Best Outdoor Places in Dallas for Active Adults
Outdoor activity can go a long way in improving our quality of life as we age. Exercising, gardening, and sightseeing are all great options for enjoying the outdoors. Luckily, Dallas and the surrounding area has a lot to offer in this arena. Here are the best outdoor places in Dallas for active adults to explore.
White Rock Lake Park
This urban oasis is 5 miles northeast of downtown. It’s twice the size of New York City’s Central Park and is one of the biggest parks in Dallas. You’ll find 9 miles of hiking and biking trails and wildlife. The 1,015-acre lake is the star of the show. You can sail, fish, paddleboard, canoe, and kayak (rentals are available if you don’t have your own). Boat races and music festivals are a few of the special events the park offers throughout the year.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The nationally acclaimed Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden are near downtown on the shore of White Rock Lake. It features 11 display gardens across 66 acres. It hosts one of the largest outdoor floral festivals in the southwestern United States — Dallas Blooms. The famous fall festival, Autumn at the Arboretum, features a Pumpkin Village with more than 90,000 pumpkins and gourds. The holiday season illuminates the gardens with more than 1 million lights.
Klyde Warren Park
This urban green space sits above the Woodall Rodgers recessed freeway in downtown Dallas. It’s owned by the city of Dallas but is privately run by the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. The 5.2-acre deck park offers free programming daily including yoga, outdoor concerts, lectures, and movies.
Ronald Kirk Bridge and Felix Lozada Gateway
What used to be the Continental Avenue Bridge for vehicle traffic is now a pedestrian and bicycle bridge and park. It has gardens, a splash fountain, a bocce court, and chess boards. The park offers free fitness and chess classes during the week. Bring a picnic or grab a snack at one of the food trucks that change daily at the park. Be sure to bring your camera because this park has a stunning view of the Dallas skyline.
The Katy Trail sits on an old railroad line that was part of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT, K-T or Katy) line starting in the 1860s. Union Pacific donated the abandoned line to the city of Dallas in 1993. Since then, it’s become a popular 3.5-mile greenbelt trail for walking, jogging, and biking. It travels through Uptown and Oakland Park and offers a scenic outdoor escape in the middle of the city.
Stevens Park Golf Course
Fans of this municipal golf course call it the “Little Augusta” of North Texas. It was redesigned in 2011 and has re-opened after a two-month renovation in 2019. The course offers elevation changes, scenic greens with abundant shade trees, and more than 2,000 rose bushes. It sits in the Kessler neighborhood west of downtown.
Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary
Nature enthusiasts will love the 6.5 miles of nature trails, bird watching area, native plant garden that covers 2 acres. It also features a replica of a 1800s prairie settlement. It’s about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas in McKinney, Texas, but outdoor lovers say it’s worth the trek.
Whether you want to learn a new hobby or find new places to explore, staying active over 55 is an important goal. Any of these places makes for a great starting point. Get out this upcoming weekend and enjoy the outdoors from your 55+ community in Dallas.
Contributed by Denise Decker, an avid hiker, cyclist, and runner who travels around the country, taking part in triathlons. When she’s not writing about her races or travels, you’ll find her biking along the trails in Austin.
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