Cedar Mountain Preserve
Review: Cedar Hill has so many amazing trails to enjoy it’s natural beauty, and this small nature preserve is worth a visit Maintained by Dallas County and part of the Open Spaces program, this preserves trail takes you through it’s 100 acres, giving you a beautiful forest walk.
Distance: Cedar Mountain Preserve has one trail around 1 mile long, about 1.5 miles if you walk from Dogwood.
Area of Town: Cedar Hill, south of Dallas near Joe Pool Lake
Facilities: None, but next door at Dogwood Canyon, the facility has a gift shop, restrooms, and meeting rooms. Dogwood Canyon has picnic areas, and places to sit and rest.
Suitable for: Hiking
Type of Trail: Natural Trails, with a concrete trail connecting the two
Shade: Cedar Mountain Preserve sits in a beautiful wooded area, so plenty of shade. As you go from Dogwood to Cedar Mountain Preserve, you will get some sun.
Where to Park: The preserve is next to Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, which has parking
Official Website: Official Site
Nearby Trails: Cedar Hill State Park, Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Big Cedar
Cedar Mountain Preserve
Cedar Mountain Preserve is part of the Dallas Open Space Program protected areas. For those unaware, this program was started in 1976 to preserve natural spaces for the enjoyment of Dallas County residents. There are 21 protected preserves, some which are well known (Cedar Ridge Preserve, Spring Creek Forest Preserve).
Cedar Mountain Preserve, located next door to the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, is a 128 acre preserve with it’s own trail, about a mile long. This trail takes you up a hill, climbing up into a forested section which leads to a small loop at the top, and then brings you back to your starting point. The trail is well marked, the forest is calm and peaceful, and relatively untouched.
I usually put in an official map of the trail, but there really isn’t one that I found, so i’ve attached the GPS map from my watch.
To get there, park in the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center parking lot. From the parking lot you’ll see a concrete path that leads parallel to Beltline Road, and that’s what you want to follow. Once you get to the end of the path, strangely enough you’ll see a sign indicating that you’ll be going into “one of the few wilderness areas left in Dallas County”, and then when you walk on that trail, it will dump you out onto the sidewalk. No, you didn’t miss the entrance to the preserve, it’s still ahead of you.
Walk forward until you see an interesting rest area, bike repair, modern art installation. This red metal structure is located at the start of Cedar Mountain Preserve. Look back into the woods, you will see a path (not marked), which is where you want to follow.
This is a short ~1 mile hike up a hill, which is well marked with white arrows indicating which way to go. Once you get to the top, there is a small loop trail. Once you complete that, you’ll head back the way you came. This is not a huge trail, but the elevation gives a slight challenge, and it really is beautiful in here.
If you visit Dogwood Canyon, make sure to explore this preserve as well, which is literally just next door. While the total mileage isn’t high, you can add more mileage by visiting Cedar Hill State Park or Cedar Ridge Preserve. This area of Dallas is truly beautiful with so many trails to experience it!