Turtle Creek Parks: What You’ll Find at these Hidden Dallas Gems

Dallas, TX has some amazing parks. You just have to know how to find them! And Turtle Creek Parks are definitely some of Dallas’ finest and may even be considered a hidden gem!

It only recently occurred to me that one reason why the Park Cities (Highland Park and University Park) are called the Park Cities is the incredible number of parks they feature. Totally unexpected in the heart of Dallas! But it’s true: as you drive along Turtle Creek, you’ll see a bunch of gorgeously green and very scenic parks.

​​Turtle Creek borders Uptown Dallas along the Katy Trail, and it runs longer than you would think. In fact, there are plenty of parks that take advantage of its pretty flowing water.

Located just north of Downtown Dallas and near the West Village area of Uptown, Turtle Creek Parks are great for joggers or visitors who love having a picturesque picnic in an open space.

Filled with green trees and lining a creek, you’ve got a great mix of water and nature in the second-oldest park in Dallas.

And since the creek runs down a long way, folks can get a nice long walk in!

However, it seems like every time we drive past the park area, they are basically empty. Practically begging us to take a stroll through their lush greenery!

If you’re looking for a green escape in a busy city that will provide you with a sense of place and peace, look no further.

Fun fact: these parks were even used by the Texas Rangers way back in 1837!

Map of the Turtle Creek Parks

Turtle Creek runs all the way from just north of Curtis Park, where it is surrounded by houses near Lovers Lane and Turtle Creek Blvd., down into the Trinity River.

There is one called Turtle Creek Park (the park’s name was formerly Oak Lawn Park, then Robert E Lee Park), which is one of the parks you’ll find along Turtle Creek.

But what most people consider to be the “Turtle Creek Parks,” and what I’m discussing in this post, is the walkable area that is linked by miles of accessible trails that run along Turtle Creek.

This starts at Lakeside Park (the Dallas Country Club is directly north of Lakeside, so we common folk are not allowed), and ends at Reverchon Park along Maple Avenue (if you go further South, the chain of parks ends for a while).

Here’s a map of what I’m talking about. I’ve also geo-tagged my favorite parks within Turtle Creeks Parks.

What to Expect at Turtle Creek Parks

  • You’ll find stone bridges, stone walkways, regular sidewalks, benches, and great views along Turtle Creek.
  • A creek view (of Turtle Creek, if that wasn’t clear!).
  • When you’re there, be sure to take in the beauty of these parks. We saw dozens of blue jays flying around and a cardinal too. Gorgeous birds, flowers, and trees seem to be everywhere! You may even spot wildlife around like raccoons, possums, egrets, squirrels, and of course – turtles!
  • Parking is easy along the edge of the parks. Guests may also get some free parking in the lots adjacent to them, or they can check out the area near the ball field and recreation center.
  • Some parks have a playground next to the scenic trails, like the playground next to Davis Park.
  • The parks along Turtle Creek are completely free to explore! However, to show your support, you may also consider donating to the Turtle Creek Conservancy for the park’s upkeep.

What to Bring

path under a bridge
As the trail heads south, you’ll see paths that run underneath bridges and streets, like this one.

You definitely don’t HAVE to bring anything.

Most of the time we just come here for a shady stroll when it’s hot out but we still want to be outside.

If you feel like spending more time here (or even for a short stay), here’s a list of fun things you can bring along:

  • Bring pets – like your dog
  • Bring a picnic – there are benches throughout
  • Water – stay hydrated, especially on sunny Texas days!
  • Bug spray – unfortunately, mosquitoes seem to love these parks too
  • Your significant other – these parks are dreamy and romantic!
  • Kids – there’s a playground nearby
  • Camera – these parks are perfect for photoshoots
  • There aren’t any restrooms, so bring an empty bladder!

My Three Favorite Parks within Turtle Creek Parks

Connor Park

Connor Park is the southernmost part of the Turtle Creek Park section in Highland Park.

My favorite feature here is the unique circular drain that has a cool waterfall effect! There are a couple of benches for lounging. We often see people fishing here.

Davis Park

Davis Park actually surrounds an offshoot of Turtle Creek that forks off between Wycliff and Armstrong Avenues.

If you’re looking for a peaceful section of the Turtle Creek parks, this one is for you.

There are beautiful stone pathways that are great for photoshoots!

Lakeside Park

Last but not least, my all-time favorite park is the northernmost area which is a part of Turtle Creek Park.

Here you’ll find the gorgeous Lakeside Park. It has been closed with the road next to it under construction, so check here for updates before you visit! At the time of writing, it is closed through Spring of 2024.

Once it reopens, you’ll see a lot more people here and for good reason – it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Lakeside Park in Highland Park is by far my favorite. With a gorgeous lake, bridge, landscaping, fountain, and falling water, it’s a sight to see.

Harrison actually proposed to me at Lakeside Park! So beyond being gorgeous, it also has sentimental value for me.

When you’re not walking on a perfectly manicured lawn or immaculate bridge, there are areas of the park that have a raw beauty that you wouldn’t believe.

Follow the dirt trail down into a thicket of trees and you’ll see what I mean.

If you go off the beaten path a bit, you’ll find a separate area where the dam spills lake water into a stream.

It’s a great fishing spot (or a wandering spot if you’re like me!). You can walk along a rock wall to discover all of the park’s hidden nooks and crannies.

This green wonderland is seriously breathtaking. Sometimes it’s hard to believe you’re still within the city center when you’re here! The canopy of trees surrounding the lake is so dense and rich that it feels like something out of a storybook.

My favorite features of Lakeside Park

Here’s one of our engagement photos at the Lakeside Park teddy bears right after Harrison proposed! As you can see, the bears are gigantic! Photo credit: Luke Rodgers.

Gigantic stone teddy bears? Check. Manmade waterfall? Check. Gorgeous bridge? Check. Lush greenery? Check. Lake? Check. Gorgeous flowers? Check. You get the picture.

There is a little waterfall/dam that flows into a quiet creek walled by rocks, a main lake surrounded by park benches, quaint garden areas, and gorgeous landscaping.

If you need a picnic spot, Lakeside Park has benches scattered throughout, and several different seating areas. No need to register anything – just take a spot and enjoy yourself!

And don’t be surprised to see plenty of professional photo shoots here. This place is prime for gorgeous picture backgrounds.

Lakeside Park is, in a word, picturesque. Come see for yourself. And bring your significant other while you’re at it! Great pictures are almost guaranteed!

Bonus: even more beauty surrounds these parks!

Oh, and while you’re here, check out the gorgeous houses in the area with equally gorgeous manicured lawns and landscaping.

Connor, Davis, and Lakeside Parks are in the heart of Highland Park, one of the prettiest and nicest neighborhoods in Texas. You’ll feel like royalty cruising down these streets.

Right nearby you’ll find what I deem the prettiest park in Dallas!

And for even more Dallas parks, check out my post on 6 parks in Dallas that will make you feel like you’re no longer in Dallas!

Let me know your favorite thing about Turtle Creek Parks in the comments section below!

Happy exploring,


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Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.
Jasmine Alley

Jasmine Alley

I'm a Dallas-based, full-time travel blogger with a serious case of wanderlust! Through my website and Instagram, I hope to help others plan picture-perfect trips to the most beautiful places in the world! When I travel, I like to emphasize nature, hidden gems, and unique places.

11 Responses

  1. I would love to visit this area of the park with my family. Can you give me a cross street to get to this area. I cannot walk too far.

  2. I would love to visit this area of Turtle Creek, but I cannot walk far. Can you give me more specific information on how to get to the are with the stairs in your photo? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jan! This is Davis Park, and I believe we parked on Drexel Drive or somewhere near the Highland Drive/Drexel Drive intersection to get to those steps. I hope that helps!

  3. Jasmine, I am a recent fan of yours, and I found this piece particularly helpful today. Because of the amount of detail you included, we are out enjoying these beautiful parks today. Thank you!

  4. Hi Jasmine! I went to Flippen Park yesterday and it’s so pretty! But I didn’t find the circular drain in Connor Park. Would you mind telling me in which part of the park the drain is located? thank you so much

    1. Hi Edd!

      Off the top of my head, I don’t remember exactly which parks have picnic tables. The only one I do remember has picnic tables is Davis Park, specifically next to the playground by the Highland Park pool.

      I hope this helps!

  5. Hi Jasmine!
    I’ve been searching for the ideal location for my daughter’s prom pictures with her group and I think Lakeside Park will be perfect. Can you tell me where we can park and how long of a walk it is to the bridge, water feature, etc. that you posted? We will try to go down there ahead of time to check out the location. I don’t think the girls will appreciate a long walk in their prom dresses and heels in the middle of May. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cynthia! Unfortunately, Lakeside Park is closed right now due to construction! They said they would reopen in the spring but according to their construction updates, I don’t see a new estimate for when they will re-open! Hopefully, it will be done by mid-May, but no guarantees!

      However, if it is open then, you can park right on the street next to Lakeside Park and there is practically no walk to the bridge or the teddy bears- it’s all very close by to the street parking.

      Hope that helps!

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Hi, I’m Jasmine! I’m a nature-obsessed, beauty-finding, Jesus-loving dreamer with a serious case of wanderlust. I love to create photo-worthy travel content and hope to fill your travel plans with incredible beauty and breathtaking views! Thanks for following along on my adventures!

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