Best Places to Run in Dallas

I was fortunate to live in Dallas for a few years and uncovered some nice running paths around the Dallas metro area.

While Dallas is a big city with major traffic, some great paths and trails nearby can help you enjoy nature and get fresh air.

Best places to run in Dallas

Below are some of my favorite places to run when In Dallas, all within a short drive from downtown:

1. Katy Trail

  • Distance:3.5 Miles
  • Parking: Parking lot near Knox Street at the north end of the trail

Katy trail is one of my favorite running paths in the entire country. 

It’s tucked away in a neighborhood through uptown  Dallas, stretches from the American Airlines arena, and ends near Mockingbird Lane.

The trail is shaded with trees throughout the path, and there is a great place to run. The path is family-friendly, with plenty of space for strollers and bikes.

Katy Trail also passes along various restaurants, shops, and breweries and is a great place to walk with friends and explore the area.

2. White Rock Lake

  • Distance: 9.4
  • Parking: Several parking lots surrounding the Lake

White Rock Lake is slightly east of downtown Dallas and is a beautiful lake to run at.
The running path is in excellent shape, and the scenery makes it hard to believe you are in the middle of a big city like Dallas.

There are plenty of places to park around the lake and quickly get on the running trail. 

The running path is next to the shoreline for most of the loop, and there are spectacular homes and wildlife to take in around the lake. 

If you want to take a pit stop on the White Rock Lake Path, I highly recommend checking out the Dallas Arboretum.

I have run around the entire loop a few times, and it’s always a blast!

3. Turtle Creek Trail

  • 2.1 Miles:
  • Parking: Turtle Creek Park

Turtle Creek trail is another one of my favorite places to run in Dallas, thanks to the breathtaking views of Turtle Creek Park and the incredible architecture along the path.

This path is only a couple miles north of Downtown in the Oak Lawn district and runs almost parallel to the Katy Trail on the West. 

One of my favorite runs is to park nearby William Dean Park or Turtle Creek Park and run the  Turtle Creek Park first before cutting over across the ramp to Katy Trail and completing a loop. 

4. Santa Fe Trail

  • Distance: 4.3 Miles
  • Parking Tips: Deep Ellum area or White Rock Lake

If you want to take in some of White Rock Lake and explore other parts of Dallas, the Santa Fe Trail is a great option to check out. This trail connects White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum near downtown Dallas. 

Deep Ellum is the most popular Arts District in Dallas and is a great place to make a stop on your run to check out some shops and grab a coffee. 

5. Trinity Skyline Trail

  • Distance: 4.6 Miles
  • Parking: Trammell Crow Park, Continental Avenue Bridge, West Dallas Gateway, Trinity Overlook

The Trinity Skyline trail is a 4.6-mile trail just south of downtown that, as described, gives you an amazing view of the Dallas Skyline.

There are upcoming plans to connect this trail to the other nearby trail systems, which would be awesome for days when you are looking to get some long runs in.

6. Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve

  • Distance: 9 Miles
  • Parking: Cedar Ridge parking lot

Cedar Ridge Preserve is a few miles southwest of downtown Dallas and offers numerous hiking and running trails in a forest setting. 

There are 9 miles of trails that connect so it’s a great option for both short and long distance runners.

While most of Dallas is flat, if you are looking to incorporate some hill training into your runs, this will be the best place to get training.

7. Grapevine Lake Trail

  • North Shore Trail: 9.5 Miles
  • Wilbanks Trail: 3.4 Miles
  • Oak Grove Trail: 1.3 Miles
  • Dove Loop Trail: 1.8 Miles

I lived in Grapevine when I first moved to Dallas-Fort Worth and randomly stumbled into the Grapevine Lake Trail system that surrounds Lake Grapevine. 

The trail system is awesome and is surrounded by trees and a shoreline throughout the path.

I typically park at Oak Grove Park, start along the Dove Loop Trail, and run west around the lake. The trail loops around the north part of the lake. 

8. Backman Lake

  • Distance: 3.5 Miles

Bachman Lake is located next to DFW Airport and is a great option for busy people looking to make a quick stop and get a short run in. 

The lake is 3.5 miles long surrounding the lake, and one of my favorite things about this lake is that you can take in all of the planes that are flying into the airport directly overhead. 

They get so close to the lake it is quite the scene and one I highly recommend checking out!

9. Carrollton Trails

  • Blue Trail: 5.5 Miles
  • Green Trail: 1.86 Miles
  • Orange Trail: 1.75 Miles
  • Purple Trail: 1.75 Miles

Carrolton is one of the most popular suburbs nearby Dallas, and it has one of the best trail systems in the metroplex.

There are 4 different trail options; Blue, Green, Orange, and Purple, which range in distance and are perfect for running or a casual bike ride.

My favorite trail is the Purple Trail since it runs along a creek and a frisbee golf course that you can stop at and fling the frisbee around if you bring one with you on your run. 

I enjoy breaking up my runs with other types of activities to break up the monotony, and what more fun activity than frisbee golf?

10. Owens Trail/Spring Creek Trail

  • Owens Trail: 2.6 Miles
  • Spring Creek trail: 4.5 Miles

Richardson is a short drive from I75 and has another one of my favorite trails; Owens Trail and Spring Creek Trail. 

This trail is only 2.6 miles long but connects to the Spring Creek Trail, a 4.5-mile windy trail. 

The trails have great shade throughout, and when I am in this part of town, one of my favorite things about the path is how many places to park nearby allow quick access to the trail. 

11. Campion Trail

  • Elm Fork (North) 8.5 Miles
  • West Fork (South) 6.5 Miles

Situated in Irving, the Campion Trail is an awesome place to run with two different trail options-Elm Fork Trail (8.5 miles) and 6.5 Miles in the south section at West Fork.  

The trail runs along the Elm Fork Trinity River and has several parks to stop at, such as Sam Houston Trail Park, Spring Trail Park, and Bird’s Fort Trail Park.

Campion Trail connects to the Lone Star trail system, which is an additional 3.2 miles long if you want to run for an even longer.

12. Northhaven Trail

  • Distance: 8.2 Miles

The Northhaven Trail runs East and West in North Dallas, from Denton Drive to Central Expressway, and is slightly over 8 miles in length.

Like many of the trails listed above, there are expansion plans in place with plans to connect this trail to Irving’s Campion Trail and the White Rock Creek Trail.

There is a non-profit group called “Freinds of Northhaven Trail” that helps maintain and enhance the trail similarly to how they do with Katy Trail a few miles south.

13. Hutton Branch Trail

  • Distance: 2.5 Miles
  • Parking Recommendation: Ward Steenson Park

The Hutton Branch Trail is another family friendly running path in Carrolton that is around 2.5 miles long.

This trail runs almost parallel to the Carrolton Green Trail mentioned above but has less foot traffic and bikers. 

This trail is connected to several parks and is a great place to sneak away during a lunch break and get a quick run.

Final Word 

Whether you live in Dallas or frequent there for work, there are some great places to run within the City. 

I no longer live in Dallas but seem to be there at least once a year for a work event, and I love getting out for a run early in the morning before my workday. I hope this list will give you some good ideas of places to run and I will add more as I find them! 

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