Saturday, September 23, 2023 Sep 23, 2023
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Nature & Environment

Where to Spot Bluebonnets in North Texas 

It's April, so you've got to get at least one photo of the state flower for your socials, right?
By Reagan Mathews |
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Laura W. Bush Native Texas Park. Andrew Kaufmann for the George W. Bush Presidential Center

It’s spring, which probably means your social feeds are flooded with perfectly posed bluebonnet photos: Your college roommate’s ’gram of their baby donning a seersucker onesie surrounded by blooms. A Facebook post of your childhood classmate’s dog romping through a Fredericksburg wildflower field (bonus points if they and their spouse, dressed in white shirts and blue jeans, are posing with the dog). And while all these snapshots might have you seriously debating a last-minute Hill Country road trip, there’s no need.  

Whether you are planning a proposal, taking family photos, or just looking to frolic in a field of flowers, there are plenty of spots around North Texas to get the perfect picture. The sturdy state flowers usually bloom from late March to early May, making this month the best time to stop and smell the bluebonnets.  

Here are some of the best places to see a sea of wildflowers this spring.  

Laura W. Bush Native Texas Park 

13 minutes from downtown Dallas 

Why drive out of town, when you can experience bluebonnets right in the middle of Dallas? Over at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum sits the Native Texas Park—15 acres of the state’s native environments, such as Blackland Prairie, Cross Timbers Forest, and Post Oak Savannah. In the spring, the wildflower field is full of bluebonnets, but you can spot other prairie plants like pink evening primroses, Indian blankets, and Englemann daisies. The Bush Center also has downloadable scavenger hunts in the spring and fall to encourage exploration and education around the park. 

Free. Open daily, sunrise to sunset. George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, 2943 SMU Blvd. georgewbushlibrary.gov 

 Samuell Farms Park 

32 minutes from downtown Dallas 

Donated to the City of Dallas by William Worthington Samuell in 1937, Samuell Farms Park is over 600 acres of Texas pastureland.  

The park is split by US Highway 80, with miles of hike and bike trails lined with wildflowers on either side. The southern half has a tractor-trailer entrance, two red barns, a windmill, a wishing well, and multiple picturesque bridges. It also has 2.5 miles of trails to discover the wildflowers.  

While the southern park might seem like the perfect snapshot for your family’s next holiday card, the north park is where you can find pastoral fields of bluebonnets along 1.5 miles of paved trails.  

Free. Open daily, 5 a.m.–11 p.m. Samuel Farms Park, 100 US Hwy 80. visitmesquitetx.com  

Plano Bluebonnet Trail Greenbelt  

30 minutes from downtown Dallas 

Stretching across Plano is a 10.9-mile trail of bluebonnets. Crossing both Dallas North Tollway and Central Expressway and connecting to several local parks and trails, like the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, the greenbelt has plenty of bluebonnet stops for your family photo op.  

Free. plano.gov 

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival   

35 minutes from downtown Dallas 

Each spring, the fields around Ennis are blanketed in bluebonnets. Each week, the Ennis Garden Club scopes out the 40-plus miles of wildflower trails to find the best blooms. Stop by the Ennis Welcome Center to see their maps, or download the Ennis, Y’all app, and celebrate the season downtown at the Bluebonnet Trails Festival April 14–16.  

Free. April 1–30, trails; $5 adults, free kids age 12 and under. April 14–16, festival. Ennis Welcome Center, 201 N.W. Main St., Ennis. bluebonnettrail.org  

Meadow View Nature Area 

43 minutes from downtown Dallas 

Formerly known as Bluebonnet City Park, this 39-acre swath of wildflowers sits on the northeast corner of Bardwell Lake. There are plenty of fishing and camping opportunities along the lake, but this plot of land is accessible only by foot 11 months out of the year. However, vehicles are allowed during April for Bluebonnet Trails.  

Free. Open daily, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Meadow View Nature Area, 1901 Laneview Dr., Ennis. Learn more here.

Dinosaur Valley State Park 

1.5 hours from downtown Dallas 

Just a short drive from Fort Worth, Dinosaur Valley is a land before time. The main attraction here is the 113-million-year-old dinosaur footprints preserved in limestone, but the wildflowers, too, are worth a trip. Follow the ancient Acrocanthosaurus footsteps to one of the 12 hiking trails and roam fields of native plants like bluebonnets, Mexican plum trees, and Indian paintbrushes. The state park has 1,578 acres of hiking, biking, swimming, and exploring to keep the whole family entertained all day. 

$8 adults, free kids age 12 and under. Open daily, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Dinosaur Valley State Park, 1629 Park Rd. 59, Glen Rose. tpwd.texas.gov 

Freeway Fields 

Bluebonnets thrive in degraded soils, making the space alongside highways a natural field of flowers. Since the 1930s, TxDOT has delayed mowing until after the spring and summer wildflower seasons were over to let the gorgeous natural Texas foliage flourish. The Texas Department of Transportation also buys and sows 30,000 pounds of wildflower seeds every year to contribute to wildlife habitats and control water usage.  

Be mindful of wildlife and critters—no wants a snake in their boot—if you pull over for a photo op. Here are some of the best stretches of highway to see the blooms this year. 

  • Highway 635 near DFW Airport 
  • I-35 between Lewisville and Denton 
  • Highway 114 near Trophy Club 
  • Zion Cemetary Hill along Noles Road 

For more North Texas spots, check out this list.  

Author

Reagan Mathews

Reagan Mathews

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