Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center Trail Highlight

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center Trail Highlight

It is time for a trail highlight! Check out this write up on Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center from our very own Backyard Guide, Sarah De Leon.

As is the whole point of ExploreMore, there really is SO much to discover right in your own backyard. Like the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center for instance. Just 20 minutes south of Dallas, in the same area as Cedar Hill SP and Cedar Ridge Preserve, the Dogwood Center is the lesser known beauty of the area.

With over 200 acres of plants and wildlife from east, west, and central Texas, the center is home to some of the most rare species in North Texas. The landscape a convergence of prairie, forest, and white rock escarpment ecotypes - Making the canyon and it’s 3+ miles of trails a truly unique sight to behold.

Bright red berries, moss covered trunks, and evergreens welcome you as you make the climb out of the canyon and into the hills. As if that isn’t reward enough, there are several rest areas overlooking Joe Pool lake where you can stop and take it all in.

The downside? This park is only open for limited - and I mean very limited - hours. Wednesday-Saturday, 9 am-4pm (last trail entry is at 3pm and gates close at 4pm). Yep that’s it. And they do require a reservation. So no spontaneous trips here, but I will say it’s worth planning ahead for. [or join Sarah on one of her hike and yoga events with ExploreMore. See our full calendar here] I’ll also say that I didn’t actually plan too far ahead… I woke up to a beautiful Friday morning and made my reservations for later that day. It says they have pretty limited slots available, but I had no problem booking and only saw a handful of other visitors. There was some road noise, but otherwise it was a quiet and peaceful visit. Also, just note that dogs are not allowed.

The park entrance also has a large parking lot that stays partly open even in the off hours, so you can park your car here and access the walking/biking trails that weave through the forested area along Beltline Rd.

So if you happen to forget about the limited hours (like I may or may not have done when I tried to go here before) you can still explore the surrounding area and get some quality outdoor exercise in.

As I’ve said before, I grew up near Cedar Hill and have been to the neighboring parks too many times to count. And while those never get old, it’s nice to discover another option, with an entirely different landscape, just a tad further down the road. I can’t say enough how much it blows my mind that so many gorgeous places are hidden away right here at home, just waiting to be appreciated.

Have fun and ExploreMore of your own backyard!

- Sarah

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