The Village Creek Natural Area, located along the Trinity River in Arlington, Texas, is 130-acres of beauty steeped in history. It has most of the amenities of a park, including multi-use concrete trails, off surface trails, picnic tables and grills, as well as fishing and a practice field.
The Village Creek Natural Area is located in the historic Village Creek Valley region of North Texas, which was home to one of the largest concentration of Native Americans in North Texas.
Archeological excavations in the Village Creek Valley have unearthed several prehistoric villages, arrowhead points and other artifacts that date to about 9,000 years ago. In the early 1800s, the area was home to several Indian tribes involved in skirmishes with frontier settlements and the militia led by Brigadier General Edward Tarrant, for whom the county is named.
You don’t need to know about the history of the Village Creek Valley to enjoy the natural area, though. In fact, if not for the plaque at the entrance, you might not even know there was a history attached to it.
Once you step on the sidewalk, just a few feet into the heavily wooded natural area, you find the first of the many wonderful aspects of this space. Secluded picnic areas, each with several picnic tables and a large grill, are set off the sidewalk, surrounded on three sides by thick trees and underbrush. It’s as intimate a setting as there can be in an open public space. At other locations along the sidewalk are more picnic tables and grills, which are nice, but smaller and not as cozy or intimate.
By the time you’ve reached the picnic tables, you’re already out of earshot of traffic, and it’s hard to remember that you are in the heart of a city. If not for the concrete sidewalk, you might think you were truly out in the wild.
At one point, the sidewalk splits, and you can cross the Trinity River or continue walking alongside it. If you cross the river, you discover open green space, as well as an overlook, and a couple more picnic tables and grill.
The main sidewalk continues to flank the river, winding through the trees and underbrush, until it finally emerges at a residential road (Findlay Drive), where it connects to the Bob Findlay Linear Park.
As you’re walking in the natural area and are absorbed in the nature and quiet, emerging into the neighborhood can come as quite a surprise; the transition from trees to houses seems abrupt. But if you drove to the park, the good news is that you have to turn around and walk back to your car, and can experience it all over again from the opposite direction.
The Village Creek Natural Area is the kind of place that you can spend a lot of time in. Visit when you’ve got at least a couple of hours so that you can travel through it at a leisurely pace and see and enjoy it all.
Village Creek Natural Area is located at 2605 Dottie Lynn Expressway.
Texas Historical Commission
City of Arlington