The Trinity River Audubon Center preserves a portion of what is the longest river entirely within Texas
The Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas preserves a portion of what is the longest river entirely within the state. Despite being channelized and dammed along much of its course, sections of the Trinity River through Dallas have been set aside as the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest, the largest urban hardwood forest in the U.S.
Eight miles south of downtown the river winds through the 120-acre Audubon preserve. Volunteers who work at the center routinely spot 30 or more kinds of birds. During the weekdays, groups of children march along the trails like giant caterpillars in the outdoor classroom.
Opened in 2008, the center reclaimed an illegal dump site on the river bank which is now a meadow full of wildflowers and butterflies. The discovery room of the center has hands-on activities that illustrate the ecosystem and wildlife of the river. Docents bring around corn snakes and red-eared turtles for visitors to pet.
The well-trampled trails honeycombing the property are gateways to the heart of the preserve. The pathways meander across meadows, under the forest canopy, and on boardwalks over wetlands. It's an emerald jewel surrounded by the concrete jungle.
The Trinity River Audubon Center is two miles off of I-45 on Loop 12 in south Dallas. For more information on programs and tours, visit www.trinityriveraudubon.org or call 214/370-9735.
1,083th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.