cedar ridge preserve

2019 #hike7 - Cedar Ridge Preserve

Quick Stats

Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve - Dallas, TX

Distance: 4.3 miles

Trails: Cattail Pond, Cedar Brake, Fossil Valley, Escarpment, Red Oak

Miles from Home: 23

Weather: Cool, cloudy, sun peeking out eventually

Equipment: Apple Watch, iPhone


  • Wasn’t completely overrun with people

  • Perfect weather for a hike in Texas

  • Improved signs and lots of trail work since my last visit

  • The hills are great exercise

Low Points

  • Nearby road noise is prominent throughout

  • People are trashing the trails here

  • People are noisy, which is a personal opinion and just me whining really

I did not want to go for a hike this morning. I mean, I went to bed thinking I did, but I woke up wanting to drink coffee and stay home. I eventually had my oatmeal, got hydrated, and set out around 9 AM which was only two hours later than I’d wanted to leave. I don’t know what happens to my motivation, but I have a feeling it’s partly due to locations available locally. Cedar Ridge Preserve was a staple in 2017 and 2018, but it really wore me down over time and I only use it as a location when I don’t have a better plan.


As I mentioned above, the trails are well maintained and great for exercise. The place is nice, it’s mostly clean, despite some trash from trashy people, and the trails are clear of any major debris. I always enjoy the trails and have a good workout because of their design; there are hills on almost every trail and they can get the heart going when you’ve leveled off from the flat areas. Most people, so it seems from basic observation, are here for exercise. People walking in pairs, families out together, and runners of all kinds fill the trails. Today, people seemed to have a problem with trail etiquette and who has the right of way up and down the hills as well as runners just doing whatever they wanted.

I did not LOVE my hike, but I still enjoyed it. I’m glad I went and got out of the house. I’m certain I’ll be a little more forward thinking for future hikes. It’s time to venture out and get adventurous again. Hello all-nighters and longs drives! Happy trails!

Before & After

#hike15 - Cedar Ridge Preserve

Date: April 15, 2018

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve - Dallas, TX

Distance: 4.1

Trails: Escarpment, Fossil Valley, Cedar Brake (trail map)

At Cedar Ridge, huge crowds of people are unavoidable and it's something I have just learned to deal with as part of hiking in a huge metro area with limited options.

My top 3 things to love about the people at Cedar Ridge:

  • Families that hike together - there are a lot of them and it's so nice to see.  I've seen multiple generations out together, which is so cool.
  • Older dudes hiking together just shootin' the shit, I aspire to have a friend when I'm old to causal hike the neighborhood park with and talk about life.
  • People walking their dogs - face it, dogs are awesome and for me are the highlight of the hike.

My top 3 things I don't love so much about the people at Cedar Ridge:

  • People who leave their dog poop at the entrance or don't keep their pets close to them while walking
  • Couples basically making out on every bench or as they walk - get a damn room already!  I just don't think that's cool... hold hands, but you don't have to kiss and make out.
  • People that don't share the trail... Mainly, groups that don't go single file on narrow areas when people are passing.  Just because you're mid conversation with your BFF Jill doesn't mean I don't want to get by... get over it.

Today's hike was rejuvenating and I pondered a lot of things.  It looked like spring but felt a bit too cool to qualify.  On one of my trails, I ran into a fellow blogger and hiker named Richard.  His blog has helped me find quite a few new spots and he really is an inspiration to people wanting to trail run.  Go check him out here.

I hope y'all have a great week ahead - happy trails!

#hike7 - Cedar Ridge Preserve

Date: March 1, 2018

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve - Dallas, Texas

Distance: 4 miles

Trails: Cedar Breaks, Fossil Valley, Escarpment 

It had been 18 days since I hiked.  That is a VERY long stretch for me.  Between being sick with an upper respiratory infection, a massive work project,  and the torrential rain we received I was just unable to get out there.  BUT, Hike 7 revived my spirit.  The cedars/junipers were still wet, so the bark was dark, and it looked like a completely different forest than the one from Hike 6.  The trails were wet and muddy, but passable.  Chewy the dog and I were covered in mud after four miles, but it was worth it.  It is no surprise that getting out on the trail makes me feel invigorated and Hike 7 was no exception.  I can't wait to get out again for Hike 8 on Saturday and maybe even a Hike 9 on Sunday if there is time.  I hate being behind, but at least my excitement is renewed.  My  hope is that the weather cooperates and that you all have happy trail ahead!

#hike6 - Cedar Ridge Preserve

Date: February 10, 2018

Location: Cedar Ridge Preserve - Dallas, Texas

Distance: 6 miles

Trails: Cattail Pond to Cedar Brake to Cattail Pond to Fossil Valley to Trout Lily to Fossil Valley to Cattail Pond to Cedar Brake (here's a map)

It was a surprisingly cold morning and I was running way later than I would have liked, but it turned out just fine.  I didn't quite expect it to be under 40 degrees when I left the house, but that's why I keep gloves in my daypack.  Chewy the dog prefers cooler temps, and I could tell bringing him wasn't going to be a mistake.


We arrived, deposited the $3 in the tube (always support your local parks if they ask for donations) and went to the trailhead sign.  Chewy, as usual, had to do his business right away which is fine because then I don't have to carry it.  If you're the type of person that doesn't pick up after your dog, or leaves bags tied to trees or on the side of the trail for later, you're not a nice person.  If you can't double bag it and put it in an outside mesh backpack pocket, inside your bag, or on your dog's harness, then don't bring your dog.  Please pick up, leave no trace that your dog did their business, and move along.


We took the main path down to the Cedar Brake trail and the first part is downhill, but almost immediately you go back up.  The first hill is a long, tall one, but not nearly as challenging as other along the way.  I've been doing pretty mild, yet long, hikes so the hills were a welcome change of pace.  The temps had dropped even more since starting, the wind was whipping through the bare trees, and I swear I saw a single snowflake hit my glasses.  We made our way back to the Cattail Pond, and I was debating if we were going to stick to the original plan of doubling back on the Cedar Brake trail or taking the easy, shorter way back to the car.  I ended up choosing the more challenging way back and I'm glad I did.  I was getting that "high" feeling from hills and those last two miles were all goofy smiles while my head emptied thoughts on the trail behind me.  Hills are good for the brain, too.


Things to Know about Cedar Ridge Preserve:

  • There are plenty of hills to tackle, but there are ways to go through without encountering any of the really strenuous ones - so if you're not up for the hills, you can still enjoy this lovely place.
  • Trail runners love this place, so be on the lookout for them.  We can all work together to share the trail, just use common sense.
  • The only trash can is at the main trailhead, so plan accordingly.  ALWAYS pack out your trash - including your dog's.
  • Getting there early is in your best interest on a normal day with normal temperatures.  There is a big parking area and several overflow areas.  I usually like to get there between 6:45-7:45.
  • The Cedar Brake trail will have the least road noise from neighboring freeways.
  • Check out the park website here and the trail profiles here for more planning resources.

This place has been one of my go-to locations when I can't get away from the metro area.  The trail vary in difficulty, the trees are a nice touch, and it's well maintained.  I highly recommend this to anyone - whether you're in town for a minute or live here - it's a great place to escape the concrete for a bit.  Happy hiking, see you on hike 7!