Why is it that we Texans have such a fascination with wildflowers? Maybe it’s that the rich reds of Indian paintbrushes, the deep blues of bluebonnets, and the clean whites of Texas prickly poppies remind us of our state and national colors. Maybe it’s that we appreciate the resiliency of a perennial plant that comes back to seed year after year, or perhaps, we just can’t resist the quintessential family photo sitting on every Texas mantle. (You know the one. It typically involves bluebonnets, white outfits and rolling hills.) Whatever the reason, we’ve picked some prime spots in Dallas-Fort Worth to enjoy the view.
The McInnish Park and Sports Complex
has thick fields of Texas’ state flower among its 220 acres. You’ll find plenty of parking and secluded areas to take photos.
2340 Sandy Lake Road, Carrollton; 972/466-3080
, which includes the A.W. Perry Homestead Museum
, has fields of wildflowers blooming all over its 13 acres. Different species of wildflowers can be found throughout late spring and early summer. The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and by appointment, but the park is open daily. Free to the public.
1508 N. Perry Road, Carrollton
Furneaux Creek Blue Trail -
Bike or take a stroll through the Furnneux Creek Blue Trail, running under the Josey bridge and along Josey Lane, and enjoy the view of beautiful wildflowers with your kiddos. The 4.25 mile trail goes through Peters Colony and ends at Hebron Parkway.
Cedar Hill State Park
has fields of bluebonnets in several areas throughout its 1,200 acres. Notable areas include the Penn Farm Agricultural History Center and the rolling hills just east of the park’s entrance on North Spine Road. Adult entrance is $7. Kids under 12 enter free.
1570 West FM 1382, Cedar Hill
On Spur 408, north of Interstate 20 before merging with Loop 12, you’ll find thick bluebonnet fields along the northbound side.
Enjoy free Saturday docent-guided bluebonnet tours from March 17 through June 2 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
. The 40-minute tours take you through the 14-acre park, with flourishing native grasses, tree-shaded lawns and wildflowers.
2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas; 214/346-1650
No list of wildflower sightings would be complete without the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails
. Drive more than 40 miles of mapped trails, as you thank your lucky stars for Texas wildflowers. Guided tours are available for $50, but sign up quickly, as they fill up fast. Get the most out of the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails by visiting during the Bluebonnet Festival April 20-22. You and your kids will enjoy arts and crafts, live band performances, a farmers market and much more.
204 W. Knox St., Ennis; 972/878-4748
From High Road, park the car and head down Lake Trail on foot. A small field far from busy roads can be found within a short walk of Grapevine Lake.
110 Fairway Dr., Grapevine; 817/251-2628
The Botanical Research Institute of Texas
is a wonderland for all plant lovers. Blooms of modest bluebonnet clusters and other wildflowers can be found throughout the campus. Free to the public.
1700 University Dr., Fort Worth; 817/332-4441
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
offers more than 20 miles of hikes complete with native flora and fauna. Bluebonnets, crow poison, many types of primroses and more can be found all over the grounds. Note that taking photos in the wildflowers is not permitted, so if you’re looking for a location for a family photo shoot, this isn’t it. Adult entrance is $5. Kids under 12 are $2. Kids under 3 are free.
9601 Fossil Ridge Rd., Fort Worth; 817/392-7410
612 E. Lamar Boulevard, Arlington
A rainbow of colors of wildflowers can be found at Tandy Hills Natural Area
. Over 600 native plant species grow here with dozens of wildflowers among them. Great photo spots can be found along the Sunset Trail and all along View Street. Free to the public.
3400 View St., Fort Worth; 817/731-2787
4646 South Country Club Rd., Garland; 972/205-2750
All along Las Colinas
Boulevard south of President George Bush Turnpike, you’ll find patch after patch of photo-worthy bluebonnets.
The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
has bluebonnets and other wildflowers blooming in scattered clusters all over its 289 acres. These smaller patches aren’t ideal for photos, but the other flora and fauna found at the Heard make this a worthwhile family adventure. Adult admission is $10. Child admission is $7. Kids under 2 enter free.
1 Nature Place, McKinney; 972/548-9119
Many places along the Bluebonnet Trail
, especially around Independence Parkway and Coit Road boast beautiful hues of blue.
Just east of North President George Bush Highway, around the intersection of Shiloh Road and Research Drive, you’ll find fields of bluebonnets amidst the retail business lots. Fields span from Lookout Drive to Breckinridge Boulevard.
Stay Courteous while Shooting
If you can name the State Flower of Texas without blinking an eye, chances are you’ve been taught that picking or taking photos in the floral beauties is illegal. But actually, no such law exists in the Lone Star State. Picking and taking photos in fields of wildflowers in Texas is discouraged, but not forbidden
, by the Texas Department of Transportation
. But that doesn’t mean you should go running amok when taking your next family photo.
- Step Softly: Fragile flowers can’t withstand stampedes year after year and continue to go to seed. Be careful where you step and avoid trampling, especially if you’re sporting the signature footwear of Texas: boots.
- Leave No Trace: Props for your family photo session may include anything from quilts to hair bows to Fido, but before you go, be sure to collect all props, trash and pet waste.
- Critter Caution: Don’t get so caught up in picture taking that you overlook fire ant mounds, rattlesnakes, bees or other crawling critters.
- No Picking: While picking bluebonnets is technically allowed, what would happen to these blue beauties if every family brought home a bouquet? Leave flowers where everyone can enjoy.
- No Trespassing: Thoroughly investigate your photo site beforehand for No Trespassing signs or other evidence of private property. When in doubt, find a different spot.
Article Credit: DFW Child Magazine