Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is a hidden gem in Fort Worth, TX. This expansive wildlife reserve and natural area straddles the city's western edge and overflows with hundreds of flora and fauna in the region. The park encompasses more than 3,600 acres of pristine wilderness, and visitors can enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities while they observe native wildlife, hike nature trails, and so much more.

With its spectacular natural beauty and unique habitats, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is an exceptional destination for nature lovers, hikers, and bird watchers. At Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, you can escape from the city and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.


The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge was established in 1964, which is one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States, with over 3,600 acres of pristine wilderness to explore. The land where the refuge was established was previously part of a large cattle ranch owned by Arthur Huntington, who acquired the property in the early 1900s. After his death, the land was donated to the Fort Worth School District and was eventually acquired by the City of Fort Worth in 1964.

The refuge has undergone numerous restorations and improvements throughout its history, ensuring that the natural environment remains protected and pristine. In addition to its vast natural beauty, the Park has now been transformed into a leading outdoor education center, offering a wide range of educational programs, guided hikes, and camps to visitors of all age groups.

Today, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is an indispensable part of the Fort Worth community, providing a much-needed retreat for nature lovers, students, and anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Texas.


The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge in Fort Worth, Texas, has many amenities and facilities. Here are some of the amenities visitors can expect at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge:

  • Hiking Trails: The center has over 20 miles of hiking trails that wind through the 3,600-acre refuge, allowing you to explore the park's diverse ecosystems and wildlife.
  • Picnic Areas: The refuge has several designated picnic areas where visitors can take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch while enjoying the park's beauty.
  • Guided Tours and Programs: Visitors can attend various guided tours and programs available, including wildlife/birdwatching tours, natural history programs or workshops, and educational outreach programs.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking: Through the marshes, hardwood forests, and open water, visitors can paddle through the park's aquatic environments, perhaps spotting turtles, fish, and egrets.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The park is home to over 300 species of birds and numerous other animals, including bison and deer. You can enjoy a leisurely walk through the park or visit one of the many birdwatching areas to glimpse these beautiful creatures.
  • Gift Shop: The on-site gift shop offers a range of nature-related books, toys, and souvenirs you can buy and take home as a token from the park.
  • Campsites and Lodging: The refuge offers campsites to spend a night or two immersed in nature, offering backcountry primitive camping and RV locations. In addition, the nearby town of Fort Worth has various lodging options that visitors can explore.

Overall, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is an exceptional location for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and outdoor lovers looking to experience the beauty of Texas. With its diverse ecosystems, wildlife, hiking trails, and ample facilities, it's the perfect place to spend a day, weekend, or several days exploring all the area has to offer.

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