For many, the crisp fall air (it’s really coming, right?) means football, pumpkin spice lattes, and breaking out the leggings and UGGs. While I love all those things, what excites me most about sweater weather is dusting off my jogging stroller (banished to the garage during summer months) because it’s running weather!
Whether you run, jog or walk, ’tis the season for getting outdoors and breaking a light sweat without risk of heat stroke.
The perks? Mama gets an hour of free exercise without needing childcare, baby gets a change of scenery, and on perfectly well-timed days we both get 30-60 minutes of silence. So buckle that baby in, throw on your sneakers, and head to one of my favorite stroller-friendly running spots in our great city.
My neighborhood I don’t just mean my literal neighborhood. There are so many beautiful neighborhoods in this city and what a great way to actually explore and experience them! As someone fairly new to Dallas, one of my favorite things to do is park my car at a neighborhood playground/park and combine a run through the neighborhood streets with playground time for my little one. You can look for running routes in the area on Map my Run or do a simple “out and back” route to minimize risk of getting lost. Tip: Scope the area ahead of time from your car to avoid streets with construction or missing sidewalks.
Katy Trail :: While this 3.5 mile trail is no stranger to safety concerns that foster some hypervigilance on my part, to me this is the quintessential big-city hike and bike trail. The mileage is perfectly marked, there are water fountains and pedestrian only “lanes” at several points on the trail, and it’s hands down my favorite place to people watch and eavesdrop.
Tip :: The best parking is off of Knox.
If your passenger is still awake after your jaunt, head over to the Highland Park Soda Fountain for lunch. You definitely deserve a grilled cheese and chocolate malt combo after burning all those calories on the trail, and this spot is activewear friendly and full of kids during lunch.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve :: Who would have thought that the most beautiful multi-eco system nature trail is just a couple of miles west of the tollway in Plano? This place is a gem and perfect for some serious outdoor time.
There are several looping routes to choose, the biggest at almost 3 miles. Be prepared to see some wildlife and snap photos with idyllic backdrops! This trail is perfect for feeling like you are quietly strolling through the woods, but with enough people around to make you feel safer.
Tip: There is a great playground at the trail head and oodles of picnic space. Pack a lunch and make an outing of it.
White Rock Lake :: At almost 10 miles, this trail is breathtakingly beautiful and has a plethora of routes options and parking spots. Postcard perfect skyline scenes, sailboats, turtles, ducks and benches and stopping points to take a break, administer snacks, or just savor the views.
Thinking about a bike ride or an extra long run? This trail also meets the White Rock Creek trail (7.3 miles), making a 24 mile round trip and you my hero.
Tip :: This trail runs along the backside of the Dallas Arboretum, perfect for a pre-run visit to get the kiddo tired and ready for a stroller nap.
NorthHaven Trail :: Loaded with amenities, this neighborhood trail in North Dallas beautifies the electrical power line easement along it’s 2.5 miles. Drinking fountains and misting stations for hot days, a bike repair station, and cute rest areas to stop and take a breather.
Tip :: Call in and grab lunch from Cindi’s Deli (at the eastbound end of the trail) and you are picnic ready!