Fort Worth Nature Center
Fort Worth is known for longhorn cattle and the Stockyards, but located on the shores of Lake Worth, the Fort Worth Nature Center offers visitors a glimpse into what the area looked like before cattle drives created a city.
From canoeing, nature classes, hiking and more, there are so many things to do at the FWNC. Check out my Mommy Tips for a fun adventure for the entire family!
Know Before You Go
The park charges an admission per person at the gate.
The FWNC doesn’t sell food or drinks. There are tables located near the Hardwicke Interpretive Center and you can bring in outside food and coolers, but no glass or alcohol.
Drive carefully through the center, if you look carefully you may see deer or wild turkey. We always had the best luck spotting deer along Broadview Dr. and Shoreline Dr.
Hardwicke Interpretive Center
A visit to the Nature Center is included in your admission. The is a small touch table at the entrance with antlers, shells, skulls and much more. There is also a small room filled with snakes, turtles, lizards and even alligators.
There are just under 20 miles of hiking trails at the FWNC, which will take you through hardwood forest and beside the Lake Worth, as well as across the prairie to see a prairie dog town.
One of our favorite hikes is around Greer Island, a 1.5 mile round trip hike.
Each Saturday from 10am – noon there is a nature hike, limited to first 15 participants.
The FWNC offers canoeing opportunities on select Saturdays around Greer Island. There are also unique opportunities to canoe along the Trinity River, and even guided evening trips.
If you have your own canoe, there is a canoe launch on the Trinity River.
The Fort Worth Nature Center has a herd of American Bison or Buffalo, and you can see them when you drive through the park, or on one of the hiking trails. They also offer Bison Feeding Hayrides during the Spring and Fall, and these fill up quickly!
Prairie Dog Town
In West Texas, Prairie Dogs can be seen everywhere, popping their little heads up and down out of burrows they dig in the ground. I was surprised to hear that they use to be seen all over Fort Worth and even driving I-30 you could spot them, because the only place to find a prairie dog in DFW now is at the FWNC. They have a large prairie dog town, and can be spotted on a hike. The babies are super cute!
Lake Worth Monster Bash
During the summer of 1969, a frightful creature lurked around the shores of Lake Worth, scaring local teenagers with frightful howls and hurling tires!
Each October, the legend is reborn as the FWNC celebrates their favorite celebrity with a day long festival!
Kids will enjoy the numerous activities in the festival area, such as creating a Lake Worth Monster from clay, making seed balls, designing a spider hat, trying to beat the monster at the Tire Toss, live music and much more!
Run or walk through the FWNC at the annual Buffalo Boogie, held in the center each May. Following the run, enjoy live music, festival events and enjoy plenty of activities for your four legged friends.
Preschool Discovery Class
The youngest naturalist will LOVE this monthly class for preschoolers. This adult and me program offers a nature-themed book, craft and outside encounter. Registration is required, on a month-to-month basis.
Register early, as classes fill up fast.
All 3 of my children are Preschool Discovery Class Alumni, and it was well worth the drive. Following the class, we would spend the afternoon exploring a different part of the park.
Things To Do in Fort Worth
As you pass over Lake Worth headed to the FWNC, you’ll see a park and beach on the left-hand side of the road. This is now called Casino Park and use to be Casino Beach, with a boardwalk, casino and weekend dancing along the shores. Today, all that remains is the park. Every couple of years, plans to revitalize it hits the news, either as a waterfront boardwalk or even a dog park, but the plans usually get forgotten soon enough, which is just too bad.
Hidden Valley Miniature Golf is a fun place to visit, located right off Jacksboro Hwy. Click HERE to visit their website.
Fort Worth Nature Center
9601 Fossil Ridge Rd, Fort Worth
Click HERE to visit their website
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