by Dallas County and City of Dallas, operated by Audubon Dallas, 972-709-7784.
- Camp Wisdom • Overnight camping • Offers almost everything you would find at a summer camp but without the drive. Canoes on a private lake. Fishing. Swimming pool. Dining hall (and conference center). Shooting ranges for rifles and archery. Enough room to go exploring. And 28 overnight campsites in Duncanville. The only downside is that the highway can be heard from most campsites as background noise.
- Joe Pool Lake • CoE Lake Home Page • CoE Map of Parks • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities • CoE Park Maps • CoE Park Descriptions
- Big Cedar DORBA Trail • Day use only • 8 miles of DORBA trails • 7532 Saddleridge Dr, Dallas, TX 75249 • Located on property owned by Mountain Creek Community Church.
- Boulder Park • Website • Day use only • 106 acres • 12 miles of DORBA trails • 6600 Pastor Bailey Dr., Dallas, TX 75237 OR 3200 W Red Bird Ln, Dallas, TX 75237 • City of Dallas Parks & Recreation Department, 214-671-0234.
- Windmill Hill Preserve • Website • Day use only • 75 acres • 5 miles of DORBA trails • 1406 Watercourse Way, Cedar Hill, TX 75104 • City of DeSoto Parks & Recreation Department, 972-230-9653.
- Fish Creek Preserve • Website • Day use only • 37 acres • trails • Fish Creek Preserve Trail, Grand Prairie, TX 75052 • City of Grand Prairie.
- Lester Lorch Park • Website • Day use only • 82 acres • 5 acre lake • natural surface trails • 1823 Texas Plume Rd, Cedar Hill, TX 75104 • Cedar Hill Parks & Recreation Department, 972-291-5130.
1.5 Local DFW Rivers
(page numbers are to Rivers & Rapids by Ben Nolen & Bob Narramore)
- Trinity River Paddling Trail
- Elm Fork (Lake Lewisville to McInnish Park) (p.90-91)
- Denton Creek (Lake Grapevine to McInnish Park) (p.35)
- Elm Fork (McInnish Park to California Crossing) (p.90-93)
- Trinity River (California Crossing to I-20)
- Clear Fork (Lake Benbrook to Hwy I-20) (p.95)
- Clear - West Fork (Hulen Street to East 1st Street)
- West Fork (Hwy 157 to Belt Line)
- White Rock Creek (above White Rock Lake) (p.99)
- Elm Fork (Lake Ray Roberts to Lake Lewisville) (p.88-89)
- Village Creek (below Lake Arlington) (p.98)
2 Destinations within 2 Hours of DFW
2.1 Near Brazos & Trinity River Prairie
- Cleburne State Park
- Lake Bardwell • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Stillhouse Hollow Lake • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities]
- Camp Tahuaya Text
- Lake Whitney • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Camp Shuler is a small Longhorn Council camp consisting of 50 acres of undeveloped land almost on Lake Whitney, with easy lake access across undeveloped Corps of Engineers land. (1 hr 20 min S of Fort Worth).
- McCown Valley Park on Lake Whitney
- Lake Mineral Wells
- Worth Ranch is a Longhorn Council summer camp with a pool. The camp is located one day's canoe trip downstream on the Brazos River from Possum Kingdom Lake dam. There is also a nice hike out to Kyle Mountain and back. Several campsites have stone shelters with cement floors, restrooms with plumbing, and frequent breeze coming up over the bluffs from the river bottom. (1 hr 15 min W of Fort Worth).
- Possum Kingdom Lake
- Camp Constantin Text
- Camp Perkins is the 60 acre council camp for the Northwest council based out of Wichita Falls. (2 hr W of Denton, Fort Worth)
- Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway
- Lake Bridgeport • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- LBJ National Grasslands is much larger than anything else this close to DFW, and you can always just show up and camp almost anywhere you want. There are about 75 miles of well marked trails for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Canoes and kayaks can be used on Cottonwood Lake. There are no restrooms or other facilities anywhere apart from the developed park with restrooms and campsites that can be reserved at Black Creek Lake, and a large group facility that can be reserved at Valley View Group Camp. Car camping and backpacking are both easy to do here. (1 hr W of Denton or NW of Fort Worth).
2.2 Lake Texoma & Arbuckle Mountains
- Turner Falls is not really a place where you go for Scout-type camping. And it is more expensive than most other places a troop might visit. But during the summer it is unusually good family fun in the water, and a troop could reasonably choose to host a family camp here. (1 hr 20 min N of Denton).
- Camp Simpson Text
- Lake Texoma • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities (south shore)
- Cross Timbers Trail Text
- Camp James Ray Text
- Bonham State Park
2.3 Near Piney Woods of East Texas
- Lake Bob Sandlin State Park (1 hr 45 min E of Dallas)
- Tyler State Park is one of the crown jewels in the Texas state park system. The park is covered in beautiful pine forest ringing a large private lake. There are lots of trails and a permanent NTOA orienteering course. Canoes and kayaks can be rented on the lake. Screened shelters and a dining hall are also available. This is car camping in a developed park at its best. (1 hr 30 min E of Dallas).
- Clements Scout Ranch Text
3 Destinations between 2-5 Hours from DFW
3.1 Far Prairie between DFW and San Antonio
- Lake Somerville • TPWD Map of Public Access Facilities
- Bastrop County
- Bastrop State Park
- Lost Pines Scout Reservation - 400 acres on the north shore of Lake Bastrop - Capitol Area Council
- Griffith League Scout Ranch - 5,000 acres in Bastrop County, 16 miles of trails - Capitol Area Council
- Colorado River below Austin
- Camp Alma McHenry - 250 acres of undefined primitive camping, only facility is porta-potties - Capitol Area Council
- Roy D. Rivers Wilderness Camp - 400 acres rugged and forested, undefined primitive camping, well suited to backpacking - Capitol Area Council
- Good Water Trail at Lake Georgetown
- Granger Wildlife Management Area - public hunting lease
- Side Trips • You cannot camp overnight at any of there destinations. But if you are already in the area, you may want to stop in for a couple of hours.
- Inner Space Cavern
- Texas State Capitol Building
- Barton Spring
- Hamilton Pool
- Natural Bridge Caverns
3.2 Central Texas Hill Country
- Bear Creek Scout Reservation - 1,000 acres - Alamo Area Council
- Colorado Bend State Park
- Inks Lake State Park
- Longhorn Cavern State Park
- Enchanted Rock State Park
- Pedernales Falls State Park
- Guadalupe River State Park
- Hill Country State Natural Area
- Lost Maples State Park
3.3 Upper Red River Valley
- Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
- Copper Breaks State Park
- Camp Don Harrington, Golden Spread Council, 1,600 acres in Palo Duro Canyon
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park
3.4 Western Ouachita Mountains
For kids in Dallas-Fort Worth who want to drive less than five hours to play outdoors, the candy store is located in the western Ouachita Mountains of southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas.
This is a list only of the paddling and climbing options with wiki pages on this site. for additional options, see Floating: Canoeing, Kayaking, and Rafting, Climbing, etc.
- Illinois River. This is 65 miles of first-class, mostly tranquil canoeing all year round. Unless you are looking for a more challenging route, this should be on your list of top ten float trips.
- Beaver's Bend State Park at Broken Bow Lake, including Hochatown State Park, McCurtain County Wildlife Refuge, and the David Boren Hiking Trail.
- Lower Mountain Fork River. Just downstream from Beaver's Bend State Park. This is an excellent destination from DFW for white water.
- Robbers Cave State Park. A one-stop for everything in the Ouachita Mountains. Short backpacking. Car-camping sites. Cabins. Multi-use trails. Swimming pool. Climbing and rapelling on sandstone cliffs. A cave. Swimming pool. ATV area.
- Ouachita Trail: West. From Talimena State Park to Foran Gap (miles 0-68). Foot traffic only. Interconnecting side trails include Old Military Road & Boardstand Trail, Billy Creek & Horsethief Trail to Cedar Lake, and the Rich Mountain Trail. The next section to Brushy Creek Campground (miles 68-94) can be completely dry during late summer.
- Winding Stair Equestrian Trail System. This is 77 miles of interconnected multi-use trails (foot, bike, horse) around Cedar Lake. This trail system connects to the Ouachita Trail via the
- Hale Scout Reservation. Summer camp with a short spur trail to the Ouachita Trail.
- Crystal Vista. (add on)
- Womble Trail. 35 miles of the highest quality mountain biking.
- Eagle Rock Loop. in the Beech Creek Scenic Area. This is an interconnecting web of trails including Little Missouri Trail, Eagle Rock Loop, Athens-Big Fork, Caney Creek, Buckeye.
- Camp Preston Hunt. - 250 acres near Texarkana - Caddo Area Council
3.5 Far Piney Woods of Southeast Texas
- Daingerfield State Park
- Caddo Lake State Park • 10 miles of canoeing through a swampy lake. This is where you can hear the alligators roar at night.
- Lake Somerville SP & ST
- Angelina National Forest
- Turkey Wildlife Area
- Camp Scott / Urland Scout Reservation, 715 acres
- Kinsey Scout Reservation - 3 hr - Norwela Council - 1600 acres in Stonewall, LA
- Davy Crockett National Forest
- Four C Hiking Trail Link
- Equestrian Trails SW of Kennard
- Alabama Creek Wild Mgmt Area
- Sam Houston National Forest
- West: Stubblefield Area
- Central: Four Notches Loop (8 miles)
- East end of Lone Star Hiking Trail, Double Lake area
4 Destinations between 5-10 Hours from DFW
Little Rock, in the center of Arkansas, is [hr 45 min] from Dallas. Anything north or east of Little Rock will be more than 5 hours from DFW.
North and East Arkansas is great. But the question is always: What do I get for the additional drive past the western Ouachita Mountains in southwest Arkansas and East Oklahoma?
The nearest place to find mountains more than about 2,500 feet in elevation is eastern New Mexico, where the mountains frequently reach 8,000-12,000 feet. There you have a threat of occasional snow up in the mountains even in summer. That is what justifies driving 8-10 hours to get there. Just be aware that traveling to New Mexico means it will be late in the day before you even reach the trailhead, and it will another two or three days before you have acclimated to the altitude.
4.1 Gulf Coast
- Texas State Aquarium (side trip)
4.2 Far North and East Arkansas
Buffalo River (week-long) and Spring River (spring fed with good flow even throughout summer). It looks like there is enough within 5 hours of Dallas just in the western half of the Ouachita Mountains that there is little other reason to drive any further. There is a ton of good stuff in Arkansas out past the western Ouachitas, and also up in the Lake Eufala region of northeast Oklahoma. But the question is always, why keep driving past the western Ouachitas?
4.3 West Texas and Southeast New Mexico
- Midland-Odessa (on the way)
- Monahans State Park (add-on activity or one night)
- Hughes Aquatic Base
- Camp Thomas
- Davis Mountains (on the way or as destination):
- Davis Mountains State Park & Fort Davis State Park (add-on activity or one night)
- McDonald Observatory (add-on activity)
- Balmorhea State Park (add-on activity or one night)
- Big Bend Area
- High Chisos Trail System
- Other Trails at Big Bend National Park
- Black Gap Wildlife Management Area
- Big Bend Ranch State Park
- Rio Grande River Float Trips
- Guadalupe Mountains:
- Guadalupe Peak Trail (add-on activity or one night)
- Pine Bowl Trail System (add-on activity up to two nights)
- Carlsbad Cavern (add-on activity)
- Dowling Aquatic Base, BSA
- White Sands National Monument (add-on activity for one night)
- Sacramento Mountains. Cloudcroft.
- Rim Trail
- Other Trails
- White Mountains. Ruidoso
- White Mountains Crest Trail
4.4 Northeast New Mexico
- Philmont Scout Ranch, BSA
- Pecos Wilderness
- Trail between Tres Ritos and Frank Rand.
- Valle Vidal
- Clayton Camp Trail
- Beatty's Lake Trail
- Wheeler Peak & Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Areas
- Wheeler Peak Trail
- Latir Peak Wilderness Area
- Cabresto Lake Trail
- Pecos Wilderness Area and Trail System
- Gorham and Tress Ritos are close to each other
5 Destinations more than 10 Hours from DFW
It is hard to imagine why a troop would travel more than ten hours to get to anything other than high adventure. Here are links to high adventure bases that might justify a longer trip.
No attempt is made to discuss these high adventure bases here. Any such discussion belongs on a site with nationwide participation rather than a regionally-focused site such as this wiki.
5.1 National High Adventure Bases
5.2 Council High Adventure Bases
- Rocky Mountain High Adventure base (fka Packard High Adventure Base)
- Ben Delatour Scout Ranch
5.3 Unstaffed Destinations
If driving for a second day to reach your destination, the next destinations you will reach are northwest from Dallas-Fort Worth to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, or east to the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. No effort is made to host a discussion of those options here on this website that is focused on outdoor options around Dallas-Fort Worth. But the following trip nevertheless merits mention as being worth the drive for an experience not available closer to home.
- Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad • (13 hours) • Rather than parking your car at a trailhead into the San Juan National Forest or Weminuche Wilderness, you can access this area for anything between a day hike and a long term backpacking trip via this steam powered railroad that will drop you off and/or pick you up in the wilderness. You can begin exploring this option on the website's tab Ride With Us > Wilderness Access.
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