Dogwood Canyon is a wild, special rich in diversity place, where plants, animals, and people all sustain each other for a healthy future. It includes a 6,000 square-foot Audubon Center and Dogwood Canyon Trails with 200+ acres of pristine forest. The Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center opened in 2011.
Located 16 miles southwest of Downtown Dallas, Dogwood Canyon is part of the White Rock Escarpment within a 50-minute drive of four million people and 15 minutes from 24 schools. The Canyon features a visitor center, two canyon trails, academic programs, conservation workshops and facility rental where guests will be surrounded by nature. If you just want to hang out or chill at the canyon with family and friends there is a shady children's learning area and picnic tables.
The West Rim Trail is on the west side of the Canyon and offers scenic overlooks across Joe Pool Lake all the way to Cowboys Stadium. Also, available is an ADA accessible trail on the Canyon floor. Both trails total about 2 miles and a total of 4 miles of trails are in development at Dogwood Canyon.
On April 23, 2008 John Flicker, former president of the National Audubon Society, led the ground breaking ceremonies for the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. The center was a part of Flicker’s vision to connect people with nature and its wildlife in urban centers such as Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. "To be able to conserve over 200 acres of important wildlife habitat in a major metropolitan area is incredible," said Flicker. "Dogwood Canyon will reveal a world many people in the area rarely see, and provide an unrivaled opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience, understand, and grow to care for the natural world.”
The groundbreaking ceremony included planting a dogwood tree by local schoolchildren to celebrate the conservation of the canyon, and the science education programs that will serve 5,000 schoolchildren at the Center each year.
The $7.4 million project was a result of a partnership with the City of Cedar Hill and Audubon Dallas local chapter. Audubon Dallas in cooperation with Audubon Texas and National Audubon Society developed the sanctuary. The Center’s building is named C.E. Doolin Education & Visitors Center.
Dogwood Canyon is named for the flowering dogwoods that are found in the canyon. The flowering dogwood is common to the piney woods and post oak belts of Texas, but is generally absent from shallow clay soils of the limestone regions. Plants and animals from East, West and Central Texas converge here at the outer limits of their ranges, making Dogwood Canyon home to a unique combination of flora and fauna. Most importantly, the Canyon supports mature Ashe Juniper trees, the last know nesting habitat of the federally-endangered Golden cheeked Warblers and Black-Chinned Hummingbirds (both are songbirds).
Dogwood Canyon also provides outstanding habitat for migrating and nesting birds. Orioles, tanagers, warblers, hummingbirds and others feed on the rich nourishment provided by its lush vegetation. White-eyed, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Chuck-will's Widows and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, sing their songs seemingly from every tree.