Great Texas Wildlife Trails

Fort Worth Wild Loop

Fort Worth Wild Loop map

Fort Worth Wild Loop mapTexas Wild! at the Fort Worth ZooFort Worth Forest ParkFort Worth Trinity ParkFort Worth Botanic GardensTanglewoodFoster Park

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More information:

  • Fort Worth CVB
    800-433-5747, www.fortworth.com

069.gif PPW-W 069 Texas Wild! At the Fort Worth Zoo

Site open for day use only. Fee charged.

From I 30 in Fort Worth, take Exit 12, University Drive. Go south on University for 0.8 miles to Colonial Parkway and turn left. Once you are on Colonial Parkway, follow the signs 0.5 miles to the Zoo.

Wildlife watchers from around the world know that Texas is filled with wildlife and wild places. The Fort Worth Zoo’s Texas Wild! exhibit highlights the best of these great wild places and species and adds a message on how we can keep Texas wild for future generations. Starting in a historic Texas town Texas Wild! introduces the visitor to all that Texas has to offer from the high plains to the gulf coast and all points in between. The exhibit hosts more than 300 wildlife species in state of the art displays that recreate each of Texas’s six key ecological zones. Visitors can explore caves filled with bats and rattlesnakes or crawl into an artificial log to get up close and personal with a North American Black Bear. Visitors can even touch marine creatures found along the gulf coast or get face to face with Roseate Spoonbills. Additional exhibits highlight Texas’ long established tie to the land and how careful management of these lands can lead to prosperity for both people and wildlife. Texas Wild! offers a glimpse of what the great state of Texas has to offer and makes it possible for visitors to see this massive state in less than a day. Be advised - this introduction could lead to a lifetime of wildlife watching in Texas.

Phone: 817-759-7555, www.fortworthzoo.org

070.gif PPW-W 070 Fort Worth Forest Park

Site open for day use only.

In Fort Worth, from I 30, take Exit 12/ University Drive. Go south on University for 0.8 miles to Colonial Parkway and turn left. Follow Colonial Parkway 0.3 miles into the park.

Surrounding the Fort Worth Zoo, Forest Park affords visitors with a little bit of wilderness along the Trinity River in downtown Fort Worth. The river attracts numerous Barn Swallows, Cliff Swallows and Purple Martins, which come to drink, therefore making the channel of the Trinity River a prominent spot to start searching for wildlife. Look to the banks for numerous Red-eared Sliders and Pallid Spiny Soft-shelled turtles, as well as dragonflies such as Black Saddlebags and Prince Baskettails. The open grassy areas of the park hold numerous Great-tailed Grackles and careful inspection can turn up Eastern Bluebirds. Once you’ve delved into the thick wooded areas that crisscross the park, typical woodland species can be found including Red-bellied and Downy woodpeckers, Carolina Wren, Blue Jays and some interesting migrants in spring and fall. While in the woods keep looking skyward for resident Red-shouldered Hawks hunting from above.

Phone: 817-871-PARK; 817-871-7698

071.gif PPW-W 071 Fort Worth Trinity Park

Site open for day use only.

From I 30 heading west in Fort Worth, take Exit 12/ University Drive. Turn right (north) and follow University Drive 0.1 miles to Trinity Park Dr. Turn right (east) on Trinity Park Dr. and follow it into the park.

Trinity Park lies just across the river from Forest Park, so here again the channel of the Trinity River is a big attraction. Check under the numerous area bridges for roosting Yellow-crowned Night Herons or the occasional Green Heron. Look to the bridges themselves to see Western Kingbirds and Purple Martins perched atop. The open fields of Trinity Park are filled with Eastern Fox Squirrels and the occasional Killdeer while the woods host many familiar eastern woodland species. Pay particular attention during spring and fall migration when almost anything could materialize. A long, thin pond lines the northern edge of the park entertains numerous Wood Ducks intermixed with feral mallards. This pond is also a favorite haunt of Red-eared Sliders, which can be approached quite closely for a good view.

Phone: 817-871-PARK; 817-871-7698

072.gif PPW-W 072 Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

Site open for day use only.

From I 30 heading west in Fort Worth, take Exit 12/ University Drive. Go north on University Drive to the two entrances on your left; the Garden Center is located at the second entrance after 0.4 miles.

The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens has over a hundred acres of woods and gardens filled with more than 2,500 species of native and exotic plants. Many bird species native to eastern North America can be seen here, including neotropical migrants in the spring and fall. What really make the Botanic Gardens stand out are the numerous streams and ponds scattered throughout. These water sources provide year round habitats for skulking Green Herons and basking Red-eared Sliders as well as an enormous variety of dragonflies and damselflies. Here the uncommon Neon Skimmer joins Blue Dashers and Common Whitetails. Powdered Dancers and Familiar Bluets can be seen alongside the striking red Desert Firetail. Careful inspection may turn up a resting Great Spreadwing, the largest damselfly in the United States. After seeing the Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens, be sure to visit the plantings at the far northern entrance on Conservatory Drive. These gardens feature native plant species which require limited water and maintenance. While exploring the gardens, look for Western Kingbirds overhead and Texas Crescent butterflies among the flowers. Red-tailed Hawks, Wild Turkeys, Foxes, Beaver and Armadillos are occasionally seen in the Gardens.

Phone: 817-871-7686, www.fwbg.org

073.gif PPW-W 073 Tanglewood

Site open for day use only.

From I 30 in southwest Fort Worth, take Exit 10 and go south on Hulen Road for 1.7 miles. Turn left on Hartwood, and proceed 0.3 miles to Pebblebrook Court. Turn right and note the park on the right as you follow Pebblebrook.

This urban park, although small, and its associated stream is bursting with wildlife and offers a perfect short break spot to stretch your legs and enjoy the wildlife or perhaps turn up some exciting warblers during migration. The creek itself holds Red-eared Sliders and Green Herons. Wood Duck can be found roosting quietly on fallen logs along the stream or using the numerous nest boxes found throughout the park. The skulking Yellow-billed Cuckoo whose insect-like call can regularly be heard in the park, joins familiar parkland birds such as Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays in summer. Another summer resident is the Great-crested Flycatcher, which is often to be found perched among the highest branches surveying the park and its visitors far below.

Phone: 817-871-PARK; 817-735-9560

074.gif PPW-W 074 Foster Park

Site open for day use only.

From I 820 in southwest Fort Worth, take Exit 434A/ Granbury Rd. Follow the access road 0.5 miles to South Dr. Turn right (east) on South Dr. and follow 1.0 mile to Foster Park.

Foster Park is another of Fort Worth’s green oases in the city. This park runs along a cat-tailed filled creek, which is crisscrossed by a paved walking trail. Numerous other trails branch off from the pavement making a large area of the park accessible to visitors. Search the park in spring and fall for neotropical migrants. Resident birds include Downy and Red-bellied woodpeckers and Carolina Wrens. In summer Yellow-billed Cuckoos and White-eyed Vireos join these denizens. While walking the trails remember to keep an eye out for Chimney Swifts or perhaps a White-winged Dove flying above. Careful inspecting of the creek can produce Green Heron or Red-eared Slider and perhaps a Common Snapping-turtle.

Phone: 817-871-PARK; 817-871-6763.


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