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Suburban Oasis – Arbor Hills

Blake+Roye+and+Nathan+Smernoff+are+avid+nature+goers%2C+scouring+the+Dallas+metroplex+for+the+perfect+park.
Blake Roye and Nathan Smernoff are avid nature goers, scouring the Dallas metroplex for the perfect park.

Blake Roye and Nathan Smernoff are avid nature goers, scouring the Dallas metroplex for the perfect park.

Blake Roye and Nathan Smernoff are avid nature goers, scouring the Dallas metroplex for the perfect park.

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An oasis is defined as a fertile spot in a desert where water is found. Many see Dallas and its surrounding suburbs as a desert where sand is replaced with concrete and oasis’ are replaced with parks and nature preserves. The water that we stumble across in our suburban desert is what helps quench the thirst that we accumulate as we trudge through our often monotonous lives, curing the dehydration and reconnecting us all with the landscape from which all that we see now sprouted from.

This series, Suburban Oasis, is designed to draw attention to various parks and preserves around the DFW area and encourage everyone to take advantage of these often overlooked areas.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is located about 15 minutes north of Carrollton. We visited the Preserve at mid-day this past weekend and the weather was spectacularly average in the best way possible. Sunny, but not broiling, and cool, but not chilly. The humidity was low enough so that the shade was refreshing, but it wasn’t so dry that your eyes felt they were about to fall out of your head.

The preserve encompasses three distinct ecoregions, each showcasing a unique view of natural Texas. Whether strolling through a flower filled meadow, or scrambling up a brief river bank, the Preserve, inadvertently or not, has done a fantastic job of collecting snapshots of natural Texas and packaging it into a digestible day trip.

If walking 6.6 miles of paved and unpaved trail doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider the 2.7 mile off road biking trail which is challenging enough to be quite the aerobic workout, but not technical enough to send you flying over the handlebars at every turn.

You can plan on making the outing a full day trip as there is ample picnic space for small or large groups, and even a large playground that anyone can enjoy (we are all children on the inside).

Don’t feel intimidated by this seemingly exotic preserve, though, as Arbor Hills is perfect for a light jog or trail run, and even a casual stroll to the Observation Tower that lies in the center of the park. If you are looking for an escape from our industrious surroundings, you don’t have to travel hours away to another city or state. The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve offers all the perks of a nature preserve, with all the convenience of a neighborhood suburban park. I wouldn’t hesitate though, as the weather is shaping up to be absolutely perfect for spending a little time outdoors.  

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