Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nice Place to Run: Tandy Hills

Driving east from downtown Fort Worth, you may have noticed a swath of undeveloped land on the south side of I-30 between Beach and Oakland.  Most of that land is Tandy Hills Natural Area and I've found that it's a great place to run!  It may not look like much as you drive by, but its 160 natural acres have some really nice trails.

The Fort Worth Nature Center manages this land, and the Friends of Tandy Hills have been the park's greatest advocates.  They sponsor Prairie Fest every spring (with Brave Combo playing live!), publish a book of wildflowers at the park, and generally promote conservation and preservation of this Fort Worth gem.

The trails vary from wide and smooth to steep and rocky to narrow and overgrown to sketchy.  The terrain provides some short, challenging, ascents/descents.  There aren't too many flat stretches.  I'm not a trail running expert, but I was excited about the variety of trail types this little park took me through.  And though the park isn't huge, much of the time your vision is limited only to trees and trails and grass, so (if you can tune out the roar of traffic on I-30), it's very easy to imagine you are in the middle of nowhere, or, as the Friends of Tandy Hills want us to imagine, that we are in Fort Worth when it was open prairie, before it was settled.

The main entrance to the park is at the corner of View Street and Tandy, where there is a grassy area with paved walkways and benches.  This is the location of Prairie Fest.  I started near some picnic tables near the corner of Meadowbrook and Chelsea.  I ran down a sort of arm of the park, between two neighborhoods, then went on a sort of clockwise loop, with a couple of short out and backs as I explored other trails.  My total distance (per my Garmin) was 5.88 miles, and, aside from the out and backs, I did not repeat trails.  I could easily see doing a few loops here and not getting bored.

For me Tandy Hills's greatest asset is proximity to my home, just a few minutes' drive.  But for the quality and variety of trails, the seclusion it offers so close to the heart of the city, and the views of downtown Fort Worth, this park is worth a visit for any trail runner, casual hiker, or wildflower lover.


  1. Nice description of Tandy Hills. The place was deemed the Best Place to Stand in Tarrant County last year. You can read more at the Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area website:


    Please bring your friends to Prairie Fest on April 24.

  2. Thanks, Don. I went back today, and between the fact that I ran there (8 miles) instead of driving, and the mud from last night's rain, the trails kicked my butt. I plan to make TH a regular running spot. See you at Prairie Fest!