Photo courtesy of DallasParks.org
White Rock Lake
Dallas may not have the hills of Austin or the coastline of Galveston, but locals get their fix of natural splendor at White Rock Lake. Developed in 1911 as a water source for the city, the man-made lake is now the focal point for a 1,015-acre park featuring nine miles of waterside trails, rolling lawns and hills for picnicking, and green spaces rich with wildlife and birdlife—all backed by downtown views. On-the-water activities include rowing and fishing (no motorized boats allowed), while the trails are popular with runners and cyclists. There’s also a dog park, a cultural center, historical sites, and baseball fields, making the urban oasis popular with the whole family. Pair a visit with a stop at the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum, located just next to the lake.
By Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor
Dallas' Most Serene Spot
When you think of Dallas, Texas (also known as "The Big D"—yes, Dallas residents really do call it that), your first thoughts are most likely those of big hair, big jewelry, and big homes—after all, everything is bigger in Texas. You most likely don't think of nature, but, in the center of Dallas, there is a haven called Whiterock lake. With a perimeter of 9.23 miles, Dallas locals come often for relaxation by the water, a walk with a friend, or a session with a training group for an Ironman. Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake, so sailboats drift by lazily in the hot summer sun. The lake borders the Dallas Arboretum, a gorgeous botanical garden perfect for a picnic and a summer concert venue. If you're in town and need a little R&R, Whiterock Lake is your place.
By Ashley Castle Pittman, AFAR Contributor
white rock lake
just a few miles northeast of downtown dallas lies white rock lake, popular with cyclists, runners, and picnicers. stroll/jog/bike the 12+ miles of trails surrounding the lake, enjoy the sunset from white rock park, get advice from the "free advice guys" (look for them on the north side near lawther road - they will not disappoint), or simply enjoy the sunset over downtown dallas' skyline. the park is peaceful and feels miles away from the big city, despite being in the center of it all. rent bikes from dallas bike works (on northwest highway on the north side of the lake) or richardson bike mart (on garland road on the south side of the lake).
By eva hevron
An Urban Lake and Arboretum
It may be hard to believe that the 1,015-acre White Rock Lake, within Dallas’s city limits, grew from a creek that became a reservoir. Although not a lake for swimming, White Rock offers an extensive range of water sports: kayaking, canoeing, standup paddle boarding, as well as sailing (no motor boats) and rowing for area prep schools and university teams. The parkland surrounding White Rock Lake offers nine miles of walking, jogging, and biking trails, plus plenty of picnic spots with scenic views—you'd never know you're only five miles northeast of downtown. On the eastern shore of the lake is the impressive Dallas Arboretum—a 66-acre, year-round botanical garden built on the grounds of two former mansions—complete with the new Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, an eight-acre interactive park that is engaging and educational at once.