8 Hidden Parks in Dallas You Should Visit
Hey everyone! I know you have been patiently waiting on this post! Today, I will be sharing 8 FREE hidden gems in Dallas – parks in Dallas that you may not have known existed. Covid-19 has gotten me to explore deeper into outdoor activities in DFW. Being stuck in the house and as Dallas slowly reopened, we discovered some cool parks to visit. I am calling these “hidden” due to the fact that they are not as popular as Klyde Warren Park or Trinity River areas. Some of these park you may have drove passed them, but from the car, they may not have seemed like anything special. But once you begin walking and exploring, there are all of these hidden stairs, bridges and viewpoints that are no-one is really hanging out at. Check them out!
1. REVERCHON PARK IN DALLAS
So when going to Uptown Dallas /McKinney Avenue area, we have always passed by Reverchon Park. It doesn’t seem like much because its seems like your standard recreation center type of park. But our first covid outing in May, we decided to stop by this park to check it out.
This park is actually 41 acres with some nice viewpoints. There are two sides to this parks. The main area where people go is to the left. Wide open fields for picnics, frisbees and hammocks – you name it. You get to this area by cute little stone bridges where a creek flows beneath. There are cute little trails that lead up to higher viewpoints as well. Lots of green trees and grass to lay on so there is some nice shade
The second time we visited we wanted to explore more of the high viewpoints. We parked in a different spot further down the entrance road and discovered a random set of stairs. We took them up and there was another viewpoint with stone tables, seating and dried up well. It was so nice because we were the only ones up there. You could definitely have a nice picnic, read a book or play cards. Click here for driving directions to Reverchon Park.
2. DRAGON PARK GARDENS
This next park is quite hidden. Dragon Park Gardens is not off any busy street but off a small street in Uptown near Turtle Creek. I saw a picture of a lion statue online and we decided to try to find it and check it out. This is a small park that is actually privately owned. We didn’t explore too much because at one of the entrances, we saw the sign that you have to call to enter the property.
From what I could find out online is that the owner of the salon next door created this garden as a place to relax, sit down and enjoy a book. There are various of statues like dragons and lions…having an Asian-like influence. I believe there is a small fountain as well, but we did not explore it as much since you needed to call so we took photos at the entrances. Click here for driving directions to Dragon Park Gardens.
3. PRATHER PARK
Crouching tigers hidden dragons! Prather Park in Highland Park area of Dallas is probably one of my favorite parks that we have been visiting. This place seems very whimsical and fairy-tale like. A very green park with bridges and stairs for you to walk around and admire. What is cool is that its set below street level so it is semi hidden from full view. This park is also well hidden because it is in the heart of Highland Park. You have to drive deep within Highland Park neighborhood to find it. It is not off any major street like Preston which is nice because it keeps the crazies away and keeps the area peaceful and quiet.
Also there are these pretty pink tall flowers that grow randomly in pairs. There will be a pair in the middle of nowhere, which gives it that whimsical feel. There is also a creek that runs through this area and due to summer heat and lack of rain, the level is very low. There is this cool small cliff that you can get some cool pictures on as well. Sunrise or high noon maybe the best time to take a photo on the cliff so the sun is not behind the bridge. These shots were at sunset. Click here for driving directions to Prather Park. To shop multi-way maxi dress, click here.
4. LAKESIDE PARK/TEDDY BEAR PARK
Lakeside Park /Teddy Bear Park is a 2 in 1 park and only 3 minutes from Prather Park in Highland Park. When we visited it was a popular park for couples, pregnancy and graduation photos. It is truly a beautiful park. The main lake has lily pads everywhere. I believe there are flowers that are normally there because I saw a yellow bud that hadn’t opened yet. This park like the others has a trail for you to walk and it has nice railroad like bridge with cool lamps. There is a small waterfall, but due to summer it wasn’t really flowing.
When you walk across the bridge, there is this nice area with a bench and viewpoint of the greenery, lake and Teddy Bear Park. Teddy Bear Park gets its name due to the large stone teddy bears statues everywhere. Unfortunately when we visited it, the trail to get to this area had a “park closed” sign and it was blocked off. But definitely a peaceful area to visit. Click here for driving directions to Lakeside Park and here to get to the Teddy Bear statues.
5. TURTLE CREEK PARK
Another park that is also in Uptown Dallas area is Turtle Creek Park which I have nicknamed the “Central Park of Dallas”. This park gives me the central park vibes due to the greenery and seeing parts of the city’s tall buildings. We discovered this park when wanting to shoot at Arlington Hall aka the White House. There is a cute little water fountain and stone bridges to take a walk and enjoy. The trail here is not very long, but nice and you can find a grassy area to sit on as well.
Turtle Creek Park is actually divided in two by Turtle Creek Blvd. Both side has trails to walk, but the side opposite of Arlington Hall is connected to Katy Trail near Lemmon Ave. This side is quite nice with lots of green grass to be able to social distance just fine. It is very relaxing here near sunset. On this side, there are not a whole lot of trees near the lake so no shade. The areas further back towards Katy Trail has trees and you can even set up hammocks between a couple of them too. Click here for driving directions to Turtle Creek Park.
6. FLIPPEN PARK
Flippen Park is another beautiful park in Highland Park. It gives me the circus vibes due to the beautiful gazebo that resembles a merry-go-round. This is a very small park but very beautiful due to all the greenery and flowers and beautiful homes that surround it. There is a large grassy area to play catch and then a small trail that leads to the gazebo and pool fountain. The gabezo is very popular amongst photographers for wedding, engagement and graduation photos. In fact all these parks were always full of photographers. There are cute benches you can sit at inside the gazebo, but due to all the photographers it may be hard to sit and enjoy it on the weekends.
In front of the gazebo is the pool and fountain in the center. This is really pretty and there are a few stone benches along side it where you can sit down and enjoy it. There was a guy playing the guitar when we were there. Definitely a park worth visiting and only about 5 minutes from Lakeside Park and Prather Park as well. Click here for driving directions to Flippen Park.
7. PRAIRIE CREEK PARK
This next park is not located in Dallas per say but in the DFW metroplex. Prairie Creek Park is located in Richardson, TX though some sites state that it is in Plano, but the physical address is Richardson but on the Plano border. It is off of highway 75 and the middle of a residential area. This is a good size park with lots of areas of green grassy areas. There is also a small railroad like bridge like the one at Lakeside Park but shorter. There is a creek the runs beneath it. When you cross it, there is a trail you can follow in either direction. The south part is wheelchair accessible but the north part which takes you to the waterfall is not so much.
What this park is famous for is the beautiful waterfall. The waterfall that flows is just a beautiful of other waterfalls in Texas that you would drive a few hours to visit. When there has been a lot of rain, the waterfall flows very fully. When we visited, it was not as flowy as we would like, but still very beautiful. Click here for driving directions to Prairie Creek Waterfall spot. This is the location to get to the waterfall itself vs the park. If you GPS the park location, you will have to walk some ways to get to the waterfall.
8. LITTLE ELM LAKEFRONT TRAIL
Last but not least is Little Elm Lakefront Park and Trail. Little Elm is not part of Dallas county but Denton county but still considered a suburb of Dallas. There are lots of hidden gems about this city such as Little Elm Beach and Park. Full disclosure we had not visited the park yet. We visited part of the trail and this tropical oasis Hula Hut which you may have seen on my Instagram.
The Lakefront Trail is approximately four miles of crushed granite which connects Hula Hut and the Hydrous Wake Park to McCord Park. We walked part of this trail after visting Hula Hut and want to go back to finish the trail. The sun was setting and so we did not want to continue to the trail further. On this trail you have scenic views of the lake, with several access points for fishing.
Visiting Hula Hut was definitely highlight for us because it was a little Florida in the middle of a small town. This restaurant reminded me of Venice, FL off the coast with the surf boards, palm trees and part of the restaurants on beams over the water. The waterfront is real nice with sand, a shark and a volcano that spews water. There are 3 areas where you can eat: enclosed inside, outside with the umbrella huts or their semi enclosed area that is over the water.
Hula Hut faces out to a big lake giving the illusion of being beach side somewhere especially with tropical drinks and reggae music playing. We were happy that we were the only ones seated outside in the patio during this covid area. It is truly a hidden gem! Their sister location is in Austin, TX. Click here for driving directions to Little Elm Lakefront Trail at the Hula Hut side.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and gives you some more outdoor options to discover with your family as well as staying socially distanced. I will be feature more social distance options within the state of Texas soon so be sure to follow me on Instagram. I have some exciting places I will be feature mid next month if you are looking for safe staycation ideas! You can also check out my post on 5 North Texas Wineries to visit or how to Travel Around the World without a Passport. I have a few more I will be visiting this weekend so be sure to stay tuned to my Instagram stories to follow along!