There is no fee for reservations or trail entry, but we ask that all visitors consider making a donation to support keeping our sanctuary open and the maintenance of our trails. Donations may be made in person (cash) or at the same time as making your online reservation.
- REGULAR HOURS: We are typically open Wednesday to Saturday from 9:00a-4:00p, with last trail entry at 3:00p. Trails close (and access gates are locked) at 4:00p.
- HEAT ADVISORY: If there is an active Heat Advisory or Extreme Heat Warning issued by the National Weather Service, we will close trails early at NOON. On these days, last trail entry is at 11:30a. The gift shop, Nature Play, restrooms, and water fountains will continue to be open until 4:00p.
- EXCESS PRECIPITATION: If we have experienced heavy precipitation and the trails are muddy, we will close the trails in order to prevent erosion and manage our expenses. The gift shop, Nature Play, restrooms, and water fountains will be open during regular hours (Wed-Sat 9a-4p).
- HOLIDAYS & DAYS OF RECUPERATION: We are closed Sunday-Tuesday and most holidays.
We lock the gate to the circle parking lot when we close. The gravel lot closer to FM 1382 does not have access restrictions and is shared by our visitors, and users of the Balcones Trail (multi-use concrete trail along FM 1382) and Cedar Mountain Preserve.
The stated Restrictions below apply to all visitors. By accessing our property, you agree to the Restrictions below.
We cannot guarantee entry for walk-ups, especially on busy days with nice weather, but will accommodate when possible. Online reservations are highly recommended, especially for Saturdays.
Please keep in mind that Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is private property. Failure to observe the stated Restrictions may result in visitors being asked to leave the property and/or may force closure of the trails.
CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO OUR RESTRICTIONS AS OF JULY 11, 2022. PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY!
Important information for your visit regarding masks, parking, restrooms, pets, and more.
As a result of the ticketing system that was put in place to help manage safety during the pandemic, our visitors have expressed appreciation for the sanctuary environment. A positive side effect of managing visitor capacity during the pandemic is a quieter, less crowded preserve that provides a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of nearby city life which in turn, benefits wildlife also. In the Cedar Hill greenspace area, Dogwood Canyon is currently the only preserve that offers free hiking trails managed for peaceful enjoyment by limiting the number of hikers allowed within the preserve at any given time.
By reserving a ticket, you agree to the following rules and state that you understand the following changes to our property and previous operating procedures.
Please keep in mind that while Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is a non-profit conservation organization, it is still a business and is private property. Failure to comply with these restrictions may result in visitors being asked to leave the property.
1. MAPS: We have added an additional mile of trail deeper into the canyon for a total of more than three miles of hiking opportunity. Paper trail maps are not available during the pandemic; however signage has been placed along our newest trail to aid in navigation. A downloadable version of our most recent trail map is available at https://dogwood.audubon.org/sites/default/files/static_pages/attachments/20160317162653057.pdf. An updated trail map, including the new trail, will be available online in the near future.
2. WEATHER CLOSINGS: If there is an active Heat Advisory or Extreme Heat Warning issued by the National Weather Service, we will close trails early at NOON. On these days, last trail entry is at 11:30a. The gift shop, Nature Play, restrooms, and water fountains will continue to be open until 4:00p. In the event of severe weather or excessive precipitation resulting in muddy trails, trails will be closed to prevent erosion. Please provide an e-mail address that you check often when making your reservation so that you will receive notification of tickets canceled due to trail conditions, or for any other reason.
3. PETS: To protect the preserve and its wildlife, and in maintaining the property as a unique and peaceful sanctuary within the Cedar Hill nature corridor, pets are not permitted on the Dogwood Canyon property, including the hiking trails. Please see below for nearby trails open to dogs. Trained service dogs are welcome. Emotional support and companion animals do not meet the definition of a service animal and do not have the same access rights. Required proof of service dog status includes service dog ID card, service dog vest, harness, and/or tags, or credible verbal statement.
Nearby trails open to dogs: The Balcones Trail (concrete multi-use trail along FM 1382) is acceptable for dogs. Cedar Ridge Preserve also permits dogs on its trails when open--check their Facebook page for hours and closures.
4. CHECK-IN: Your reservation only permits entry to the hiking trails. Upon arrival, check-in at the window near the gift shop desk (in the breezeway), or inside the gift shop. Visitors must arrive and check-in at the center during the reserved timeslot. No substitutions will be made at the center. No late check-ins will be permitted. Once you have arrived and checked-in, you may remain on the trails until that day's closing time. The reserved timeslot is only restricting entry time, not the amount of time you may spend on the trail.
5. PARKING: We share the parking lot with the Balcones Trail, which can frequently be full. When it is possible to safely carpool, please do so.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
Please note that if you park inside the circle parking lot (inside the gates), the gate will be closed and locked at closing time. All non-staff vehicles must exit the circle parking lot by the stated closing time.
6. TICKETS: Your group size is limited by the number of tickets available during your desired entry time. We are unable to increase the number of available tickets and will not grant entry to anyone who does not have a ticket, unless we have openings for walk-ups that day.
7. KEEP IT CLEAN: Leave No Trace Principles must be followed while on Dogwood Canyon property. Pack out what you pack in. Leave nothing but footprints. Learn more about the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace and outdoor ethics at https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/.
8. PERSONAL SAFETY: Please be mindful of your personal health and safety, especially during extreme temperatures. Bring sufficient water for your hike and dress appropriately. Do not access trails when it is not safe to do so based on your personal health, weather, and other relevant factors.
If you experience an emergency while on Audubon property, first call 911 and then call the center at (469) 526-1980 to alert us that emergency vehicles are expected.
9. COVID SAFETY: Anyone who is feeling unwell or who has had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should stay at home until the risk for the spread of infection has passed. However, no public activity can be 100 percent safe, even outdoors. By accessing any Audubon property, you accept the risk that you may come into contact with pathogens, including the COVID-19 virus. Older adults and people of any age with severe underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19.
10. RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By accessing our property, you agree that you and your guests are visiting Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center at your own risk and acknowledge that Audubon has made no warranty or representation, expressed or implied, regarding the safety of its property with respect to COVID-19 or other pathogens, trail conditions, including poison ivy and tripping hazards, or other natural hazards found on the trail. You and your guests expressly release and hold harmless Audubon and its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensees, successors and assigns from and for any and all claims, demands, actions and causes of action whatsoever for any loss, damage or injury to person or to property suffered or incurred in connection with visiting Audubon property. This release shall be binding upon you, your heirs, next of kin, executors, administrators and assigns.
THANK YOU for your adherence to these restrictions.
Any access to Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center without a reservation (or walk-up admittance) and in violation of these rules is considered criminal trespassing and may be prosecuted as such.
If you have questions, please contact us at 469-526-1980 or [email protected]