The Joppa Preserve is one of Dallas's larger open spaces, located within the Great Trinity Forest. A popular destination for hikers, fishermen, birders and equestrians, the park provides a respite from the concrete and glass downtown. Free parking can be found at the Loop 12 and River Oaks entrances to the park.
Outdoors enthusiasts and their pooches will find much to love at the Preserve, including 5 miles of paved, shaded trail. Following along a 5-mile stretch of the Trinity Trail, it leads to the Trinity River Audubon Center. Two lakes, one large and one small, sit at the center of the Joppa Preserve, and while they're tempting on a warm summer day, swimming and boating aren't permitted. Surrounded by thick reeds, the lakes provide cover for birds and amphibians like turtles. If you're interested in fishing with your fur-baby at your side, you'll find it satisfying at both Lemmon Lake and its smaller version, Lesser Lemmon Lake.
Many migratory waterfowl can be spied on and near the lakes, including exotic Roseate Spoonbills, Greater Yellowlegs and others. It's said an alligator lives in the larger lake, but you're not likely to see it. The preserve is known for its urban feral hogs, which will cross your path, often with piglets. Deer also inhabit the preserve, making this a virtual doggy smorgasbord for the senses!
Joppa is a popular destination for picnickers, and it features pavilions, tables and grills in its grassy open areas. So bring your furry bestie, make some burgers and watch the birds cavorting at lake's edge. Along with the open fields for meandering, you'll find woodlands containing small mammals and forest wildflowers like snowdrops. Butterflies and snakes are usually also part of the summer landscape. Be sure to bring water and clean up bags for the adventure!
Once part of a plantation which became one of the first Freedman communities, the preserve is a pawrfect place to take a respite from the urban clamor of Dallas with your woofderful pup eagerly walking beside you in this oasis. With so much to explore, doggos love this lovely green space!