Don’t miss some of these well-known—and not so well-known—points of interest during your next visit to White Rock Lake.
The Dallas Arboretum is a privately run, 66-acre botanical garden set along White Rock Lake. The Arboretum maintains spectacular display gardens that showcase incredible seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees and plant collections. It also hosts seasonal outdoor festivals, concerts, art shows and more. For admission prices, hours, and more, visit dallasarboretum.org.
The White Rock Lake Dog Park at 8000 E. Mockingbird Lane is Dallas’ first off-leash dog park. The park is open Tuesday-Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. year-round. It is closed on Mondays and during inclement weather. Because of drainage issues, heavy rains can also force the park’s closure for several days. Because of that, improvements to the Dog Park are one of the White Rock Lake Conservancy’s Top 10 Projects. For more information, visit whiterockdogpark.org.
Bath House Cultural Center
The Bath House Cultural Center was one of the first structures in the Southwest built in the Art Deco style. Originally a literal bath house that provided lockers, changing rooms, and concessions for swimmers, the building closed in 1953 when swimming in the lake was discontinued. The building sat empty until 1981 when the city and neighborhood arts supporters reopened it as the Bath House Cultural Center. With a 116-seat black-box theater, it is now a welcoming venue for visual and performing artists from an array of backgrounds. It also houses three gallery spaces, the White Rock Lake Museum, and several multipurpose spaces.
Originally built in 1911 to provide additional chlorinated water to the City of Dallas, The Filter Building is a beautiful Renaissance Revival building that now houses both a special event center available for private rentals and the rowing program operated by the non-profit White Rock Boathouse Inc. Rental income from The Filter Building supports the various programs of the Boathouse.
Big Thicket Recreation Building
Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (like so many other of the lake’s historic structures), the Big Thicket Recreation Building is a classic example of rustic, Depression-era architecture. The building was recently restored and refurbished and, because of that effort, the City of Dallas’ Park & Recreation Department, volunteers from For the Love of the Lake, and Home Depot received a Historic Preservation Award from Preservation Texas. For reservations, visit the Dallas Park & Recreation Department’s website, call the reservation office at 214-670-8740, or visit the Facility Reservation Office at 8100 Doran Circle at Flag Pole Hill.
Built in 1930, these tables are some of the oldest structures at White Rock Lake and, along with a nearby pavilion, are one of the more popular gathering spots at the lake. A proposed $1 million restoration of the area would include refurbishing the tables and replenishing a now-dry lily pond that was originally built by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression. For reservations, visit the Dallas Park & Recreation Department’s website, call the reservation office at 214-670-8740, or visit the Facility Reservation Office at 8100 Doran Circle at Flag Pole Hill.
Boy Scout Hill
Once a favorite camping spot for Boy Scout troops, this hill overlooks the far southeastern end of the lake. There’s a great picnic shelter here, as well as an identical shelter that stands on a higher hill, between Buckner Blvd. and Peavy Road.
Named for the Texas and Pacific Railway (T&P), the area is often called “Tee Pee” Hill, formerly Roxana Point. It’s one of the highest points of land surrounding the park. There are picnic tables and a children’s playground nearby.
Winfrey Point is home to three newly constructed baseball fields, complete with sprinkler system, lights, sunken dugouts and a snack shack. The fields are operated by Dallas Little League. Norbuck Park, located at the corner of Buckner and Northwest Highway, also has baseball and softball fields. For reservations, visit the Dallas Park & Recreation Department’s website, call the reservation office at 214-670-8740, or visit the Facility Reservation Office at 8100 Doran Circle at Flag Pole Hill.
This historic building, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Dallas Park Board in the 1940s, is available to rent for weddings, parties and other functions. It sits atop a hill on the eastern side of the lake and is a great spot to watch sailboats, have a picnic, or just catch the sunset. For reservations, visit the Dallas Park & Recreation Department’s website, call the reservation office at 214-670-8740, or visit the Facility Reservation Office at 8100 Doran Circle at Flag Pole Hill.
On those rare occasions that there’s snow in Dallas, there’s no better place in the city than Flag Pole Hill, which sits at the northernmost end of the lake. The hill has a great view of the surrounding area and is a popular place for picnics, parties and other large gatherings.
The site of the old White Rock Municipal Fish Hatchery near the Spillway, the Old Fish Hatchery Nature Area occupies 50 acres of thick woods at the southwest corner of the park. The area is popular with birdwatchers, but visitors have also spotted coyotes, bobcats, beavers and gray foxes.