For over 40 years, the city of Dallas, US Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies have struggled to bring this wild and somewhat spooky place to a state where it could be used for recreation. Today, 9 miles of paved trails meander through the 6,000-acre forest, with many dirt trails as well. Much of the abandoned debris has been removed, and the Trinity River has been partially restored, making this a reasonable destination for humans and their outdoors-loving pups looking for adventure. More projects are planned to make the forest even more attractive.
Overlooks and picnic areas have developed into favorite outdoor fun locations and a leashed pooch is always welcome. Please remember to bag and carry out any waste they produce. The forest's diverse terrain consists of thick bottomland forest, riverbank zones and marshes, ponds and lakes and prairie-like grasslands. Several named sections include the Joppa Preserve, the isolated and mysterious Five Mile Island, and the McCommas Bluff Preserve, each with their unique attractions. Walking along the trails, your fur-buddy's ears may prick up at the sound of herds of feral hogs, or the flight of the many waterfowl that migrate through the forest, like ibises, spoonbills and swallows. The swampy marsh areas house alligators, frogs and turtles, and views of the Dallas Skyline are contrasted with pastoral riverbanks and dense hardwood trees. Bring your own water to share, and clean up bags!
While much of the dark interior of the GTF remains undeveloped, other areas and their attractions are pawrfect for an outdoor adventure with your furry bestie. Short walks and longer hikes await you!