Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail In Texas

Here is everything you need to know about the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Texas
  • Length: 25 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail is managed and maintained by the City of Fort Worth.
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Wichita, Caddo, and Comanche, who relied on the land’s abundant resources for their sustenance. These tribes left behind traces of their presence in the form of artifacts and archaeological sites, providing valuable insights into their way of life.

In the 19th century, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region. The establishment of the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1876 played a crucial role in the area’s development, as it facilitated transportation and trade. The land that now encompasses the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail was once part of a larger ranch owned by the Greer family, who were prominent cattle ranchers in the area.

In the early 20th century, the land underwent various ownership changes until it was acquired by the City of Fort Worth in 1964. Recognizing the ecological importance of the area, the city designated it as the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, aiming to preserve its natural beauty and provide educational opportunities for visitors. Today, the trail offers a glimpse into the region’s past, with historical markers and interpretive signs highlighting the area’s cultural and natural heritage.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Main Entrance – This is the primary access point to the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail. It is located at 9601 Fossil Ridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76135.

2. Greer Island – This access point is located on the western side of the refuge and provides access to the Greer Island Trail. It can be reached by taking the main entrance and following the signs.

3. Prairie Dog Town – This access point is located near the Prairie Dog Town Trail, which offers a unique opportunity to observe prairie dogs in their natural habitat. It can be accessed from the main entrance.

4. Lake Worth – This access point is located near Lake Worth and provides access to the Lake Worth Trail. It can be reached by taking the main entrance and following the signs towards the lake.

5. River Bottom – This access point is located near the Trinity River and provides access to the River Bottom Trail. It can be reached by taking the main entrance and following the signs towards the river.

6. Bison Range – This access point is located near the bison range and provides access to the Bison Range Trail. It can be reached by taking the main entrance and following the signs towards the bison range.

7. Lost Creek – This access point is located near Lost Creek and provides access to the Lost Creek Trail. It can be reached by taking the main entrance and following the signs towards Lost Creek.

8. Cross Timbers – This access point is located near the Cross Timbers Trail, which offers scenic views of the surrounding landscape. It can be accessed from the main entrance.

9. Marsh Boardwalk – This access point is located near the marsh boardwalk, which allows visitors to explore the wetland ecosystem. It can be reached by taking the main entrance and following the signs towards the marsh boardwalk.

10. Prairie Trailhead – This access point is located near the Prairie Trail, which offers a chance to experience the native prairie landscape. It can be accessed from the main entrance.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service operating in the area.
4. Trinity Metro – Public transportation system offering bus services in Fort Worth.
5. Fort Worth Bike Sharing – Bike rental service for exploring the city.
6. Zipcar – Car-sharing service providing access to vehicles on an hourly or daily basis.
7. Lime – Electric scooter and bike rental service.
8. Bird – Electric scooter rental service for short-distance travel.
9. Trinity Railway Express – Commuter train service connecting Fort Worth and Dallas.
10. Fort Worth B-Cycle – Bike-sharing program with multiple stations throughout the city.


The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail offers the following amenities:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available for visitors.

2. Parking: The trail provides parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The Nature Center offers designated camping sites for overnight stays. These sites may require reservations and have specific rules and regulations.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas where visitors can enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings. These areas may have picnic tables, grills, and trash bins.

5. Hiking Trails: The Nature Center has various hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels for visitors to explore and enjoy.

6. Wildlife Viewing Areas: There are designated areas along the trail where visitors can observe and appreciate the diverse wildlife that inhabits the refuge.

7. Nature Education Center: The Nature Center has an education center that provides information about the local flora, fauna, and conservation efforts. Visitors can learn more about the natural history of the area through exhibits and educational programs.

8. Bird Watching: The refuge is known for its excellent bird-watching opportunities. There are designated areas and bird blinds where visitors can observe a wide variety of bird species.

9. Fishing: The Nature Center has fishing opportunities in certain areas. Visitors may need to obtain a fishing permit and follow specific regulations.

10. Nature Store: There is a nature store where visitors can purchase books, field guides, souvenirs, and other items related to the natural environment.

11. Interpretive Programs: The Nature Center offers interpretive programs, guided hikes, and educational activities for visitors of all ages. These programs provide insights into the local ecosystem and conservation efforts.

Please note that some amenities may have specific rules and regulations, and it is advisable to check with the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail for any updates or additional information.

Nearby Services

1. Hilton Fort Worth – A nearby hotel offering comfortable accommodations and amenities.
2. Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel – A modern hotel located in the heart of downtown Fort Worth.
3. Omni Fort Worth Hotel – A luxury hotel with elegant rooms and a rooftop pool.
4. Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown – A budget-friendly hotel offering clean and comfortable rooms.
5. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fort Worth Downtown – A convenient hotel with complimentary breakfast and a fitness center.
6. Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown – A hotel with spacious rooms and a complimentary hot breakfast.
7. Hyatt Place Fort Worth Historic Stockyards – A hotel located near the historic Stockyards district with modern rooms and a 24/7 fitness center.
8. Comfort Suites At Lake Worth – A hotel near Lake Worth offering spacious suites and a complimentary breakfast.
9. WoodSpring Suites Fort Worth Fossil Creek – An extended-stay hotel with fully equipped kitchens and affordable rates.
10. Fort Worth Fire Department – Emergency services providing fire suppression, rescue, and medical assistance.

Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail Difficulty Notes

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The trail encompasses a diverse terrain, including wooded areas, prairies, and wetlands, providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience. With its varying elevations and occasional rocky sections, the trail requires a moderate level of physical fitness and endurance. However, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, making it accessible for hikers of different skill levels. Overall, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail offers a rewarding adventure for those seeking a moderate level of difficulty in a beautiful natural setting.

Features And Attractions

1. Lake Worth: The trail offers stunning views of Lake Worth, a picturesque reservoir located within the nature center. Visitors can enjoy the serene waters and surrounding natural beauty.

2. Prairie Dog Town: This unique attraction within the nature center allows visitors to observe and learn about prairie dogs in their natural habitat. It’s a great spot for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

3. Greer Island: Also known as “Pelican Island,” this small island within Lake Worth is a popular spot for birdwatching. Visitors can spot various bird species, including pelicans, herons, egrets, and more.

4. Cross Timbers Forest: The trail takes you through the Cross Timbers Forest, a unique ecosystem characterized by dense woodlands and diverse plant life. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the shade provided by the trees.

5. Marsh Boardwalk: This elevated boardwalk allows visitors to explore the marshy areas of the nature center. It offers a different perspective and allows for close-up views of wetland plants, birds, and other wildlife.

6. Historic Buildings: The nature center is home to several historic buildings, including the Log Cabin Village, which showcases pioneer life in the 1800s. Visitors can explore these buildings and learn about the region’s history.

7. Bison Range: The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is home to a bison herd. Visitors can observe these majestic creatures from a safe distance and learn about their importance to the ecosystem.

8. Trinity River: The trail runs alongside the Trinity River, providing scenic views of the water and its surrounding landscape. It’s a peaceful and tranquil spot to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

9. Wildflower Meadows: Depending on the season, the trail may offer vibrant displays of wildflowers, including bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and more. These meadows add a splash of color to the landscape.

10. Deer Hollow: This area within the nature center is known for its deer population. Visitors may spot white-tailed deer grazing or moving through the forested areas.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can experience along the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets are not allowed on the trails or in the Nature Center buildings.
– Bicycles, motorized vehicles, and horses are not permitted on the trails.
– Hunting, fishing, and trapping are strictly prohibited.
– Camping and overnight stays are not allowed.
– Fires and fireworks are not permitted.
– Littering is strictly prohibited; visitors are expected to carry out their trash.
– Swimming, wading, and boating are not allowed in the refuge.
– Collecting or removing plants, animals, rocks, or artifacts is strictly prohibited.
– Feeding or disturbing wildlife is not allowed.
– Visitors are expected to stay on designated trails and not venture off into restricted areas.
– Visitors are required to follow all posted signs and regulations.
– The refuge may have seasonal restrictions or closures, which will be communicated through official channels.

Seasonal Information

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail is a stunning natural oasis located just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. With its diverse ecosystems, abundant wildlife, and beautiful landscapes, it is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. When planning your trip, it is important to consider the best times of the year to visit and any seasonal closures that may affect your experience.

One of the best times to visit the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail is during the spring season, particularly from March to May. During this time, the weather is mild and pleasant, with blooming wildflowers and lush greenery adding to the beauty of the trail. It is also a great time for birdwatching, as many migratory birds pass through the area. The trails are usually less crowded during weekdays, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

Another ideal time to visit is in the fall, from September to November. The temperatures are cooler, making it comfortable for hiking and exploring the trails. The foliage starts to change, creating a picturesque landscape with vibrant autumn colors. It is a great time to spot wildlife, such as deer and foxes, as they prepare for the winter season.

It is important to note that the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail may have seasonal closures or limited access during certain times of the year. For example, some trails may be closed during the summer months due to the extreme heat and potential fire hazards. Additionally, certain areas of the refuge may be closed during hunting seasons for the safety of visitors. It is recommended to check the official website or contact the nature center before planning your visit to ensure that all trails and facilities are open.

Overall, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail offers a unique and immersive experience throughout the year. Whether you visit during the vibrant spring or the serene fall, you are sure to be captivated by the natural beauty and wildlife that this trail has to offer.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trails: The Nature Center offers several trails that are specifically designed to be accessible for wheelchair users, providing a smooth and level surface for easy navigation.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the entrance of the Nature Center, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are located within the Nature Center, equipped with features such as grab bars and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability.
4. Visitor Center Accessibility: The Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to explore exhibits, obtain information, and participate in educational programs.
5. Wheelchair Rentals: The Nature Center provides wheelchair rentals on-site, allowing visitors who do not have their own wheelchair to explore the trails and enjoy the refuge.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas within the Nature Center are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, featuring accessible tables and seating options.
7. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome at the Nature Center, providing support and assistance to individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Wildlife Viewing Areas: The Nature Center offers designated areas where individuals with disabilities can observe and enjoy the diverse wildlife found within the refuge.
9. Accessible Fishing Pier: A wheelchair-accessible fishing pier is available, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy fishing activities in a safe and accessible environment.
10. Accessible Programs and Events: The Nature Center strives to provide inclusive programming and events that cater to individuals with disabilities, ensuring equal participation opportunities for all visitors.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails to avoid getting lost or disturbing the natural habitat.
2. Carry a map and compass: Ensure you have a map and compass to navigate the trail and prevent getting disoriented.
3. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy, closed-toe shoes to protect your feet from potential hazards on the trail.
4. Dress for the weather: Dress in layers and wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions to stay comfortable during your hike.
5. Bring plenty of water: Stay hydrated by carrying an ample supply of water, especially during hot weather.
6. Use insect repellent: Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects.
7. Watch out for wildlife: Respect the wildlife and maintain a safe distance to avoid any potential encounters or disturbances.
8. Be cautious of poison ivy: Learn to identify poison ivy and avoid contact with it to prevent allergic reactions.
9. Be aware of hunting seasons: During hunting seasons, wear bright colors and be cautious in areas where hunting is allowed.
10. Practice Leave No Trace principles: Pack out all trash, respect the environment, and leave the trail as you found it to preserve its natural beauty.

Conservation Notes

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail is a significant natural area located in Fort Worth, Texas. As a designated nature center and refuge, it plays a crucial role in the conservation and preservation of the local ecosystem. The conservation status of this trail is of utmost importance, as it serves as a sanctuary for numerous plant and animal species.

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail is dedicated to protecting and restoring the native habitats found within its boundaries. The trail encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including forests, prairies, wetlands, and riparian areas. These habitats provide essential resources and shelter for a wide array of wildlife, including several threatened and endangered species.

Efforts are continuously made to maintain and enhance the conservation status of the trail. The management team at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge works diligently to control invasive species that can disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem. They also implement measures to prevent habitat degradation, such as erosion control and water quality monitoring. Additionally, educational programs and outreach initiatives are conducted to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and encourage responsible visitor behavior.

Overall, the conservation status of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Trail is actively monitored and managed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the local flora and fauna. Through ongoing efforts, this trail remains a vital sanctuary for native species and a valuable resource for environmental education and research.

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