When it comes to parks, Fort Worth goes Lone Star big. The city boasts 263 parks covering 11,700 acres of parkland, including the largest refuge maintained by any U.S. city.

At the 109-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden, you’ll find more than 2,500 types of exotic and native plants, including a tropical plant conservatory, rose gardens, and walkways, as well as 21 world-renowned specialty gardens. Located on the property, the Japanese Gardens boast seven different crossings, three main pools filled with fish, a meditation garden, tea house, pagoda, and moon deck. Fun fact: The Japanese Gardens were constructed from an old gravel pit that was once used to build the streets of old Fort Worth, and its retaining walls were made from red granite that was leftover from the building of the Tarrant County Court House in 1894.

At the 3,621-acre Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, visitors can experience naturalist-led classes and hikes, daytime kayaking and nighttime canoeing, and bison-feeding hayrides, or simply hike along the 20 miles of trails. With 3,500-acres of sanctuary, it’s the largest municipally-owned facility of its kind in the nation.

Historic Burnett Park offers an outdoor escape located downtown in Burnett Plaza, while the Fort Worth Water Gardens offer a cool display designed by Phillip Johnson. In downtown, take a walk while learning about the city’s rich and vibrant history by following the Fort Worth Heritage Trails. Each location is indicated on the map found on the Heritage Trails website, fortworthheritagetrails.com. The banks of the Trinity River offer everything from fishing to stand-up paddleboarding. Other Fort Worth outdoor attractions you won’t want to miss include Trinity Park and NRH20 Family Water Park, open May to September.

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