Doggin' Dallas: Where To Hike With Your Dog In Big D

Doggin’ Dallas: Where To Hike With Your Dog In Big D

By Doug Gelbert

Located about five miles northeast of downtown, construction on White Rock Lake began in 1910 to provide water for a thirsty Dallas. White Rock Lake Park, the municipal park surrounding the lake on Garland Road (Route 78) is mostly the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression.

A complete trip around White Rock Lake on the multi-use trail will cover about 10 miles but dog owners on a time budget will want to head for the dog park at Mockingbird Point. There are two fenced-in playgrounds for big and small dogs and plenty of trees, open space and a two-tiered drinking fountain. Baseball pitching legend Nolan Ryan threw out the first dog toy when the park opened.

Nearby a recreation area to hike with your dog is Fort Richardson State Historical Park. Fort Richardson, remembering General Israel B. Richardson who died at Antietam during the Civil War, was established in 1867 to protect settlers on the Texas range. During the Indian Wars of 1870-1874 it was the most heavily manned garrison in the United States but was gone by 1878. The state bought the property in 1968 and has restored seven original frontier Fort Richardson buildings.

The fort was built on spring-fed Lost Creek and beyond the historic area trails wind through peaceful prairie stands of pecan and oak. The dog-friendly Prickly Pear Trail explores the open plains for 1.7 miles where a deer, armadillo or roadrunner can be spotted.

Swimming dogs can take advantage of Quarry Lake and Lost Creek when flowing. A nature trail follows Lost Creek for a short half-mile stroll; the Rumbling Spring Path traces the stream on the opposite bank.

A trailhead for the 10-mile Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway is located in the Fort Richardson State Park campground, where dogs are allowed. This hike-bike- equestrian trail travels to Lake Jacksboro and Lost Creek Reservoir.

The park is 1/2 mile south of Jacksboro on US Highway 281.

Doug Gelbert is the author of over 20 books, including The Canine Hiker’s Bible. To subscribe to his FREE Newsletter on hiking with your dog and receive a copy of Rules for Dogs in 100 of the Most Popular National Park Service Lands, visit In the warmer months he leads canine hikes for tours, guiding packs of dogs and humans on hiking adventures. Tours, ranging from one-day trips to multi-day explorations, visit parks, historical sites and beaches.

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