Eagle Mountain Park is located on the northwest side of Fort Worth and sits next to Eagle Mountain Lake. The park totals 400 acres and offers some of the best hiking in North Texas. The trail system consists of over 5 miles of trails. Hikers flock to this park for its diverse terrain, well-maintained trails, and abundant wildlife.
There are excellent views of the lake and the landscape is beautiful. The rolling hills are covered with tall oak trees and different types of shrubs. The lake and surrounding ecosystem support a wide range of birds and animals.
The Park’s Ranch History
Eagle Mountain Park was originally part of a cattle ranch back in the early 1900s. A few of the structures still remain, and most of them can be seen from the main parking lot. You’ll see a large windmill, a water tank, and small buildings that are over 100 years old.
Cattle were removed from the park decades ago. The landscape has now returned to its original condition when Indians used this area for hunting buffalo and other wild game.
About the Trail System
The trails are kept in excellent condition. Most of the trails are smooth and around 5 – 10 feet wide. There are even small bridges and rock-steps to cross over muddy places in the trail.
Each trailhead includes a posted trail map to point you in the right direction. During your hike, you’ll also see colored trail markers that verify what trail you’re on. The colors of the markers match up with the trail colors listed on the map.
The park staff has gone out of their way to make visitors feel comfortable. Park benches are located at scenic viewpoints, and picnic tables are available under shaded areas.
When you arrive at the park, you’ll pass through a large pavilion that includes display posters about local plants and wildlife. There’s a good chance you’ll see some of the birds and animals mentioned on the posters.
The animals in the park are not very afraid of humans. They will just keep their distance as you walk past them. During my hike, I was lucky enough to see an armadillo, a beaver, and some whitetail deer.
Trail Map of Eagle Mountain Park
Past the pavilion, there’s a large trail map to help you decide where you want to go. You can also download the official trail map from the park’s website. It’s the same map you’ll see posted inside the park.
I recommend printing a copy before hiking some of the longer trails. The maps posted along the trailheads are helpful. But some parts of the trail system run through dense woods with no view of the lake or other reference points. If you plan on hiking to the far ends of the park, it wouldn’t hurt to carry a map with you. That way you can always check how far you have to go.
Choosing a Trail
All visitors enter the trail system through the Main Park Trail. Once you’re on the trail, you basically have three options. You can take a quick hike down the Overlook Trail, continue down the Main Park Trail, or take an immediate right and head down the Northwest Trail.
Option #1: The Overlook Trail
Consider taking the Overlook Trail to get the “lay of the land.” It’s an easy hike and only 0.24 miles long.
At the end of the trail, there’s an overlook with some good views of Eagle Mountain Lake and surrounding hill country. The Overlook Trail is wide, completely flat, and wheelchair accessible.
Option #2: The Main Park Trail and Connecting Trails
The Main Park Trail is about 2 miles long and ventures into the largest area of the park. The trail descends towards the lake and connects with the Shoreline Trail and South Overlook Trail. These two trails create a loop with some fantastic views of the lake
To stay on the Main Park Trail, continue straight when you first enter the trail system near the parking lot. Keep left and continue past the exits for the Northwest Trail and the Overlook Trail.
The trail is a winding path that drops down in elevation. When you get close to Eagle Mountain Lake, the landscape becomes flatter and you’ll come across a park bench and trail map. There’s a detour to go check out the lake if you get anxious to see the water. Otherwise, continue hiking for another half-mile until you reach the fork for the Shoreline Trail.
The Shoreline Trail is 1.5 miles long and runs along the side of the lake. It’s a flat trail and a very peaceful hike. One side of the trail includes dense trees and shrubs. The other side of the trail offers fantastic views of the water. You can hear the waves crash against the shore and watch ducks and other wildlife go about their day.
At the furthest end of the trail, stop and rest at the picnic table under a giant live oak tree. This is one of the largest trees in the park.
Continuing on the loop, the Shoreline Trail ascends back up to the hills and connects to the South Overlook Trail. The trail is elevated and runs along the ridgeline for about a half-mile.
There’s a park bench near the trailhead that offers the best view of the lake. The viewpoint is clear of trees and shrubs and located at the highest point in the park. If you decide to venture this far inside the park, it’s definitely worth the hike.
Option #3: The Northwest Trail and Ridge Loop Trail
The Northwest Trail and Ridge Loop Trail is a great hike for first-time visitors who are looking for an easy hike down to Eagle Mountain Lake. Both trails have many twists and turns, and each trail is about a mile long. There is some elevation change, but the hike isn’t as strenuous as some parts of the Main Park Trail.
Not far from the Northwest trailhead, there’s a small footbridge bridge to cross before you head deeper into the woods. It’s features like this that make the trail fun and easy to hike.
Closer to the lake, you can walk down a short maintenance road and check out a small cove. The cove includes a boathouse used by the Texas Fish & Wildlife game wardens. The boathouse area is off-limits to the public, but many people get curious and want to see what’s down there. Here’s a photo of the boathouse:
There’s a rest area about halfway down the trail that includes a shaded picnic area. There’s also a small building with some portable restrooms. It’s a good opportunity to grab some shade and take a break if you need to.
The Northwest Trail eventually connects to the Ridge Loop trail. The Loop is an easy trail that runs alongside Eagle Mountain Lake. It winds through large oak trees and small hills, keeping you guessing what’s next around the corner.
Near the park border, the trail will cross a small bridge and then ascend back up the hillside. You’ll then discover more great views of the lake as you hike along the ridgeline.
The Loop eventually reconnects with the Northwest Trail and takes you back to the main parking lot of Eagle Mountain Park.
Know Before You Go
The park trails are limited to only hiking and trail running. Bikes, horses, and dogs are not allowed. Camping and campfires area also prohibited.
The park is not far from Fort Worth and receives a lot of visitors on the weekends. So get there early if you want to beat the crowd.
More Information About Eagle Mountain Park
|Address:||11601 Morris Dido Newark Rd.|
Fort Worth, TX 76179