14 Beautiful State Parks Near Dallas

If you’re looking for a wonderful outdoor experience near Dallas, there are plenty of beautiful state parks to visit. 

Whether you want to explore the outdoors, go hiking or kayaking, relax with a picnic or camp under the stars, here are 14 of the most stunning state parks to visit outside of Dallas.

14 Beautiful State Parks Near Dallas

1. Cedar Hill State Park — Cedar Hill

This 1,826-acre park is located on Joe Pool Lake and offers camping spots as well as hiking and biking trails with breathtaking views. 

Cedar Hill State Park offers plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. Guests can go swimming in Joe Pool Lake or rent kayaks or paddle boats for traversing its waters. 

The lake also offers excellent fishing opportunities with bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish among the top catches. 

For those interested in wildlife watching, there are herons, kingfishers and other kinds of birds that can often be spotted from shore. 

Other recreational activities like mountain biking and hiking with trail maps available at the park office are also available.

Cedar Hill State Park features 123 campsites for guests looking for a place to stay overnight; each site is equipped with electrical hookups and lights around their territory, as well as individual fire rings. 

For those who would rather not spend the night under the stars; rustic cabins located nearby offer additional comfortable lodging options. 

2. Dinosaur Valley State Park —Glen Rose

Dinosaur Valley State Park boasts 640 acres of rugged hills, deep canyons and clear streams waiting to be explored and enjoyed. 

On your visit, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Additionally, you can explore two rivers along the park that are home to fossils more than 100 million years old.

Since its establishment in 1968, Dinosaur Valley State Park has been allowing visitors to get up close and personal with dinosaur remains found in the area.

Guests can check out life-size statues of full dinosaurs recreating their natural habitat at various locations throughout the park.

Dinosaur Valley State Park has become home for bison, who have roamed freely since 1847 when Buffalo soldiers drove them down from North Texas.

In addition to bison sightings throughout the year, visitors may also spot longhorn cows roaming the grounds between February through October – making it a great opportunity for photographers!

3. Copper Breaks State Park — Quanah

Copper Breaks State Park is located near Quanah, Texas and boasts an array of outdoor activities.

The park sits on 500 acres of land that features four fishing lakes, rock formations and canyons, walking trails, bike trails, plus bird-watching and wildlife gazing opportunities.

There are also tall grasslands and riparian areas that create a unique environmental habitat for plants, animals, and local wildlife species.

For any campers who are looking for a beautiful spot to set up their tent or RV’s for a weekend camping trip away from home, Copper Breaks State Park is an ideal option.

With 35 fully equipped campsites available including amenities such as electrical hookups, showers and restrooms, visitors will find everything that they need in order to make the most of their serene camping experience while there. 

The area surrounding Copper Breaks State Park is filled with ancient history, with evidence of Native American inhabitation.

It dates back centuries ago, having been found in nearby archaeological sites all around neighborhoods here and shows us what life was like then.

In addition, beautifully preserved dinosaur tracks from millions of years ago can be seen among stone slabs on paths going through the area.

This gives visitors not just modern day entertainment, but insight into true natural wonders from ancient days past.

4. Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway— Mineral Wells

Located in Texas, Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway is an outdoor playground offering something for everyone.

From hiking trails to camping to kayaking, this state park offers a variety of activities for visitors all year round. 

Whether you’re looking for a day outing or an extended stay, the Lake Mineral Wells State Park will provide you with plenty of ways to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.

The off-road Cycle trail located within Lake Mineral Wells State Park is a 15-mile long recreational trail system which provides the perfect opportunity for hikers and bikers to explore rugged landscapes and experience the beauty of Texas nature.

The course winds through scenic hills, valleys, lakes, and streams while offering sweeping views of Fort Worth’s skyline in the distance.

If you love water sports why not take out a kayak or canoe on Possum Kingdom Lake – one of Texas’ most popular bodies of water – during your time at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. 

The 14-mile-long lake offers beautiful vistas at every turn along its tranquil waters.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your luck at catching fish from bass across sunfish species that inhabit these lakes.

5. Huntsville State Park— Huntsville

A trip to Huntsville State Park is an unforgettable experience! Located in Huntsville, Texas, the park is a 2,083 acre oasis of lake, forest, and grasslands with a variety of recreational activities. 

The park offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. It features two lakes, seven heavily wooded hiking trails, view points and a Nature Center to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend away or an adventurous trip, there is something to do at Huntsville State Park.

Huntsville State Park includes seven hiking trails that span five miles in length, ranging from easy treks just over one mile long to three-mile moderately difficult hikes through heavily wooded forests. 

These trails showcase various ecosystems found in East Texas and offer plenty of places to fish, picnic or observe wildlife like birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals along with their habitats.

6. Abilene State Park

Abilene This park is located in the heart of Texas and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

From camping, fishing, swimming, and hiking to bird watching and wildlife viewing, Abilene State Park has something for everyone!

The main attraction at Huntsville State Park is Lake Raven, which offers nearly 300 acres of boating and fishing opportunities.

Visitors can rent boats from one of two marinas located on site or use their own private vessels (the marinas also rent out more comfortable lodging options).

Kayaks are also available for rent for those who want to explore Lake raven up close and personal. 

If you love fishing — especially bass—then you’d be delighted by the lake’s abundance of fish; anglers can expect great catches year-round here!

Huntsville State Park offers fifteen miles worth of trails perfect for hiking or mountain biking; they range from easy level walks through scenic areas all the way up to challenging routes suitable only for experienced cyclists.

Those looking for an educational experience during their hike can join one of several organized naturalist programs offered at various times throughout each year; these will help you discover some interesting flora and fauna that can be found in this area’s unique habitat!

7. Lake Tawakoni State Park— Wills Point

Spanning over 25,000 acres, Lake Tawakoni is an angler’s paradise! When you visit, come ready to catch different kinds of fish including largemouth bass, sunfish, catfish, crappie and more. 

You’ll also find plenty of swimming spots in shallow waters scattered around the lake. Bring your own kayaks or rent them through the park’s concessions stand.

The rugged east Texas terrain makes hiking especially enjoyable at this state park.

Whether it’s along wooded trails that traverse creeks or across sand dunes that lead to sparkling waterfront views—there’s plenty of nature on display at Lake Tawakoni State Park. 

As far as overnight accommodations go, the park offers primitive campsites with access to fresh water restrooms and hot showers located nearby.

You can also stay in one of the primitive shelters scattered throughout the park if camping doesn’t float your boat. 

8. Lake Ray Roberts State Park— Pilot Point

Lake Ray Roberts State Park, Pilot Point is an excellent spot for a quick break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Whether you want to roam the rolling hills, tour around town, or explore stunning lake views, there is something for everyone. 

Lake Ray Roberts State Park Pilot Point is located in extreme north central Texas, with easy access both via highways 78 and 121 on I-35W.

It is easy to get to and also offers ample parking around the park’s perimeter. You can also access it by boat or kayak, if desired.

9. Lake Bob Sandlin State Park— Pittsburgh

This 3,000-acre park is located on the shores of Lake Bob Sandlin and offers visitors a variety of activities including camping, fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking.

The park also features a marina, boat ramps, and picnic areas.

This park has a booming population of fish, so it makes sense why this place would be popular among fishing enthusiasts. The most common type of fish found here are bass and crappie, but anglers may also find catfish and other varieties as well. Visitors must follow state regulations when engaging in fishing activities.

10. Tyler State Park—Tyler

Tyler State Park offers a variety of activities to enjoy while exploring the grounds. Activities at the park include swimming, fishing, camping, boating, biking, picnicking and more.

The park features two large playgrounds with age-appropriate equipment and swing sets.

It also has five miles of well-marked hiking trails, numerous water fountains throughout the park, boat rentals, an expanded picnic area, bike rentals and a ropes course that allows visitors to test their agility with treetop fun!

Tyler State Park offers 11-miles of horse riding trails that wind over rolling hills dotted with scenic views of nature. 

Within seven acres of woodlands lies an area untouched by human construction, known affectionately as “the natural area”; although accessible only by foot it offers visitors unparalleled opportunities for relaxation and study within its gracefully designed boundaries. 

11. Eisenhower State Park—Denison

Eisenhower State Park is an outdoor recreational destination and one of the most popular parks in Texas.

Located on Lake Texoma and covering 843 acres, Eisenhower State Park offers plenty of camping opportunities for visitors.

Whether you’re looking to relax by the lake or explore nature trails, Eisenhower State Park is perfect for those seeking a unique experience.

One of the biggest draws of Eisenhower State Park is its vast array of nature walks and hiking trails.

There are 11 different trails throughout the park, ranging from easy strolls along the lakeside to more challenging adventures through wildflower meadows and woodlands. 

To maximize your experience exploring these trails, join one of the ranger-led activities to learn even more about your natural surroundings while enjoying some guided fun!

12. Lake Livingston State Park—Livingston

Lake Livingston State Park is located in Onalaska, Texas, on the eastern side of Lake Livingston and is one of the largest state parks in Texas.

Lake Livingston State Park is known for its diverse natural environment that includes freshwater lakes, wildlife reserves, cypress brakes and rolling hills.

Whether you are just looking to take in the beauty of the park or get an adrenaline rush from some outdoor activities like fishing or hiking, this park has something for everyone.

In addition to all its recreational amenities, Lake Livingston State Park is also home to a variety of unique species of plants and animals that you won’t find anywhere else.

13. Cooper Lake State Park— Sulphur Springs

Cooper Lake State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Located in northeast Texas, this 11,000-acre park offers breathtaking views of the lake and miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. 

The park is home to miles of easy-to-moderate hiking trails. These scenic trails wind through areas filled with forests, prairies, rolling hills and the lake.

There’s also an abundance of wildlife to be spotted along the way, including deer, ducks, and many other large birds.

Pack up your basket and head down to one of two sandy beaches located at Cooper Lake Park.

These iconic spots make for perfect picnic spots as well as great places for wading in the water or basking in the sun.

You’ll find plenty of shade provided by tall trees near each beach, which makes it an even better spot for your next family outing or romantic date night!

Experience nature from another perspective with kayaking on Cooper Lake! Rentals are available, so you don’t have to bring your own boat—though if you have one already, feel free to use it here!

It’s a great way to explore all that this incredible state park has to offer, from plant life to fish schools swimming nearby as you hug every curve of every bend in this serene lake system!

14. Cedar Hill State Park—Cedar Hill

Cedar Hill State Park, located in Cedar Hill, Texas, is a 1,826-acre park that provides visitors with the perfect escape from city life.

With its rolling hills and acres of lush forests, Cedar Hill State Park is one of the unique parks around! 

Visitors can choose from several activities at Cedar Hill State Park including hiking, mountain biking, camping, paddling, and bird watching. 

With over eight miles of trails throughout the park, there’s plenty of opportunity for easygoing or strenuous hikes, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling.

Grab your bike and enjoy the 27 miles (ca. 43 km) of mapped trails made up mostly of single track that crisscrosses through gentle hills and open fields. 


Dallas is home to some of the most beautiful state parks in Texas. From Lake Livingston State Park to Cedar Hill State Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an extended stay, these parks offer plenty of activities and breathtaking views that will make your visit unforgettable.

So grab your gear and get ready to explore all that Dallas has to offer. 

Alex Kallen
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