I’m a bonafide city slicker, but sometimes I just crave an open space; a place to run around and be one with nature. Raising a three-year-old boy has made me further realize it’s good to get out of the urban environment and let my son explore the greater outdoors in ways the neighborhood park cannot provide.
Karla recently wrote about how children and adults need nature for healthy development.
In a quest to not deprive the human connection to nature, my husband and I recently took the whole family out to the Trinity River Audubon Center. Merely 8 miles south of downtown Dallas lies the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States. At 6,000 acres, there’s plenty to see and explore in the Great Trinity Forest.
The Trinity River Audubon Center opened in 2008 and provides visitors with 5 miles of hiking trails, guided kayak trips, educational activities, and overnight camping opportunities.
My family enjoyed exploring the center’s hiking trails. With many forks in the paths, we let the three-year-old choose our adventure and hiked over wetlands and through a forest. Even more exciting was an adorable “play house” we stumbled across on our hike where we could peek out to look at the birds swimming in a nearby pond.
Although I packed a Bjorn to carry my one-month old, I was excited to discover all of the hiking trails were smooth enough to take our BOB jogging stroller on the trek. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the trails in case your family wants to stop and enjoy a meal or snack along the way.
The center offers many educational opportunities that mainly focus on school-aged children, including classes on birding and a nature club. See the website here for upcoming events.
Lastly, if you are into architecture, the visitor’s center is worth a trip in itself. The modern beauty is the first LEED-certified building built by the City of Dallas and I couldn’t help but want to throw an event in the unique space.
Have you visited the Trinity River Audubon Center?
Please tell us in the comments what you saw and what you did.