Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

White-eyed vireo. Photo: Peter Volkmar


Enjoy special content during our closure on our Distant Engagement page.

Updated: June 2, 2021 (trails are closed June 3-9, due to rain)

Dear guests:

While the Covid-19 virus has pushed much of our work to online webinars, live video programs and more social media, we are fortunate we have permission for our visitors to be back on our trails. As scientists continue to understand this virus and how it spreads, we are gaining a better understanding of the virus and are slowly and conservatively opening back up. We are open Thursday-Saturday, 9am-2pm, on a reservation-only basis. Last reservation of each day is at 12pm. Gate is locked at 2pm. RAIN CLOSURE: Trails will close when we receive a significant amount of precipitation. Best land management practices to ensure sustainability and protection of our trails means no hiking on wet trails. Call ahead to check status of trails. 
SPECIAL CLOSURE DATES: Please note that we will be closed to the public on Saturday, June 19, 2021.

Important changes and updates:

  • No Dogs:  After researching various studies on the impact of dogs on wildlife along hiking trails and due to people not picking up their dog waste, we will revert back to our original sanctuary status, providing a unique space to slow down and observe this ecosystem within the nature corridor. Dogs are welcome on the Balcones trail in front of Dogwood Canyon.
  • Registration: Admission will still be free, but to reduce chances of Covid-19 spread, we will be limiting visitors to 20 total per hour. Advanced registration will be required.
  • Masks: When checking in and passing people on the ramps and trails, visitors are asked to wear a mask. 
  • Areas Closed: Nature Store, Basin, Nature Play area.   
  • Hours: Our open days and hours will be greatly reduced. Currently: Thursday-Saturday, 9am-2pm (last reservation is at 12pm).
  • Changes: As data and parameters change, we will adjust as needed to accommodate the needs of our staff, volunteers, and visitors.

We are excited to welcome you to our trails! Winter migrating birds are arriving, making it a perfect time to be in the forest, enjoying the serenity that nature brings. Sign up here to reserve your spot to come hiking--no access without a reservation. We know it is not ideal, but we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this new path with limited resources and severe staff reductions. Now is a great time to see our brand new trail that explores deeper into the canyon. See you outside!

Current closures will include the Nature Play area, picnic tables, the basin, and the C.E. Doolin visitor center building. As this property is private, accessing trails or any other portion of the property when closed is considered trespassing. These decisions are made to protect our community of staff, local residents, volunteers, and visitors during this public health emergency.

Be assured we are working to keep the trails open. Several factors affect the decision to open or remain closed, regardless of local municipal permissions. Like you, we are anxious to be fully reopen, but must do so in a responsible manner that protects our staff, volunteers and visitors. 

We appreciate your understanding and compliance. You can continue to reach the staff via e-mail at or by phone at (469) 526-1980.

During our limited opening we will be engaging our audience with videos and other posts on our social media. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Our work continues to protect birds and the places they need through engagement and education. Visit our Distant Engagement page. We appreciate your continued engagement and encourage you to support our center by making a donation online or joining our center as a member during this critical time.

We look forward to seeing you!


This information is provided as a reference and may have changed since updated on our page. 

Please note that as properties reopen, they may require advance reservations and/or have reduced capacities. Please continue to check with each property for updates and visitor requirements. Please contact the correct authority regarding the trail or property you are interested in using. We may not have the most recent information available here.

There are many natural hazards in the forest and, in case of injury or envenomation, inexperienced hikers should wait for properties to reopen and when more services are available in a safer medical climate that is not subject to overload from COVID-19 cases. While Audubon staff may be onsite at Dogwood Canyon, they are taking care of the property and education animals only and may not be available to assist lost or injured hikers during Audubon's closure. 

Balcones Trail (FM 1382 Trail). Note: this trail is not officially open.

Please note that the new concrete trail that runs along FM 1382 and traverses our driveway is managed by the City of Cedar Hill, which is providing updates regarding closures and other COVID-19 related information at  This trail is not complete. Please be aware of your surroundings and ongoing construction. 

Cedar Mountain Preserve (for Cedar Ridge Preserve in Duncanville, continue scrolling down)

This preserve, which protects plants and wildlife, has a short hiking trail that loops through the forest located between our property and Cedar Hill State Park, which is known as Cedar Mountain Preserve. This trail can be accessed from the FM 1382 concrete trail mentioned above. This preserve does not have its own website nor contacts for information. It is for hikers only (no bicycles or motorized vehicles). More trail information is available here.  

IMPORTANT: The Cedar Mountain Preserve is currently not maintained and a hiking trail does NOT connect to any trails at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center or Cedar Hill State Park. Cedar Mountain Preserve is owned by Dallas County and is public property. Dogwood Canyon is private property owned by National Audubon Society. Any flagging or signage directing you to Audubon's property from this trail is unauthorized (and creates a host of other problems) and following it will cause you to trespass, not only on Audubon's private property, but potentially on private property owned by residential neighbors.  Please respect our neighbors, our agreements with the county and the homes of our wildlife by staying on the designated trail. 

While the Dogwood Canyon trails are closed, the gate is locked that allows access over the creek that runs between the Audubon center building and the trails. You will not be able to exit the trail system through the Dogwood Canyon property. Numerous visitors have become lost and/or injured in the forest by going off trail and following unauthorized flagging and/or signage. Please note that neither Audubon, nor the City of Cedar Hill, will ever post signs that will lead you to trespass on anyone's private property. You should exit the forest from the same location that you entered and avoid all flagging or stray trails.

Cedar Hill State Park

Trails at Cedar Hill State Park may be open for day use depending on the status of the park and their trails. At the time this page was updated (June 11, 2020), Cedar Hill State Park was requiring that all day use passes be purchased online in advance of arriving at the park. There is a daily limit on the number of passes available, so please plan accordingly, especially for weekend days and holidays with anticipated nice weather. Please note that even if Cedar Hill State Park is accepting visitors, some or all of their hiking trails may be closed. Please contact Cedar Hill State Park for their trail status. We recommend first checking their website and Facebook page before calling.

Cedar Ridge Preserve 

Located in Duncanville, across FM 1382 from Cedar Hill State Park, Cedar Ridge Preserve has approximately 9 miles of hiking available. The entrance is on Mountain Creek Parkway. Cedar Ridge Preserve is managed by volunteers of the Audubon Dallas chapter (not employees of National Audubon Society) and is owned primarily by the City of Dallas and Dallas County. At the time of this update (June 11, 2020), Cedar Ridge Preserve is open. Please check their Facebook page for hours and updates, including any restrictions and limitations they may temporarily have in place.


Where the Texas Hill Country Meets Dallas County

At Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, the ecosystems of east, west and central Texas converge, making the canyon an ideal location for learning about environmental science and nature. Audubon preserves natural habitat of over 200 acres, a portion of the surrounding 3,000+ acre greenbelt near Cedar Hill State Park and Cedar Ridge Preserve, which is managed by Audubon Dallas.

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center has over 2 miles of hiking trails reaching some of the highest elevations in Dallas County, allowing visitors a view of Joe Pool Lake and, on a clear day, to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and beyond. The center's Nature Play area with picnic tables, bird blind with a rain catchment system, education animals on site, a resident raptor, indoor bird viewing area, gift shop, special events and programs enable Dogwood Canyon to serve the community by connecting people with nature, especially thousands of school children that visit on environmental science field trips each year. 

Set at the mouth of a forested canyon, Dogwood Canyon is one of the few remaining places in Dallas County to observe native trees, grasses, wildflowers, butterflies, birds, insects, reptiles, etc. in a natural setting. The greenbelt area that includes the center is an important stopover for migrating birds and other species.

More Information

Book a School Field Trip

— We are now accepting booking requests for the 2019-2020 school year! Get more details about our many academic programs and how to book. Come to our center, or we can come to your campus. DISD teachers, we accept Learning Partners vouchers from Big Thought!

Current Highlights

School Programs

School Programs

Introduce your students to nature and customized programming to reinforce TEKS-aligned science concepts.

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Private Live Bird of Prey Encounter

Private Live Bird of Prey Encounter

Get nose to beak with a live bird of prey!

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Badge Programs

Badge Programs

Get outdoors for adventure & earn all badge requirements at Dogwood Canyon!

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Priority Birds

Priority Birds

The birds whose habitat we protect.

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 Conservation Treks

Audubon Conservation Treks

Join Audubon on a life-changing multi-day outdoor adventure (Grades 6-12)

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Volunteer with us!

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is an exciting and rewarding way to participate with Audubon.

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How you can help, right now