The LBJ National Grasslands, a division of the Texas National Forest Service, is really a hidden gem in the DFW Metroplex! Spanning 20,000 acres in far Northwest Wise County, the Grasslands offers visitors many different ways to enjoy our public lands in Texas! From fishing and camping, to great multi-use trails, there is something here for everyone!
Located an hour Northwest of Fort Worth, and 77 miles from Downtown Dallas, the LBJ Grasslands have 5 different TADRA Multi-use trails, varying from 8 miles to 24 miles in length. As multi-use trails, hikers share the trails with both cyclist and equestrians. The trails are maintained by the Texas Arabian Distance Riding Association, (TADRA). Motorized ATVs are not allowed on any of the trails.
There are non-developed but usable campsites at the trailhead, too.
The Grasslands are actually composed of both prairies and hardwood forest, making for varied and beautiful terrains. You’ll pass by several small creeks and water sources, too!
There is an honor box for daily fees.
Colored trail markers help keep you on the right path!
The Red Trail, at 9.2 miles, will take you to Cottonwood Lake. You can make it a much shorter loop hike by taking the blue trail back.
The 9.4 mile Yellow Trail takes you to a lovely pine tree grove about 1/2 way, totally unexpected in this area.
As a multi-use trail, it is shared with bikes, equestrians and hikers.
The trails offer beautiful wildflowers through the Spring and Summer months. The yellow butterweed along the trails is lovely in the Fall.
The TADRA trails are a favorite of Boy Scouts Troops doing day hikes from nearby Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in Bridgeport, or longer backpacking trips.
Know Before You Go:
There is not potable water along the trails. Take water and a filter with you. Click HERE for a list of good water filtrations. There are streams and tanks for horses.
With an area this large, it’s a good idea to have a map. Take a screen shot on your phone, because chances are your phone won’t have service much of the time. You should also pick up a map at the Grasslands Office in Decatur on Hwy 287, or have one mailed to you. Be aware that many of the trails do cross each other, and while well marked, at these crossing it is easy to get turned around so use your map and watch for marked landmarks.
While dispersed camping, or camping without a developed campsite, is allowed throughout the LBJ Grasslands, there are also a few developed, first-come campsites, such as Black Creek Lake. They offer 14 primitive campsites, set under hardwood trees just waiting for a hammock, with a picnic table and fire ring. There is not an attendant or gate into the campground.
Fishing is allowed in the Grasslands, and your best location is going to be the 30-acre, when full which is rare during the Summer, Black Creek Lake. You are responsible for a Texas fishing license while fishing in the Grasslands. People come to bank fish and kayak fish for bass and crappie, or just cool off after a hike.
Leashed dogs, and very well trained dogs under voice command are allowed in the Grasslands. Dogs must be leashed, on a leash not to exceed 6′, while in the campgrounds, and anytime they are near other hikers or animals. Dogs must be with you, and may not be allowed to roam away or run off.
On the TADRA trails, you will almost certainly see a few horse/riders.
Located near the TADRA trailhead, the privately-owned LBJ Grasslands Getaway offers RV camping and rooms.
LBJ National Grasslands
Campground Road, Alvord
Click HERE to visit their website.
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