If you live in or near Arlington, a city with over 4,000 acres of park land, you’re probably familiar with the area’s most popular parks and hiking trails. But every now and then, we all yearn for a quiet natural escape with less foot traffic and more seclusion. Escape the crowds and discover something new with these hidden gem trails in Arlington Parks!
Crystal Canyon Natural Area
This geology lover's paradise is one of Arlington's best-kept secrets. It has a diverse geologic profile - marine shales, siltstones, mudstone, fossil clams, gypsum layers and fine grain sandstone have been found at Crystal Canyon. If you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this natural escape is just the place! A half-mile trail runs through the 40-acre preserve for a lovely nature hike.
1000 Brown Blvd, 76011 Click here to view Crystal Canyon Natural Area Park Page
Fish Creek Linear Park
The six-mile Fish Creek Trail through Southeast Arlington is a perfect combination of convenience and natural beauty integrated into the surrounding urban area. A wide concrete path stretches through a 232-acre diverse natural area, providing all the space you could need for walking, running, or biking on mostly flat terrain. Because of its impressive length, Fish Creek Trail is highly accessible but almost never crowded.
5706 New York Ave, 76018 Click here to view Fish Creek Linear Park Page
Nature Trail at MLK Jr. Sports Center
At 1.5 miles long, the nature trail at MLK Jr. Sports Center offers a shaded escape tucked away among the trees at one of Arlington’s most eco-conscious parks. This athletic facility was the first Audubon sanctioned sports center in the United States, and the design and maintenance of the entire complex is dedicated to environmental sensitivity. Local wildlife species thrive along this hiking trail surfaced with loose, decomposed granite. You will truly feel like you’re hiking “off the beaten path” here! Interpretive signs are located along the trail so you can learn more about the site’s local ecology.
7001 Golf Club Dr, 76001 Click here to view MLK Jr. Sports Center Park Page
O.W. Fannin Natural Area
O.W. Fannin Natural Area is a hiker’s hidden gem. A sliver of nature that winds through residential streets, the main artery of the area is a long ribbon of concrete walkway. From the main paved walkway, soft-surface trails branch off and offer picturesque hikes through the trees. If you don’t live within walking distance of this park, fear not. O.W. Fannin Natural Area links up with F.J. Red Kane Park, which has ample parking and other natural amenities, like a relaxing pond. Whether you come from near or far, this green space is well worth a visit!
2128 Hardisty Dr, 76001 Click here to view O.W. Fannin Natural Area Park Page
Village Creek Historical Area
This hidden-gem linear park offers a beautiful green space to hike or bike along a 1-mile paved trail lined with picnic tables and benches along the way. The relaxing sounds of a serene creek await less than half a mile away from the parking lot, yet you’ll feel worlds away from the noise of the city during your visit. Want a little history along with your hike? Archeological excavations along Village Creek unearthed evidence of several prehistoric villages. Artifacts from the area date back almost 9,000 years and represent a culture of food-gatherers and hunters.
2605 Dottie Lynn Pkwy, 76012 Click here to view Village Creek Historical Area Park Page
Hike These Hidden Gem Trials in Arlington Parks
By Danica Dodson, Arlington Parks & Recreation