The 7 Best Parks in Fort Worth (A Local’s Guide)

Mineral Wells Sate Park

Fort Worth has beautiful, spacious parks, all spread out around the metroplex. Whether you’re hoping to hike, bike, or find a spot to picnic, there’s something for everyone.

Fun fact: I actually didn’t know about some of the hiking trails until I moved away to the Pacific Northwest for college and moved back to Fort Worth after graduation. I had fallen in love with getting out in nature, and was determined to find trails in the landscape I found myself in once again.

You’ll find that a couple of these parks are outside of Fort Worth, and that’s because for those of us that live here, they’re worth the views. Enjoy!

Map of Our Favorite Fort Worth Parks

Overall Favorite & Best Park in Downtown FW – Trinity Park

At 252 acres, Trinity Park is Fort Worth’s most beloved and spacious park. Whether you’re planning a picnic, searching for kid-friendly parks with playgrounds, or hoping to hike or bike along the river, Trinity Park has it all. Located just east of Fort Worth’s Cultural District and just west of Sundance Square, you can easily grab a coffee or breakfast before going for a walk on the Trinity Trails.

Best Park in Fort Worth for Pictures – Fort Worth Botanic Garden

I’ve seen so many photo shoots while strolling the Fort Worth Botanic Garden—it’s 120 acres of gardens are perfect for wedding photos, senior portraits, and even amateur photography.

While I’ve seen some reviews separate the two, the lovely and peaceful Japanese Garden is also within the FW Botanic Gardens, so if you’re lining up your Fort Worth itinerary, it’s just one stop.

Whether you’re hoping to get away and smell the roses in solitude, catch up with a friend, or on a date, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the perfect place to take photos and breathe deeply.

Best Short Hike with a Waterfall – Marion Sansom Park

Marion Sansom Park Trail is one of the hidden gems of Fort Worth. With wooded hikes, dog-friendly trails, a waterfall, and views overlooking Lake Worth, it’s the perfect small afternoon getaway.

Check out the 2.5 mile Dam Drop Loop on AllTrails for a moderately challenging option. With baby waterfall views, it’s my personal go-to.

For the Artist – Fort Worth Water Gardens

The Fort Worth Water Gardens are lovely year round. Of course, I chose one of the three days of ice and snow to walk with a friend that was visiting Texas to the FW Water Gardens, only to find that, unsurprisingly, it was frozen and shut down (still a unique way to enjoy the architecture from afar).

Located just south of Sundance Square, the Fort Worth Water Gardens are centrally located and perfect for a long lunch or for artists hoping to sketch.

Protip: If you go down a small set of stairs, you’ll find a small pool of water surrounded by trees that is often quieter than its surroundings.

For the Bird Watcher – Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge

If you’re hoping to spot wildlife and enjoy the Fort Worth Prairie, Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is a lovely reprieve. Located in North East Fort Worth in between Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth, it’s perfect for a slow Saturday.

Best Elevation + Horseback Riding – Mineral Wells State Park

Mineral Wells Sate Park
Cactus Flower I recently found in Mineral Wells State Park

If you’re looking for longer hiking options and hill country reminiscent of Austin, Mineral Wells State Park is worth the drive (just over 45 minutes west of Fort Worth). It’s also a beautiful place for rock climbing, horseback riding, and camping.

Probably my favorite place to hike, Mineral Wells State Park’s Cross Timbers Trails are interconnected and labeled by color, so you can enjoy different combinations of trails and hike various lengths every time you go. Generally, you’ll end up hiking 8 to 9 miles if you try to cover most of the loops.

Additionally, there’s a lovely lake, perfect for fishing or for cooling off from the ever-increasing Texas heat with a swim. Bonus: I’ve spotted the most Texas armadillos and cactus flowers on this hike.

Best Bike & Hike Trail Loop – Cedar Hill State Park

Also outside of Fort Worth, Cedar Hills State Park (as well as the adjacent Cedar Hills Nature Preserve) is a hidden gem. Located roughly half an hour southeast of Fort Worth, there’s no reason why Dallas should be able to exclusively claim it ;).

One unique feature of the park is the multiple loop options—whether you’re planning to hike or bike 3 miles, 8 miles, or 12 miles, you can take the trail as it comes since it’s all interconnected. If you hike a mile and a half and realize you’re too close to sunset, you can stay on the 3 mile loop, and the same with the other two options. (Hikers start one direction of the loop, and mountain bikers start the opposite direction, so you have ample time to spot each other.)

In the Spring, it’s also a beautiful place to enjoy fields of the Texas State Flower, the Bluebonnet.