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Soaking in sunshine and vitamin D are perks of the longer days now that we’ve “sprung forward” and have the luxury of moderate spring temperatures. To do just that, McKinney, “Unique by Nature”, has an abundance of neighborhood parks, as well as the hike & bike trails of Erwin Park, Bonnie Wenk, and Wilson Creek. Campsites are available at Erwin Park and everyone loves the dog park and splash pad at Bonnie Wenk! For a map and listing of our local McKinney Parks and their amenities, visit:

For those wishing to venture out and explore some new parks, here are my family’s top spots. You won’t even have to go too far (unless you want to) for some new adventures!

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

As recent as spring break, we enjoyed the comfortable temperatures on our walk through the trails of Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. We made a stop at the scenic lookout, which happened to be filled with a group of moms and their little ones enjoying a late morning snack and building friendships. I remember those days fondly. On the trails, we passed old and young, from walkers and joggers to bike riders. With a pavilion and playground, Arbor Hills has something for everyone.

Deanne with daughter Elyse at Arbor Point


Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve

Home to the Plano Balloon Festival every September, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is one of the best places for a stroll around the lake. With both paved paths and rugged hiking trails, and the ability to paddle and fish on the lake, this park has something for everyone in the family. Also, Oak Point holds a “treetop adventure course”, with zip lines, suspended obstacles, and Tarzan swings. Additional improvements to the park are planned; including extended paved trails, a recreational building, and a playground.


Eisenhower State Park

For a little more adventure and exploration, check out Eisenhower State Park. Located right on Lake Texoma and about an hour from McKinney, Eisenhower State Park has it all: a paved and unpaved trail system, group pavilions and picnic areas, beaches on the lake, and a marina and boat ramps to take a ride out on the lake. Most of the shoreline of the park consists of eroding cliffs, but you’ll also find a beachy cove acts as a great swimming area. When the water is low, a cave is even accessible from the beach!


Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site

For a bit of history mixed in with a nice day trip, head out to Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site, a 19th century fort established to protect and encourage settlement in the Texas frontier. Just a mile south of Jacksboro, TX, the park has restored seven of the fort’s original buildings, including the hospital, the officer’s quarters, the powder magazine, the morgue, the commissary, the guardhouse, and the bakery. These 150-year-old buildings are definitely worth seeing. In addition to the fascinating history, the park offers camping, hiking and biking, swimming, and fishing. It’ll take just under two hours to get there, but well worth the trip. If you think it’s too much for one day, plan it with an overnight campout!


Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Another favorite, sticking a little closer to home is Ray Roberts Lake State Park. Here you can camp in the camping area, hike or bike throughout the park’s extensive trail system, paddle, or fish off the pier. Ray Roberts is the perfect family park because it has all the amenities of a state park within just 45 minutes of McKinney.

There is nothing like fresh air to re-energize the spirit and bring focus to our lives. I invite you to shut down technology and head for an adventure in the great outdoors!

Happy Spring!


Photo Credit: Ryan Palczynski Photography

To read more about McKinney, head over to our Visit McKinney page.

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