By Sarah Billman
Check out some of the best outdoor adventures and activities that the Dallas area has to offer.
OFF TO THE RACES
Dallas Running Tours
Trying to get into running? Already an experienced distance runner? Dallas Running Tours welcomes all levels of runners who are looking to combine great exercise with Dallas’ history, art, and architecture. With tours ranging from 3-18 miles around Dallas (with an option to customize the route to see exactly what interests you), you pay a flat fee of $35 for the first 4 miles, and $5 for each additional mile. For more information on receiving discounted rates and your running tour guide, visit www.dallasrunningtours.com.
DFW Fun Runs and Races
If competition motivates you to get out and exercise, then DFW races are calling your name. There are several to choose from every weekend, with various distances depending on your experience level. If you’re a racing newbie then opt out of timing yourself and simply sign up for the untimed fun runs. Prefer to track your time and try to place? Sign up for a chip and check your results online after the race! Visit www.dfwraces.com to find the best races for you!
NO TIME IS WASTED IN THE SADDLE
Widowmaker Trail Rides
Saddle up and expect tons of fun for you and your family (children must be 12+) with Widowmaker’s horseback rides. Expect thick woods, creeks, hillsides, and even a section alongside Lake Grapevine’s shore, as you navigate the 1000+ acres of Walnut Grove Trail. With 2 hour rides offered 7 days a week, Widowmaker Trail Rides offers a rewarding experience with the opportunity for professional photos with your horse and the chance to get some fresh air (without too much physical exertion)! To schedule your horseback trail ride, visit www.dallashorseback.com.
FACE YOUR FEARS AND PUSH YOUR LIMITS
Trinity Forest Adventure Park
Swing through the trees on the ropes course at this aerial adventure park! With various levels of difficulty depending on how daring you’re feeling, and a mini course for kiddies ages 4 and up, there’s something for everyone at this unique obstacle course. This park will definitely sneak in a good sweat, while you’re trying your hand at a variety of hurdles including wobble ladders, tight ropes, cargo nets, zip lines, and more! Check out their website for all of the park amenities and to sign up for your first climb at www.trinitytreetops.com.
A WALK WITH A VIEW
Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge
Carve out 1-2 hours to walk the length of this bridge, which is in its 5th year as a pedestrian walkway. Connecting Downtown Dallas and West Dallas, you can expect great views of the Dallas skyline as you make your way over the Trinity River. Less than half a mile in length, walking the entire bridge is totally feasible, though you’re welcome to go as far as you want and then turn back. If you’re interested in adding some extra flare to your walk, take part in one of the bridge’s free outdoor fitness classes, such as boot camps or Zumba! Check out the bridge’s website to get a better idea of all its great activities and amenities at www.dallascontinentalbridge.com.
Trinity Skyline Trail
Ease into trail walks with this hard surface trail located close to the Trinity River in the Dallas Floodway. Eliminating the mess of dirt trails but including picturesque views of Downtown Dallas, Trinity Skyline Trail is as close to “glamorous” as a trail walk could get. The entire trail is 4.6 miles long and includes several access points that allow hikers and bikers to come and go along the way. Check out www.trinityrivercorridor.com/recreation/trinity-skyline-trail to get the addresses of all the trail access points.
Fun begins where the road ends
White Rock Lake Paddleboarding & Kayaking
Combine fun with an awesome workout when you rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak at Dallas’ White Rock Lake. Surrounding neighborhoods and shoreline wildlife create a great backdrop of scenic sights for your workout. If your arms are feeling the burn, take a load off and hop in for a swim (or float if you’re wearing a life-vest). A Dallas staple for water-based fun since the 1930s, there’s no way you want to miss the opportunity to branch out and give these water sports a try! Check out White Rock Paddle Co. (one of the lake’s many vendor options for water sports) at www.whiterockpaddle.com.
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
If you’re looking to channel your inner Bear Grylls, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is the place to explore. One of the top nature preserves in Dallas, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve offers 8 miles of trails, with 6 different loop options. Open fields, wooded areas, and even wet, creek crossings are included in this choose-your-own-adventure opportunity to get outside and work up a sweat. Pro-tip: hit this nature preserve during the spring, and you’ll be knee-deep in fields of wildflowers. For more information, visit www.dorba.org/trail.