This post is the next in our series, Hidden Gems, where we visit places hidden in plain view, in and around Dallas, that we have explored this summer and in the past. You can access that series of posts here.
Dallas has so many hiking trails, and it has now become a habit for Mr. JJ and me to check out a different trail course each weekend. This past weekend, we decided to walk the trail at Spring Creek Forest Preserve in Garland. (This trail is separate from the Spring Creek Nature Area on N. Plano Rd in Richardson near UTD). First discovered in 1980 by Bobby Scott, who identified the forest’s uniqueness and the wildflowers that grew in this area, the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest was created to preserve and protect this area.
There are two sections to the preserve. The Spring Creek Forest Preserve at 1770 Holford Rd, and Spring Creek Park Preserve at 1787 Holford Rd. Both have trails leading from a parking lot but the Park Preserve has a guided interpretive natural surface trail. We chose to complete the concrete trails at the Forest Preserve instead.
There are two trails in the Forest Preserve, a short, paved one that leads to the creek. Although it was only about a half-mile roundtrip, I enjoyed the natural beauty of this trail. Towering trees create a dense canopy overhead, sunlight piercing the shadows intermittently, mushrooms growing on fallen trees, leaves rustling in the breeze, birds twittering high above, and the crunch of dry leaves that carpeted the concrete path. We walked to the creek and then walked back to join the main trail that leads up to N. Garland Avenue from Holford Road. This course was provided enough shade and had a slight descent. Several off-road trails led into the dense forest and underbrush, but given that it was later in the day, we did not explore them. The prairie, forest, wildflowers, and creek kept us occupied. We were about to walk back when we realized another trail continued on the other side of N Garland Avenue. So we crossed the street and continued along that one.
This second part of the trail seemed to be newer. It followed the preserve on our right heading southeast, but there were very few if any trees to our left. This area felt more open to heat and sunlight for almost the entire mile to the junction at Halff Park. The way back was more comfortable as the sun was lower in the sky. We passed only a couple of people on this trail. There were many more people on the first part between Holford and N Garland Avenue and on our way back. We walked a total of 4 miles that evening, on concrete trails that were easy to navigate.
Next time around, we will be sure to try the natural surface trail at the Spring Creek Park Preserve.
Spring Creek Park Preserve is located at 1787 Holford Road, Garland, TX 75044, and Spring Creek Forest Preserve at 1770 Holford Road, Garland, TX 7504. The preserve is open from 6 am to midnight. Pets are allowed but must be on a leash.