Elm Fork Nature Preserve

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click on photo for larger view 2335 Sandy Lake Road
(within McInnish Sports Complex)
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Phone 972-466-3080

Take Sandy Lake Road west from IH-35 approximately one mile to the McInnish Sports Complex entrance. Turn left into the complex and follow the road behind the sports fields to the Elm Fork Nature Preserve entrance on your right. Parking is approximately 100 yards to the left.

Trail Hours and Map

Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee to use the trails. Trail Map. 

Trail Maintenance

If you see something in the Elm Fork Nature Preserve that you believe needs some attention, please call 972-466-3080.

Safety - Venomous Snakes

Produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife, this information is good to know if you're walking around any place that is in a natural state such as rocky or grassy. Please click on this link to read the full article and view a short video.


The Elm Fork Nature Preserve was purchased as a woodright in 1861 by the Bramblitt Family. The land was never clear-cut and in 1986 the 40 acres were given to the City of Carrollton as a self-contained ecosystem, virtually undisturbed. Trails are open for hikes 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.

Nature Hike Tips

Dress according to the weather in comfortable clothing and long pants. No open-toed shoes. Bring insect repellent and bottled water to class. It is suggested that very young children bring a spare change of clothing.

Trail Etiquette

A nature preserve is a place where flora and fauna are protected. So, please, take only pictures and leave only footprints. Please stay on designated trails. Do not disturb any wildlife or pick any leaves, flowers or flora from the Preserve. Abide by rules and regulations posted at the entrance.

City ordinance prohibits bicycles, dogs, horses and motorized vehicles inside the Preserve.

Animal Assistance

If you find what you feel is an abandoned, injured or orphaned wild animal, please contact the City of Carrollton Animal Services at 972-466-3420 or access the DFW Wildlife Coalition.


Commonly seen animals and tracks at the Preserve are raccoons, fox squirrels, opossums, beavers, nine-banded armadillos, eastern cottontails and striped skunks. Commonly seen birds in the area are great blue herons, snowy egrets, white-throated sparrows, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, screech owls, woodpeckers, cardinals and much more.

Elm Fork Nature Preserve Biodiversity Inventory click to view larger photo of Elm Fork trailhead

Information documented by Wild Vision.

Photos from the Preserve

Butterfly Thumb Beatle Thumb Dragonfly Thumb Frog Thumb Hummingbird Thumb
Lizard Thumb Snake Thumb Planting Thumb Volunteers Thumb Plants Thumb

Dimension Tract

Located at 1199 Elm Park Drive, the Dimension Tract is a secluded thirty-eight acre parcel of undeveloped land along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The natural parkland features a 14-acre pond, 3.5 acres of wetlands, 9 acres of river bottom timber and a blanket of native vegetation on the remaining 11.5 acres. This property has a canoe and kayak launch on-site on the Trinity River.

This City-owned land has suffered through years of nuisance activities including illegal dumping, abandoned cars, and damage from four-wheelers that threatened the property. Now, through the City and regional government support and community involvement, it’s becoming a welcome haven for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts.

The Dimension Tract is a point of pride for the Carrollton community, and a valued site for regional recreation and environmental activities.

For additional information contact, 972-466-3080.

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