I believe it was Gandalf who said it best when he said, “You don’t need to travel to go on an adventure.” Or maybe that was Bilbo who was saying that to Gandalf, and then Gandalf was the one saying, “If you don’t go anywhere, then you’ll never experience adventure,”…or something like that.

If you don’t live near Garland, or if you do and you’re in need of an adventure, my little Halflings, you’re close to it.

Going outdoors, even just outside your house for a few hours of sunshine and walking around, is epic. It’s even more epic if you live in Garland, especially if you love walking a little further from The Shire. OK, last LOTR reference. Garland outdoors is an epic quest!

Make your mark epic by stepping outside and exploring all that Garland has to offer.

Garland Vibe: Playful & Unexpected

That probably describes you, too. It definitely describes Garland. Here, you’ll find an eclectic mix of neighbors, entrepreneurs, and hobbyists with an adventurous spirit. Many a Garlander (if that’s not a thing, that should be a thing) has echoed this sentiment, that the vibrancy of the community is the direct result of passionate people from all walks of life. And they made their mark in Garland, expectedly or unexpectedly.

Lake Ray Hubbard, the crown recreational jewel of Garland.Courtesy of City of Garland

The Lake (Emphasis on “The”)

The lake that many people think of when they think of North Texas. The crown recreational jewel of Garland, Lake Ray Hubbard, is a 22,000-acre lake that calls to one and all with a simple message: relax, unwind, or tear me up with boats and Jet Skis! Or maybe beachside is more your thing, with fishing rods and an iced-down cooler. How to get to this oasis? From almost any point in Dallas, you’ll arrive at the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard in about 20 minutes. From boating, waterskiing, and fishing to sailing and windsurfing, Lake Ray Hubbard redefines relaxation. Access the lake via Bass Pro Shops docks or through the Chaha Ramp at John Paul Jones Park.

Trails & Preserves

Maybe you want to make your mark more than epic by embarking on a quest, like traversing through forests and all! Spring Creek Forest Preserve is a hidden gem in Garland for outdoor recreation, offering a place for artistic contemplation, idea sharing, and taking in the natural beauty of the largely untouched flora and fauna. Don’t forget to watch out for relic timbers (100- to 300-year-old Chinquapin, Bur, and Shumard Oaks), and the 650+ species of plants and animals. Serious nature nerds are welcome because this park is a nature lover’s dream. Choose between paved trails through those towering, ancient trees, or the unpaved interpretive nature trail at Spring Creek Park Preserve. Alternatively, the Duck Creek Greenbelt boasts a 5.7-mile paved trail along the beautiful banks of Duck Creek providing a serene setting right in the heart of Garland.

Take the natural beauty of Garland’s multiple nature preserves.Courtesy of City of Garland

Finally, for a truly special outdoors experience, you can visit Rowlett Creek Preserve. Particularly inviting for hikers and off-road bikers, the area spans 16 miles of multi-use trails! Wind through creeks, woods, and open areas as you explore the various trails and loops. Rowlett Creek Preserve features a gazebo, picnic area with grill, and multi-use trail that is 15.6 miles long and constructed on a stacked loop system that allows trail users to create their own paths.

Parks Galore!

Garland has more than 60 parks and greenbelts from which to choose, and you can always find one that best suits your mood. Looking for an activity? Want to enjoy a picnic-packed third breakfast? Or what about disc golf? Disc golf is enjoyed by hundreds of residents and visitors each year at Audubon Park, featuring an 18-hole disc golf course, home to many a tournament.

Disc golf is enjoyed by hundreds each year at Audubon Park.Courtesy of City of Garland

Looking for that small-town America experience when you step outdoors? Check out vintage Central Park, designated a Lone Star Legacy Park by the Texas Recreation and Park Society in 2013. It’s an iconic park in the Dallas area, and in the state, for those who visit, play, and rest on its grounds. For more than a century, it has been used as Garland’s common green park, recreational area, and community space. Plenty of Little League athletes, weekend warriors, and families celebrating special milestones have made their mark through the years at Central Park.

Here, you’ll also find Garland’s first dog park at 901 S. Glenbrook. The three-acre, off-leash park project is a perfect way for you and your best friend to spend a lazy Sunday. The dog park features three rotating dog paddocks with double-entry gates and a six-foot-high fence, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, while the other paddock rotates, allowing the area to rest and for general maintenance. Magnetic locks on the gates will provide security when the paddocks are closed. The City of Garland has ensured comfort and convenience with drinking fountains, large pavilions for shade, plenty of seating and lighting, and expansive green spaces where you and your furry sidekick can stretch your legs.

For a complete list of Garland parks, visit GarlandParks.com.

Experience a day you won’t forget at Firewheel Golf Park.Courtesy of City of Garland

Get on the Green!

A day on the course is always a hit. Whether you’re an avid golfer ready to play a round or a novice player looking to hit a bucket of balls, you’ll experience a day you won’t forget at Firewheel Golf Park. The park contains 63 holes of championship-caliber golf, including three regulation courses in designs that challenge and delight.

Whatever outdoor recreation you are craving, Garland has it. Visit MakeYourMarkGarland.com and search “See & Do” and “Outdoor Adventures” to plan your escape.

See you around, fellow traveler.