It was a beautiful 72 degree day in Texas so Aleu and I planned another escape. We loaded the Mini to head to this great getaway in the Fort Worth area, I really don’t mind driving, my tiny car is so much fun to drive………usually……. on this day I had to deal with insane people on a mission to complete their Christmas shopping. I arrived at the park with a disdain for people, I was almost run over by a large truck with a “Jesus Rocks” bumper sticker, if my car was a bit larger I probably would have given him a close encounter with Jesus so he could have gotten a reminder of what the season is all about. Anyway, lets just say I was thrilled to be in the woods among four legged critters and away from those insane two legged ones.
The Fort Worth Nature Center is this great place that has plenty of trails and they also have Buffalo! Buffalo in Texas make me happy, they usually have baby buffalo in the spring. They have a prairie dog town too, they are very cute but I think it would be a fantastic place to hang out for dinner if i were a hawk. I saw plenty of brightly colored Cardinals out enjoying the sunshine and some large white Cranes fishing in the shallow lake areas. They even have a small zoo of sorts that features animals native to the area, an informative place I think children would enjoy. I do feel sad for the owl that lives there though, people are always trying to talk at him during the day when it is obvious he would rather be napping.
The trails vary from tree covered shade, open prairie land and rocky hills so once again I recommend proper footwear to make the experience comfortable. there is a long boardwalk that branches out onto a small area of Lake Worth and an Island to explore as well. There have been alligator sightings, I haven’t had the pleasure of spotting one but if you plan on bringing your small dog or a small child I would keep my eyes peeled just in case, one of them getting eaten might force park closure for a while and I would miss this place. There are miles and miles of trails so it is easy to spend a few days exploring the center. The trails vary greatly in length and in difficulty level to accommodate various hiking ambitions. There is no overnight camping and most of the time the Center’s gates close at five o’clock so keep an eye on the time because they will lock you in and then you have to call the Fort Worth Police to come let you out, an embarrassing experience I hope to avoid.
Be sure to get a map when you arrive at the gate so you don’t miss out on any of this cool stuff. There is plenty of parking but I recommend parking at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center, this is where the little zoo is located and you can pick up several different trail heads from there as well. This is a gorgeous place in such close proximity to a metropolitan area, I love that about Texas, you can always find wide open spaces if you look.