The BJNCP was established to give people a unique opportunity to explore the Cross Timbers ecosystem. The nature center is surrounded by more than 700 acres of Cross Timbers habitat with more than 20 miles of hiking trails. The center encourages visitors to look for creatures in their natural habitats and enjoy the world around them.
Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve (BJNCP) is an oasis from the bustle of DFW life and is a safe haven for wildlife and humans alike. Almost 700 species of flora and fauna have been identified on the 758 acres of Cross Timbers ecosystem that is the Preserve.
Bob Jones, the namesake of BJNCP, was born a slave in 1850 and became a prosperous and highly respected rancher and farmer in what’s now Roanoke and Southlake. The Preserve property once belonged to the Jones family. Carroll ISD’s Walnut Grove Elementary is named for the school Bob Jones built for his grandchildren, who could not attend whites-only schools. Bob Jones died on Christmas Day 1936. Nearly 500 people, both black and white, attended his funeral. (Southlake Historical Society)
The Jones family sold a portion of their land to the Tucker family in 1968. The Tucker family build a homestead on the land, which now serves as the Nature Center building programs are housed in. The Tuckers sold the land to the City of Southlake with the understanding it would become a treasured park space serving both human visitors and wildlife inhabitants. Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve opened in 2008.
BJNCP is rich in both history and biodiversity. Expect to be greeted by singing birds and to find wildlife tracks all over the trails from deer, coyotes, bobcats, and more! With trails ranging from a quarter of a mile (White-Tailed Deer Trail) to almost two miles (Grapevine Lake Trail) there are options for explorers of all ages and abilities
The Nature Center building is open during scheduled public program hours. Trails are open every day from 7am-8pm and 7am-5pm (winter hours). When visiting please pack water and wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the weather. We proudly practice Leave No Trace Principals and ask that all guests are respectful to the plants and animals who call BJNCP home. Happy hiking!