Visit

Plan Your Visit

Hours, Pets, Admission, Location, Parking, Trail Access and Directions

 Hours

Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-4pm and Sunday, 11am-3pm. Last trail entry 1 hour prior to close.

Closed Monday-Tuesday, except by appointment. We close for major holidays and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Our parking lot and pedestrian gates are locked when we close. Please exit the trails and move your vehicle outside of the circle parking lot prior to closing time. The gravel parking lot near the highway does not have limited hours.

Pets

As a nature preserve, conservation is our top priority. We intermittently have endangered species of birds visiting our property. To protect the preserve and its wildlife, and in maintaining the property as a unique and peaceful sanctuary within the Cedar Hill nature corridor, pets are not permitted on the Dogwood Canyon property, including the hiking trails. Trained service dogs are welcome. Emotional support and companion animals do not meet the definition of a service animal and do not have the same access rights. Required proof of service dog status includes service dog ID card, service dog vest, harness, and/or tags, or credible verbal statement.

Admission

Admission is donation-based to allow everyone in our community the opportunity to visit. While we do not have a set admission fee, your donations enable us to maintain the trails and facility as well as staff the front desk. Donations can be made at the metal donation box at the end of the ramp. Donations can also be made online.

Location

We are located in southwest Dallas County. Our parking lot entry is between Cedar Hill State Park and Newman International Academy (formerly Northwood University) at:

1206 W. FM 1382
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Map & Directions

View our Contact Us page for contact information

Trail closures

Best land management practices protect trails and keep them sustainable. We may close trails when they are saturated from heavy or consistent rain. We may also close trails during extreme weather conditions such as heat advisories, high winds, or icy conditions. Trail closures are utilized to prevent costly erosion and to avoid dangerous conditions for both visitors and our emergency responders.

We do our best to post updates and contact those with trail reservations if trails are closed. Please contact the center to verify if in doubt. 

Keep in mind, our property is a managed preserve. Therefore, when our center is closed, our trails are also closed.

Parking and Trail Access

The parking lot is split into two areas. Visitors are welcome to park in either area. Parking inside the gate is limited to staff, volunteers and visitors hiking Dogwood Canyon trails. The gate locks at 4pm Wednesday-Saturday (closed all other days). To access our hiking trails: follow the crushed granite pathway to the ramp which leads to the C.E. Doolin visitor building. Please check in at the Gift Shop before accessing the trails.

We share the larger parking lot next to FM 1382 with Cedar Mountain Preserve (which is a different property than Cedar Ridge Preserve in Duncanville). Cedar Mountain Preserve is owned by the County of Dallas and managed by the City of Cedar Hill. Cedar Ridge Preserve is owned by Dallas County and managed by the Audubon Dallas Chapter, a separate entity under the National Audubon Society umbrella.

The City of Cedar Hill's Balcones Hike and Bike Trail is the paved sidewalk crossing the front of Audubon's property between the two parking areas and extending to the north and south of the parking area.

Cedar Mountain Preserve is accessed via the paved path on the north side of the large parking lot. There is a kiosk with two green trash cans on the side of the parking lot. Follow the conrete Balcones trail beyond the kiosk. When you reach the rusty metal structure on the Balcones Trail, turn left at the small entrance to the woods. The natural surface trail loops through the forest and returns to this spot. The trail on Cedar Mountain Preserve does not connect to Audubon's trails. Please do not follow any flagging or attempt to connect trails. You risk crossing neighboring private property and you contribute to erosion of natural areas that are not maintained for public access. This is at the detriment to the flora and fauna of the canyon area.

Stay On The Trail

While hiking on any trails, stay on the trail. Flagging that may appear along the trail often leads to nowhere and is used for several purposes. Trails you see leading off the established trail may be used by wildlife, maintenance crew, research, or individuals that own neighboring properties. By following any flagging or unmarked/unestablished trails, you are leaving the trails for which visitors are granted access. Doing so increases the risk of encountering poisonous plants and venomous snakes that may be hidden from view. These false leads may also cause visitors to trespass on neighboring private property. It is not uncommon for those who have ventured off-trail to become lost in a large unfamiliar wilderness. Most importantly, leaving the trail damages the delicate ecosystems these preserves have been established to protect.

While there is a lovely view of Joe Pool Lake from Audubon's West Loop Trail, none of the trails accessed from Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center reach Joe Pool Lake. In order to access Joe Pool Lake, visit Cedar Hill State Park, the Dam at Joe Pool Lake, or parks on the Grand Prairie and Mansfield side of the lake.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace principles when hiking. Our Trail Rules are based on Leave No Trace principles.

Directions

From the West: Take I-20 eastbound to the Beltline Rd (FM 1382) exit. Turn right on FM 1382/Beltline Rd.  Pass the entrance to Cedar Hill State Park. The center entrance is 1/2-mile further on the right. If you get to Newman International Academy, you have just missed us.

From Dallas: Take I-35 south to Hwy 67 south; proceed on Hwy 67 a few miles south of the I-20 intersection and take the FM 1382 exit. Turn right on FM 1382. After passing through the traffic light at New Clark Rd, you'll soon pass Newman International Academy on the left. The next left turn lane in the center median strip will be for Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center.

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