Fort Worth Nature Center

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

Why are there crowds at the Fort Worth Nature Center?  Because it’s so cool!

As someone who has been frequenting the Fort Worth Nature Center for years, it’s strange to see the changes.  Gone are the days when you could escape here to take a quiet hike, the trails are now full of people!  More and more people are realizing that being outdoors and hiking and in nature is good for you, much better than being in a gym, and just as we need to teach our children to make healthier eating choices, we also need to make healthier choices with our time!  With so many trails and things to do, the Fort Worth Nature Center is the perfect place to get outside!

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

The Hardwicke Interpretive Center is a neat little area to check out during your visit, and very importantly, they have restrooms.

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

There are also live animals at the Interpretive Center.

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

As well as educational kiosk.  All 3 of my kids took Nature Classes at the Fort Worth Nature Center, and this is where the classes are held.  My kids absolutely loved their classes, and the prices are very reasonable.

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

Hiking Trails

Outside the center is the Caprock Nature Trail, one of the many trails in the park. 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.

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

The thistles were blooming in abundance on our visit!

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center


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.

Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Fort Worth Nature Center

The Fort Worth Nature Center’s herd of Bison are visible from the road or the trails, and the Center offers unique hay wagon bison feedings on special events.  We spotted two young bison calves during our visit!  I love these amazing animals, which were once spread across Texas by the millions!

Another fun animal to see is the Prairie Dogs in the Prairie Dog Town!  Another animal that was once prolific in North Texas, it is one of the few remaining prairie dog towns in the area, and the only one of public land!  The next closest is Lake Arrowhead State Park in Wichita Falls!

White-tail deer are also found in abundance at the Nature Center, and it’s still exciting to see them!  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 at the Fort Worth Nature Center

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.

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.

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.

The Fort Worth Zoo was named #1 zoo in the country in 2020 by US Today!

The C.R. Smith Museum is dedicated to American Airlines and the history of flight!  A small and interactive museum, my kids love it for a summer day!


Click HERE for a post about some of our favorites places to eat in Fort Worth!  Check out The Point on Lake Worth, a waterfront restaurant.

 Fort Worth Nature Center

9601 Fossil Ridge Rd., Fort Worth

Click HERE to visit their website.

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