Running & Hiking in Mansfield
Fresh air in your lungs, chasing that PR; running, jogging and hiking are some of the best forms of exercise for any age or fitness level. And best of all, they’re free! Go for a run in some of our gorgeous parks and take advantage of the free open-air “gym” just waiting outside your front door.
Walnut Creek Linear Trail
The Walnut Creek Linear Trail is by far the most popular destination for runners in Mansfield. The trail heads stretch from Town Park to James McKnight Park West, providing two miles of 12-foot wide, lighted concrete trails with tons of trees for ample year-round shade. The trail connects five parks, giving you plenty of on and off-ramps for looping a route, using the restroom or just taking a break to enjoy the scenery. Walnut Creek Linear Trail expansions are currently underway or in development; check the park projects page for detailed descriptions of future phases and timelines.
5ks and Beyond
Mansfield Parks & Rec hosts the Snowman Run 5k in January, Barks & Rec 5k in April and Sugar Rush 5k in June as part of their Run Mansfield series. Find out more about each of those races in our special events section.
The City of Mansfield is also proud to sponsor Methodist Hospital’s annual Run with Heart, a 5k/10k/Half Marathon held each January. For other races and events, check local race club listings like Run Dallas or contact the MAC for information about runs being hosted in Mansfield parks.
For pint-sizes athletes, Mansfield Parks & Rec hosts two triathlon events just for kids.
In April, the Super Awesome Amazing Incredible Fantastic Tiny Tri is a micro-version of a triathlon for kids ages 0-6. For bikes, they ride whatever wheels they have; scooter, trike, even a stroller! Then they run, walk or toddle the remaining loop until “swimming” in the water slide. It’s a great way to introduce fitness as fun!
In July, the Red, White & Rockin Kids Tri is for serious junior competitors ages 6-15Y. The unique race starts with a swim in the lazy river at Hawaiian Falls, then biking through the neighborhoods of Mansfield National Golf Course followed by running the bases of Big League Dreams Sportspark.
Distances are age-appropriate and medals are given in each age group, with race bags for everyone. The Rockin Tri is part of the USATri Kids’ Texas series and draws miniature pros from across the country.
Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park is a serene, quiet oasis in the city, with 80 acres of natural beauty left largely undeveloped. Oliver’s trail route is entirely decomposed granite, popular among many runners and hikers who prefer the softer surface. ONP trails are great for an afternoon hike and were designed for broad use by visitors of all ages. They offer enough distance and a few incline areas to be a good workout but a skilled hiker would not find them challenging as there are no steep paths or rock cliffs.
Barks & Rec
Runners or hikers who want to give back to the community are encouraged to check out Barks & Rec, an award-winning program from Mansfield Parks & Recreation where visitors sign up to take shelter dogs along for either training runs (in January-February) or guided nature hikes (September-October.) The humans get a workout and some extra accountability, knowing that a furry friend is counting on you to be their escape from the shelter for the day. The dogs get better socialization and an increased chance of finding their furever family thanks to the added exposure.
These machines are electricity-free and use the user’s body weight as resistance, making them instantly adaptable to any fitness level.
Both parks have four unique machines, with each machine offering two workout options described in instructions on a nearby sign, making weight training an easy--and free--addition to your next run.