Prairies of North Texas
(Photo by Sean Fitzgerald)
The native grasslands of the Blackland Prairie region in this list represent the rare remainders of a vast ecosystem, of which less than 1% still exists. These important vestiges of our prairie heritage range from a few to over 1400 acres. Other types of prairies in North Central Texas, such as those found in the Eastern and Western Crosstimbers to the west, are also included, as well as some savannas.
Many of places listed are open to the public or by appointment with various organizations. Details, location and access information are at the weblinks. Please feel free to suggest additions and changes. To visit other prairies in Texas, visit this page.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve – Plano
A mix of native prairie and hardwood forest. Features: concrete and dirt trails, facilities and parking.
Beck’s Creek Tall Grass Prairie — Richardson
A 13.6 acre blackland prairie remnant adjacent to Woods Park, now in danger of being turned into a residential subdivision. Commercially owned, so access should be coordinated with landowners.
Connemara Meadow Preserve — Allen
A 72-acre meadow site in the process of prairie rehabilitation. Open to the public. Features: trails.
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary — McKinney
Nature preserve includes 289 acres of restored prairie habitat. The moderately strenuous mile-long Bluestem Trail affords the best view of the prairies. Features: dirt trails, facilities, visitor center.
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve — Plano
An 800-acre park with some reclaimed blackland prairie parcels. Features: trails, facilities.
Parkhill Prairie — Blue Ridge
A 436-acre preserve in northeast Collin County with a 52-acre parcel of original blackland prairie. Features: trails, facilities.
A 4-acre prairie remnant. Contact NPAT before visiting. Usually open only for workdays, field trips and special requests.
Rosehill Park — Garland
A park with 75 acres of prairie remnants mixed with wooded areas. Features: trails, facilities.
Cedar Hill State Park — Southwest Dallas
The mostly wooded site is home to five small Blackland Prairie remnants. All are unmarked except for one 13-acre tract endowed with big bluestem, known as Penn Prairie. Features: trails, facilities.
Cedar Ridge Preserve — Southwest Dallas
A Dallas County Open Space Program and Dallas Parks & Recreation project near Joe Pool Lake, managed by the Dallas Audubon Society. The 600 acres are a mix of Blackland Prairie and limestone escarpment terrain. The Little Bluestem and Prairie trails go through parcels of original Blackland Prairie being restored. Much larger parcels are off the slopes adjacent to the Escarpment and Cattail Pond trails. Features: trails, facilities, visitor center.
Crawford Memorial Park — Southeast Dallas
Impressive 25-acre Blackland Prairie remnant in southern tip of park. Park in south Prairie Creek Rd. parking lot, take paved path past creek, and look for trails into post oaks and junipers.
Devon Anderson Park
On the southern end of the Piedmont Escarpment east of White Rock Creek. Take trail behind playground to wooded limestone escarpment with some Blackland Prairie remnants. Location of Comanche Storytelling Place.
Great Trinity Forest — Southeast Dallas
Over 6,000 acres of mostly undeveloped bottomland hardwood forest and wetlands with a few unmarked, original Blackland Prairie patches.
Grover C. Keeton Park north — Southeast Dallas
J. J. Beeman, Scyene Overlook, and related trails pass through some Blackland Prairie patches amid the woodlands and a degraded, brushy meadow that was once prairie. For Scyene Overlook, park at the far end of the baseball fields’ parking lot and look for the trailhead past the metal barricade in the wooded area. For J. J. Beeman, park in the last row of the golf clubhouse parking lot and look for trail kiosk. Features: trails, facilities.
Grover C. Keeton Park south — Southeast Dallas
Piedmont Ridge trail passes through some nice Blackland Prairie remnants on the ridge amid the woodlands. Park in southeast corner of golf clubhouse lot or in soccer field lot on Jim Miller Rd. Head up the juniper-dotted slope to trail kiosk. Features: trails.
Harry S. Moss Park – Dallas
Blackland Prairie restoration in progress off Arborside Dr. Features: trails, facilities (near Greenville Ave).
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve – Oak Cliff
Hardwood forest with Blackland Prairie remnants on the ridgetops. Owned by Texas Land Conservancy and open daily from dawn to dusk. Volunteers welcome for monthly workdays. Features: 8 miles of off-road biking and hiking trails, picnic area.
Post Oak Preserve — Seagoville
The 335-acre Dallas County Open Space Program site features one of the last large stands of post oak savanna. The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) manages the preserve and uses it as an outdoor classroom. Features: trails, picnic area, fishing lake.
Trinity River Audubon Center — Southeast Dallas
Approximately 100 acres of reclaimed industrial land turned into a woods and wetlands nature preserve. Some of the grasslands being restored to Blackland Prairie. Visitor center has excellent displays on prairie and river habitats. Features: trails, facilities, visitor center.
White Rock Lake — East Dallas
About 250 acres of original Blackland Prairie (formerly a dairy farm) in 15 unmarked parcels mostly on the eastern side of White Rock Lake. Ongoing prairie restoration in progress near Boy Scout Hill. Museum about the lake, located inside the Bath House Cultural Center, has excellent displays on prairie and lake habitats. Features: trails, facilities, visitor center.
Large, privately owned cattle ranch in western Denton County. Available for group tours through Connemara Conservancy.
Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center — Denton
A gateway to the approximately 2900 acres of bottomland habitat with some prairie parcels at the confluence of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River and Clear Creek. Features: trails, facilities, visitor center.
Benbrook Lake Prairies – Fort Worth
The US Army Corps of Engineers conserves and actively manages hundreds of acres of remnant Grand Prairie surrounding Benbrook Lake. Features: multi-use trails.
Blackland Prairie Park — Arlington
A 13.5-acre Blackland Prairie remnant in the process of being rehabilitated. Features: trails.
Botanical Research Institute of Texas — Fort Worth
Research enterprise near the Fort Worth Botanical Garden with reclaimed prairie parcels on the campus. The eco-designed visitor center has excellent displays on prairie habitats and the roof showcases a re-created prairie. Features: trails, facilities, research center.
Crystal Canyon Natural Area — Arlington
A 38.7-acre site with some reclaimed prairie parcels amid the wooded areas. Features: trails.
Eagle Mountain Park – Fort Worth
Cross Timbers and native prairie pockets. Features: trails, facilities.
Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge — Fort Worth
A 3,621-acre preserve with significant grand prairie and western cross timbers acreage. Inquire at the visitor center for the trails to Farview Prairie, Little Farview Prairie, and other prairies, and Alice Ashley Savanna, Farpoint Savanna, and others, plus Canyon Ridge Mesa. Be sure to visit the Prairie trail with the prairie dog town. Features: trails, facilities, visitor center.
Oakmont Park — Fort Worth
Wooded park with native prairie pockets. Part of the Trinity River Trail system. Look for the nearby turnoff and trail to a state-champion bur oak tree.
Oliver Nature Park — Mansfield
An 80-acre site with a mix of eastern cross timbers and the Blackland Prairie. Features: trails.
Southwest Nature Preserve — Arlington
Eastern cross timbers and prairie pockets. Limited parking.
Stella Rowan Wilderness Area — Fort Worth
A 70-acre original grand prairie deeded for preservation but has been severely compromised by gas drilling and pipeline operations.
Tandy Hills Natural Area — Fort Worth
A 160-acre original grand prairie known for its wildflowers and interesting trails with beautiful vistas. Features: trails.
Mary Talbot Prairie
A rare 115-acre parcel of original Silveus’ dropseed prairie. Owned and managed by NPAT. Contact before visiting. Usually open only for workdays, field trips and special requests.
Leo Ranch and Pittman Ranch
Two large, privately owned cattle and sheep ranches with native grasses in the western part of the county. Access for group tours is available through either the Dixon Water Foundation or Connemara Conservancy .
Kachina Prairie — Ennis
A 30-acre parcel of original blackland prairie known for its wildflowers on the east shore of Lake Clark. Owned by Texas Land Conservancy and co-managed with the Ennis Garden Club and Indian Trails Master Naturalists. Contact before visiting.
Caddo National Grasslands
Approximately 20,000 acres of former prairie divided into two units: Bois d’Arc Creek and Ladonia.
Bois d’Arc Creek unit is mostly wooded with two lakes, fishing and equestrian activities. Features: trails, facilities, campground. A separate part of the unit, Lake Fannin, surrounds a spring-fed lake and overlooks the Red River bottomland. It has a historic stone lodge and camping ground, currently non-accessible. It has an undetermined prairie patch slated for rehabilitation. Features: trails.
Ladonia unit is cropland turned grasslands, with Johnson grass and other invasives being dominant.
Eisenhower State Park – Denison
Hilly park on the southeast shores of Lake Texoma with pocket prairies of Indian grass, switch grass, and little bluestem, plus echinacea, compass plants, and Maximilian sunflowers.
North Texas Wildflower Prairie
A 35-acre parcel of original blackland prairie known for its wildflowers.
Sneed Prairie Restoration Site — Austin College in Denison
Students and faculty are restoring native tallgrass prairie at the college’s 100-acre Clinton and Edith Sneed Environmental Research Area, the former Sneed family farm. Contact Sneed before visiting. Usually open only for workdays, field trips and special requests.
Kilman Estate Preserve – Malakoff
Recently acquired lands in the Post Oak Savannah region to be owned and managed by Connemara Conservancy. Native prairie, hardwood forest and wetland preserve. Group tours available by appointment through Connemara Conservancy.
Clymer Meadow Preserve
The 1,400-acre Clymer Meadow Preserve is one of the largest and most diverse sections of the original blackland prairie, owned by the Nature Conservancy. Contact Clymer before visiting. Usually open only for workdays, field trips and special requests.
County Line Prairie
Also known as Garrett’s Prairie, the approximately 20 acres of Blackland Prairie is owned and being rehabilitated by The Nature Conservancy.
Louise Hanes Preserve
A 73-acre parcel in the Sulphur River headwaters in the process of being rehabilitated into Blackland Prairie. Owned by the Texas Land Conservancy.
Matthews Prairie Preserve
A 100-acre plot of original Blackland Prairie, under conservation easement by The Nature Conservancy and being purchased by NPAT.
A 23-acre parcel of original blackland prairie currently being used for pasture. Contact owner before visiting. Usually open only for workdays, field trips and special requests
Bear Creek Ranch
Large privately owned cattle ranch south of Aledo, Texas. Access for group tours available through the Dixon Water Foundation.
Privately owned horse farm and Cross Timbers nature preserve. No facilities. Access to nature area for group tours available through Connemara Conservancy.
Red River County
Ken Bishop Memorial Trail Prairie – Clarksville
An approximately 30 prairie atop Annona Chalk limestone formation on the east side of the Langford Lake. Take FM 3150 off TX 37 and veer right at the split. Blackland prairie with Midwest wildflowers such as Missouri Coneflower and Narrow-Leaved Vervain at very southern end of range.
LBJ National Grasslands
Over 20,000 acres of open grasslands with some small lakes. Features: trails, facilities, campgrounds.
A 392-acre mixed bottomland hardwood, shrub swamp, and open meadow complex. Contact NPAT before visiting. Usually open only for workdays, field trips and special requests