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Take it Outside – The Best Outdoor Spots in Fort Worth and Beyond

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[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ bg_image_quality=”” video_on_mobile=”No”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][vc_column_text]Having lived in cities my entire life, it’s taken time to realize the wonders of nature. Quiet landscapes, fields of flowers, sprawling sunsets and, as the Dixie Chicks famously belted, wiiiiiiide open spaces. In the rush of daily city life, it’s easy to forget that God made an amazing world for us. We wanted to compile a list of places where you can head when you need that reminder and some time in the great outdoors. Whether it’s to exercise or simply to take in some natural beauty, our fair corner of the world offers plenty of spots … here’s to getting out into it!

The Fountains in Sundance Square Plaza
This one may not be natural beauty, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. Whether you love to watch or prefer jumping in and splashing around, the fountains in Sundance Square Plaza are an awesome downtown landmark. They are a crowd-favorite, especially in the summer so if you’re downtown and in need of a cool-off, head on over. The fountains have regularly scheduled “play hours” so be sure to check their website for times.

Trinity Park and the Trinity Trails
A beloved part of Fort Worth, Trinity Park is a sprawling retreat right in the middle of the city. You can take the kids to the playground, feed ducks at the pond, picnic under a pavilion or watch the world go by from one of the many benches spread throughout. There are plenty of trees for shade or to string up a portable hammock, and lots of space for games of soccer, Frisbee and more. Probably most popular is the Trinity Trails that runs through the park and beyond. The trail is over 40 miles of path to walk, run and bike alongside the Trinity River. You can even hop on the trail in other parts of the city. One of my personal favorites is the Clearfork Trailhead near Press Café.

Panther Island Pavilion
If you’re looking to give water sports a try, but not ready to head far out of town, check out Panther Island Pavilion. The Trinity River is a relatively calm body of water, which means even beginners can give it a go. Paddle board, kayak and canoe rentals are available by the hour as well as classes if you’d like some instruction. My favorite part? With downtown over your shoulder, you’ll have a skyline view as you enjoy the great outdoors – it’s the best of both worlds.

Fort Worth Water Gardens
Built in 1974 as an oasis in a concrete jungle, the Fort Worth Water Gardens is an unexpected urban park. It’s located near the Fort Worth Convention Center which means if you’re already downtown, you should definitely stop by. You can wander through the park for five minutes or an hour, but either way, I promise you’ll end up mesmerized by the relaxing falls.

Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
A home where the buffalo roam? It’s here! Plus armadillos, butterflies, wildflowers and multiple hiking trails through Texas plains. Just outside of town, the nature center offers guided hikes, kayak tours and classes about the animals that call the center home including deer, beavers, buffalo and even alligators. If you’re looking for a place where you can forget that you’re actually surrounded by city, this is it.

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
Across the street from Trinity Park, the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to wander around, especially if you love flowers. The gardens are bursting with them and offer plenty of paths to stroll along with learning opportunities for kids and concerts in the summer with the symphony. Most of the gardens are free, but the Japanese Garden, which does require an entrance fee, is worth the price of admission. With its pond, cherry trees and picture-perfect bridge, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a painting.

Airfield Falls
Near the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base on the west side of Fort Worth, there’s a lesser-known spot called the Airfield Falls. The only natural waterfalls in Fort Worth, the park is a hidden oasis. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon there – you can even wear your swimsuit and traipse through the shallow waters.

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dino tracks in Texas? It’s true! Take a short drive to Glen Rose and you’ll go back in time to discover the days that dinosaurs walked in Texas. At the Dinosaur Valley State Park you’ll be able to trace the tracks which are found in the Paluxy River and, along with it, camp, hike, mountain bike, swim and fish in the river. Park rangers often lead hikes and give talks about the animals that now live in the park – you can check their Facebook page for info on upcoming events to attend.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
Lake Mineral Wells State Park is beloved because it offers an incredible variety of activities in the outdoors. The park has six fishing piers where you can spend a day catching catfish, crappie, sunfish and largemouth bass. It also offers miles of hiking trails for all levels of experience and it’s family-friendly with campsites where you can roast s’mores at night. There are swimming areas (but no lifeguards) and lots of wildlife to keep your eyes peeled for. There are also climbing and repelling sections of the park and trails to ride your horses.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Also located in Glen Rose is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, a place that offers up-close encounters with some of the world’s most admired wildlife. The park offers self-driving tours as well as guided ones on safari trucks which take you on a nine-mile loop through large pastures of rare and exotic animals. You’ll be sure to spot giraffes, zebras, ostriches and gemsboks along with Texas natives like roadrunners, wild turkey and the great-horned owl. If you’re ready for a detour into the world of wildlife, this is a memorable one.

Cedar Hill State Park
Cedar Hill State Park is a spot that you can end up visiting for a day or the entire weekend. With its location on Joe Pool Lake, you’ll be able to pick between swimming, fishing, boating and paddle boating (or maybe all of the above!). There are also several hundred campsites throughout the park if you’d like to stay the night and tour a true Texas family farm within the park the next stay. The staff also offers guided hikes and outdoor skills workshops.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ bg_image_quality=”” video_on_mobile=”No”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][image_with_animation image_url=”2960″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” image_size=””][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][vc_column_text]Join us any Sunday at Christ Chapel!

Whatever your week was like, there’s a place for you at Christ Chapel. Gather with us on Sundays for community, worship and truth for your everyday life.

Fort Worth Campus: 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
West Campus: 9:30 and 11 a.m.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ bg_image_quality=”” video_on_mobile=”No”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][vc_column_text]

Ready to grow? Apply for Thrive!

 When faced with difficulties, we tend to focus on changing our behavior instead of addressing the actual roots of our struggles. Thrive is an intensive discipleship program that takes you to those roots and teaches how to embrace the freedom found only in Christ. Applications for Thrive, which begins in August, are now open. If you’re looking for a place to be real, be challenged and be changed, learn more today at www.ccbcfamily.org/thrive.

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Katie Morris

Katie Morris

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