Trinity River Audubon Center, Dallas

The Trinity River Audubon Center sits along the Trinity River, south of downtown Dallas and while it’s still in the city’s limits, it seems a world away.

CIMG0282

 

I like places like that, places which make you realize that nature is ALL around us!

CIMG0283

So, on an unseasonably less hot August afternoon, my kids and I headed there to go hiking.  The temperature at 2pm was still in the 80’s, and it was such a nice break from the 100 + temperatures we have been having!

CIMG0285

The Nature Center is a LEED building, using local, recycled and rapidly renewable resources.

CIMG0286

Atop the building on the right is a Living Roof, similar to that at  the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

CIMG0293

Inside the center, there is an informational exhibit hall with many interactive displays about the Trinity River, it’s watershed and the plants and animals that live here.

CIMG0296

Live animals like this Texas Spiny Lizard live in the Exhibit Hall.  This display is about the Tallgrass prairie, which once dominated most of North Texas.  Bison herds and occassional wildfires kept the trees, especially the mesquite, from taking over the land.  Today, very little of the once endless prairie, which stretched from Canada down through Northern Texas, remains.

CIMG0297

 

 

 

 

My daughter’s favorite exhibit was The Shape of a River, where visitors could turn on the water and watch as rivers create their path.

CIMG0299

 

My oldest son and I LOVE these natural building blocks, and have made our own collection over the years.  I’m always excited anytime I see them in a school or museum or center.  The uneven lines and unduplicated shapes enhance a child’s spatial awareness when building something!

CIMG0304

A 3D view of the Trinity River as it flows through Dallas County.  The Trinity River is the longest “all Texas” river in the state, traveling some 550 miles down to Trinity Bay.

CIMG0308

There are learning opportunities all over the exhibit hall, my kids and I spent over an hour looking around.

CIMG0310

Horn Vs Antler exhibit.  A horn is a part of the skeletal structure of an animal, while antlers fall off and grow back each year, more similar to our own fingernails.

CIMG0311

My five year old was thrilled when he saw this bug puzzle in one of the workstations, and couldn’t wait to put it together!

CIMG0314FINALLY, we got outside and on the trail!  We were given a trail map inside.  The center offers 5 miles of hiking trails, through hardwood forest, wetlands and along the Trinity River.

CIMG0316

The outside of the center blends in well with the forest landscape.

CIMG0317

 

The center sits on 120 acres, which was previously a landfill site.  It’s amazing to see how they have cleaned up this area and returned it to such a natural state.

CIMG0318

 

A baby red-eared slider posed for me.

CIMG0320

 

All of the hiking trails can be accessed from the center.

CIMG0322

 

I’m not sure what type of flowers these are, but the bees seem to love them.

CIMG0323

 

The center keeps beehives on the property, and sells the honey they collect in the gift shop, along with t-shirts and other nature themed items.

CIMG0325

 

Love these big trees!  The Trinity River Audubon Center is part of the 6000 acre Great Trinity Forest.

CIMG0327

One of the trails ended just above the Trinity River, with no access down to the water.  We hadn’t packed a lunch, but we found several picnic tables overlooking the river.   There are not any nearby restaurants, so a packed picnic lunch would make for a nice morning or evening hike.

CIMG0290

The center also offers 2 hour guided canoe trips along the river.   Since we have our own canoe and kayaks, they told me that there is also a public put in upriver, and that we can take out at the center.   Sounds like a good trip this fall.

Overnight camping is also available at the center.  For more information about the Trinity River Audubon Center, please click HERE.

Things To Do in Dallas (near the Trinity River Audubon Center)

Play

Trinity Forest Adventure Park is incredible!  Click HERE to read all about my death-defying skills!


Trinity River Audubon Center  

6500 Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas

Click HERE to visit their website.    


Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun is on PINTEREST!  Use it as a quick resource to find activities in different Texas towns!  Click HERE!

© Having Fun in the Texas Sun , 2016.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Having Fun in the Texas Sun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Please click HERE to read our disclaimer.

 

Advertisements