Monday, March 27, 2023

Grab Your Hiking Boots and Join Us on the Trails!

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is Southlake’s hidden gem. With over 20 miles of trails and an award-winning pre-school, there’s no better place to enjoy an early morning stroll.

The Nature Center is not only a paradise for our littlest Dragons, however. Our dedicated Nature Center Staff works hard to make the Bob Jones Nature Center an oasis the entire community can enjoy. This month’s free Adult Outdoor Education class is one you don’t want to miss!

Join local naturalist, Dr. Ray Chancellor, for a morning hike on the Preserve trails! With access to more than 700 acres of natural Cross Timbers habitat, exploring the Preserve is one of the best ways to unplug and connect with nature. Dr. Chancellor will focus on the flora and fauna found throughout the BJNCP trails. Get in a peaceful workout while learning something new at the same time!

Participants should remember to bring a water bottle, dress for the weather, and wear suitable shoes for uneven and possibly muddy terrain. Binoculars are a great way to enhance this class but are not required.

Are you ready to get your nature on? Register today!


Fit City Challenge: Have you Walked These Trails?

Hey there, Team Southlake! We have two more weeks left of the Fit City Challenge, and it’s coming down to the wire! Every minute matters to help us claim the gold.

There’s no shortage of ways to get active in Southlake, from our world-class sports fields to our state-of-the-art recreation facility, The Marq. This post is for those that want to get off the beaten path and try something new.

With over 1,100 acres of parks, open space, and various miles of pathways, there’s a trail in Southlake for everyone. Consider taking the path less traveled this week as you look for ways to get your 45 minutes in.

Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve
True outdoor enthusiasts know that there’s no better place to hike in Southlake than at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. Explore the beauty of the Cross Timbers ecosystem as you traverse over 20 miles of hiking trails! The White-Tailed Deer Trail offers a mild, .25-mile walk along the Nature Center property for novice hikers. The Bluebird Trail is perfect for hikers of all ages and experiences. This gorgeous .75-mile trek takes you further into the preserve while still being mild enough for children to enjoy. The 1.75-mile round trip hike to the lake is a perfect way to spend the morning for more adventurous wanderers. Those looking for a true challenge can use the Nature Center as the entry point to miles of the Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ land. Always stay on the trails and follow the arrows when you are out on the preserve.

Bicentennial Park
Everyone knows Bicentennial Park is home to various sports such as Baseball and Tennis, but it’s also a lovely place for a walk! Grab a friend and walk the perimeter of the park. Stop to admire the gazebo at The Liberty Gardens and say hello to the Pioneer Woman near the Log Cabin. Walk along the pond and cross the bridge over by the Aria Amphitheater for some gorgeous views of The Marq.

Bob Jones Park
Grab your four-legged friend and head on over to Bob Jones Park for a brisk walk along the trails of this impressive park. Take a picture with the Bob and Almeady Jones statue, and then let your pup loose inside of Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park. Check out the Southlake Sister Cities’ Painted Rock Trail to find a lovely surprise. Bring your supplies and leave a rock of your own!

Chesapeake Park
If you’re on the southwest side of Southlake, then take advantage of the picturesque trails along the pond at Chesapeake Park. Take the entire family and top off your visit by playing at the playground!

Liberty Park
Northern Southlakers know that Liberty Park at Sheltonwood provides top-notch walking trails off the beaten path. Liberty Park’s multi-use trail system is more expansive than you may think, boasting 17 acres of parkland.

How about it, Team Southlake? Have you walked these trails yet? Let’s make every minute count!



Leaf Your Worries Behind and Take a Hike at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve

Spring is almost here, and that means hiking season is upon us!

There’s no better way to connect with nature than to disconnect from the screens and get outside! With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to forget about the benefits of going outdoors and exploring. Luckily for us in Southlake, the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is the perfect spot to leaf all your worries behind and take a hike!

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve provides a sanctuary for humans and wildlife to reconnect with nature away from the urban DFW metroplex. The Preserve, which features 758 acres of Cross Timbers ecosystem, is home to about 700 identified species of plants and animals!

The Bob Jones Nature Center provides over 20 miles of hiking trails to explore for those who are looking to escape into nature. Follow the Bluebird Trail surrounding the Nature Center for a short and sweet retreat, or challenge yourself to complete the expansive Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail. Wherever your adventures take you, you’re sure to run into fellow nature-lovers such as birds, squirrels, and maybe even deer!

If you’re new to hiking and not sure where to start, never fear! We’ve compiled a list of hiking tips to make sure your first excursion to the Preserve is a life-long positive memory.

Leave no Trace

One of the most critical tenets of hiking is to leave no trace. Preserving the land and protecting the wildlife that inhabits it is necessary to be a good steward of the land. Staying on designated trails, not disturbing plants and animals, and not littering are all characteristics of a good steward of the land.

Pick the Right Trail

Hiking can be the best adventure, but it’s imperative to pick the adequate trail for your experience level. It can be easy to get lost, so make sure you stick to the path, read signage, and let a friend know where you are going. Better yet, go in a group!

Be Prepared

Make sure to dress in light, moisture-absorbing layers. Long sleeves and pants are best for protecting against the sun and elements. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Make sure to wear comfortable closed-toed shoes to support your feet, and drink plenty of water.

Have fun

Hiking is all about reconnecting with nature and with yourself. The Bob Jones Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs for all ages if you are interested in learning more about the Cross Timbers natural habitat. Be on the lookout for exciting hiking opportunities coming up next month! See you on the trails!

Bob Jones Nature Center Offers Free Guided Bird Walks

The Bob Jones Nature Center is offering free guided bird walks throughout the fall, beginning this weekend. Naturalist Ray Chancellor will guide the fall morning walks and educate participants about the changing bird species through the fall season within the Bob Jones Nature Preserve.

Chancellor will teach both beginning and experienced birders of all ages how to find and identify the migrating and wintering species that visit the local ecosystem.  The ecology, including the flora and fauna, and the role of habitat in finding birds will be emphasized.  Birders should make sure to bring binoculars.

The times and dates for these guided walks are:

Time:  8:30 to 9:30 am
Dates:  August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, & December 26, 2013
Starting Location:  BJNC Parking Lot
Ages: All ages are welcome
Degree of Difficulty:  Casual walking on flat trail
Cost:  Free

For more information regarding this event visit the Bob Jones Nature Center website.

We're W.O.W. (Wild Over Winter) at the Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve

Is January too chilly to visit the Dallas Zoo? No worries! The Zoo is coming to Southlake! On Sunday, January 20, 2013 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm the Dallas Zoo is bringing a winter travel team to share how animals near and far adapt to winter. Though subject to change, the scheduled team includes a penguin, alligator, beaver, chinchilla, and Eurasian eagle owl.

Reservation is needed, and the event is limited to the first 60 registrants. The cost for Members and their family members is $5 per person or $10 per person for Non-members. Non-members can join BJNC and receive the member discount. To join as a member, click here. To register for this exciting and educational event, click here.

For more information, contact or call 817.491.6333.


In other BJNC news:

Presented by the Southlake Ornithological Society:  Join Dr. Ray Chancellor as he leads a variety of bird hikes throughout the Southlake Cove Ecosystem. Upcoming hike dates:

– January 19

– January 20

– January 27

Learn more here.

Charlie’s Special Compost is Currently Available: Limited quantities of compost specially made at the Preserve are now in the Gift Shop. $6 / bag – first come, first serve!

Compost Workshop: Join Charlie Shiner, Master Composter, to learn the best compost you have ever seen! Wednesday, January 16. Learn more here.