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Klyde Warren Park Dallas
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Dallas

The 11 best parks in Dallas

Head to the best parks in Dallas for a surprising dose of fresh air and greenery

James Wong
Written by
James Wong
Contributor
Alex Temblador
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Like any major city, Dallas has a lot of concrete. But that doesn’t mean the best parks in Dallas don’t live up to the city’s larger-than-life persona—in fact, it has one of the biggest municipal park systems in the country with almost 400 parks.

With warm weather year-round, it only makes sense that Dallas takes advantage of the outdoors. Whether or not you drive, most of the city’s parks are easily accessible, particularly the urban greenspaces that rank among Dallas’ most beautiful settings (Klyde Warren Park, for example, regularly tops Dallas’ must-see attractions). The rest? They’re an affordable ride-share away.

We’ve rounded up a neat and varied selection of parks that you’ll find in Dallas from huge outdoor playgrounds where you can hike and bike (or sit for a picnic with the city’s best takeout) to pricey (but worth every penny) botanical gardens without balls and crowds. Ready for a nature moment in the Big D? Here’s our list of the best parks in Dallas to enjoy from sunrise to sunset. 

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Dallas

Best parks in Dallas, ranked

Klyde Warren Park stands out among Dallas parks, and not just because the 5.2-acre park is set over a recessed freeway that separates Downtown and Uptown. Kids ecstatically explore the quirky playground on one end of the park while business folk hit the park's ever-changing food trucks for lunch and locals engage in the park’s free fitness classes and activities (think ping pong and board game rentals). With a concert stage and large expanses of grass, Klyde Warren Park plays host to concerts, movie nights, and large community events on the regular. 

In the northeast section of Dallas sits a 1,015-acre lake surrounded by natural green areas called White Rock Lake Park. This park is used heavily by locals for its 9.33-mile paved hiking and biking trails, outdoor pavilions, playgrounds, dog parks, and picnic areas. Rental facilities allow visitors to rent kayaks and paddleboards to explore the lake, while piers and boat ramps draw those who have their own boats and enjoy fishing on the water. Sailing is especially popular at White Rock, and if you're keen to feel the wind in your hair, you can book a sailing experience for free with a local organization called The Spirit of Dallas.

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There’s a $17 entrance fee, but is it totally worth it? Yes, that’s exactly why it’s on our list! The Dallas Arboretum is one of the most beautiful and interesting gardens in the country. Here, roam 66 acres of greenery while exploring a variety of colorful dedicated gardens, a pecan grove, children’s adventure garden, on-site eateries, and historical buildings. The seasonal specials in the fall and the Christmas holidays are a major draw for locals and out-of-towners alike.

Harry S. Moss Park is characterized by lots of trees and uneven terrain along the banks of White Rock Creek. You’ll find five connected trail loops totaling 5.46 miles that make this park heaven for mountain biking and hiking. The trails themselves offer surprising twists and dips, seven wooden bridges, and stretches that skirt the edge of White Rock Creek.

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Sure, Bark Park Central is located under a highway, but as the name suggests, this isn’t a park designed for humans. The 1.2-acre park leads to the popular Deep Ellum neighborhood and welcomes owners and their four-legged friends to enjoy an off-leash dog park. While it’s not the most attractive park in Dallas, muralists brightened up the area with art on the highway's concrete poles, making Bark Park Central part of Dallas’ most artsy neighborhood.

Visit Trammell Crow Park for unbeatable views of Downtown Dallas. The park is located in the Dallas Floodway, a large grassy area beneath the Sylvan Avenue Bridge. You’ll spot locals kayaking in Crow Lake, playing soccer on sports fields, flying kites, or hitting the Trinity Skyline trail and Trinity Levee Top Loop Trail on foot or bike. Still, others visit Trammell Crow Park to take photos with quirky stone cow sculptures placed randomly in the park—whatever floats your boat, right?

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Crawford Memorial Park, one of the largest parks in Dallas, offers a mix of developed and undeveloped land. The developed section includes a 2-mile paved walking and biking path plus various sports areas. Cove at Crawford, an aquatic center, includes outdoor and indoor pools and the Bahama Beach Waterpark. Of the 266 acres at Crawford Memorial Park, 27 acres are untouched Blackland Prairie with a creek and lots of space for off-trail exploring.

When it opened in 1906, Lake Cliff Park was home to an amusement park and a giant pool with waterslides. And while that’s all long gone, this park is no less attractive today—with 44.5 acres of greenery and a small freshwater lake, it’s certainly one of Dallas’ most picturesque parks. While it’s especially popular for locals who live in the Bishop Arts and Oak Cliff neighborhoods (you’ll spot them here taking morning and evening walks around the lake), others visit Lake Cliff Park to admire the park’s rose garden, or to play on the outdoor basketball and tennis courts.

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Downtown Dallas is a concrete jungle, except for the 2.8-acre park known as Pioneer Plaza. This public park commemorates Dallas’ history with a larger-than-life multi-piece bronze sculpture of three men on horseback leading a cattle drive. The bronze longhorns that make up the cattle drive are set around a waterfall, man-made cliffs, and over a small creek.

At Flag Pole Hill Park, you’ll get views over White Rock Lake as you walk on paved paths, or sit in the picnic pavilion. And while the park’s scenic hilltop and green fields round out the scene, it’s the all-abilities playground that steals the show. Dubbed the first all-inclusive playground in Dallas, Flag Pole Hill Park has a playground designed to allow people and kids of varying abilities to have fun and be safe as they play on the equipment.

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Many refer to Lakeside Park as the “teddy bear park,” which makes sense when you discover that it’s home to gigantic teddy bear statues. Lakeside Park also offers 14 acres of space for families and individuals to enjoy. Visit any day of the week and you’ll find a few trails for a laid-back walk, a bridge, and scenic views of the Turtle Creek Dam.

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