In no particular order, here are some of my favorite hikes, sorted by region. The places that are italicized are particular favorites.
Dallas/Fort Worth and North Texas
All of these are within two hours of Fort Worth.
- Eagle Mountain Park, Fort Worth
- Fort Worth Nature Center, Fort Worth
- Cedar Hill Nature Preserve, Dallas
- Lake Mineral Wells State Park, Mineral Wells – also great for kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals
- Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose – in particular the Denio Trail and Limestone Ledge Trail
- Cleburne State Park, Cleburne
- Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway, Jacksboro
- Possum Kindgom State Park – excellent place for camping and stargazing
Elsewhere in Texas
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park – contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, but hiking it is not easy.
- Big Bend National Park – probably my absolute favorite place in Texas. Highlights include Santa Elena Canyon and the Chisos Mountains.
Arkansas and Oklahoma
- Devil’s Den State Park, Fayetteville, AR – the closest thing to “real” mountains you will find within a six hour drive of the Metroplex. Right in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. Highly recommend in late October or early November during peak fall foliage.
- McGee Creek State Park, Atoka, OK
- Roman Nose State Park, Watonga, OK
- Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Lawton, OK
- Black Mesa State Park, Boise City, OK – contains Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma. A long, but fairly easy, non-technical hike. Long haul to get out there!
- Vedauwoo, Laramie – pronounced “VEE-duh-voo”, a great place for rock climbing and boulder scrambling, roughly halfway between Laramie and Cheyenne, right off Interstate 80.
- Medicine Bow Peak, Laramie – probably my all-time favorite hike. It’s not easy, but you are treated to stunning views the entire time. You begin in Douglas fir forests, and climb above the tree line through alpine meadows full of wildflowers.
- Pole Creek Trail, Pinedale – great hike through pine forest with numerous overlooks of the Wind River Range. Hike 4.5 miles in to Photographer’s Point and get treated to great views of “The Winds”, including Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming.