Culture / Sporting Life

The Best Running Trails in Dallas — From the Most Popular Spots to the Hidden Gems

Get Outside for a (Solo) Run

BY Madison Mask // 03.18.20

In light of coronavirus spreading in the city, Dallas has shut down all gyms and workout studios until at least March 23 (probably longer). If we can’t book our favorite Saturday morning CorePower class, what do we do? Where should we turn?

Good ol’ fashion running!

You can still practice social distancing by running solo outside, and Dallasites have plenty of awesome trails to take advantage of. Boutique fitness studios are now thankfully beginning to stream workouts at home, but sometimes you just need to get out, staying at least six feet apart, of course.

For a deeper dive on the trails of Dallas, feel free to visit my blog, Running Nomad, which offers step-by-step guides to complete specific runs. But if you’re just looking for the right trail to start with, here are the best spots in the city.

The Katy Trail

I’m sure most Dallas dwellers have visited the Katy Trail (I mean, it’s prime dog-watching territory and home of never-not-busy Katy Trail Ice House), but have you ever run the full 3.5 miles? Start at the American Airlines Center and take the trail all the way up to Knox District. Or vice-versa. It’s one of the most well-kept and prettiest trails in Dallas.

Trinity Strand Trail

The Trinity Strand Trail isn’t always as populated as other Dallas trails, which makes it a great spot to run right now. This underrated trail runs through the Design District and passes lots of breweries and restaurants over its 2.3 mile distance. Keep your eye out for interesting art and murals on the trail and make sure to take a moment at the Dallas Circle of Heroes. Grab some food to-go from one of our local restaurants once you finish.

River Oaks District

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  • River Oaks District - Sept
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  • River Oaks District - Sept
  • River Oaks District - Sept
  • River Oaks District - Sept
  • River Oaks District - Sept
  • River Oaks District - Sept


Sante Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail is underrated and runs through East Dallas. (Photo by Madison Mask)

Santa Fe Trail

The Santa Fe Trail is another hidden gem amongst Dallas running routes. It starts in Deep Ellum and runs through East Dallas for 4.3 miles, eventually hitting White Rock Lake. Nature-filled, the run is another less populated option, but as you get closer to White Rock Lake you’ll begin to see more people.

White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake is a 9.3 mile loop. Photo by Madison Mask

White Rock Lake Trail

Marathoners and running groups tend to gravitate toward White Rock Lake Trail, mainly because the trail makes a full 9.3 mile loop around the lake. Running the total distance is a feat, but it’s a mostly flat, paved trail with lots of scenery. There’s a lot of space to social distance and it’s one of the best places in the city to experience wildlife and natural areas.

Trinity Skyline Trail

For solid views of the Dallas’ notable skyline, make your way to the aptly named Trinity Skyline Trail. It runs along both sides of the Trinity River for 4.6 miles, passing the Design District, Trinity Groves, and Downtown Dallas. You also get to see some cow sculptures on your run through Trammel Crow Park. We may not have mountains or beaches, but we do have some cute stone cows.

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