Whether you’re training for a big climb or you and the kiddos love to get outdoors, why not go for a hike? It’s more than a terrific way to get your heart pumping, it’s the perfect way to get up close to Texas’s natural beauty. Our daycare put together these picks of the best places to hike near McKinney, Texas, today.

Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

A family of four walks up a steep hill while hiking in McKinney, Texas

Hiking Family on Enchanted Rock” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by longhorndave 

The Heard Wildlife Sanctuary has been a top McKinney destination for hiking since 1967. This 289-acre wildlife sanctuary features endless opportunities that bring nature and people closer together. Experience native Texas flora and fauna along the center’s fantastic hiking trails.

Sign up for a night hike. Once the sun sets on this wild preserve, everything changes, from the sights and sounds to the smells. This thrilling seasonal event costs $12 for members and takes place just four times a year, starting at 6 p.m. Register online now so you don’t miss out on this outstanding opportunity geared for families with kids 3 and up.

The whole family will learn more about environmental education and our state’s amazing animals through a variety of public events, educational opportunities, and the museum. The Heard is located on Nature Place and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney

McKinney is the place to see crape myrtles, and there’s no better destination than The World Collection Park on Collin McKinney Parkway. Created in 1998, The Crape Myrtle Trails Foundation planted every known variety of this tree here. It’s the only collection of its kind in the world. Since 2019, the organization has distributed nearly 20,000 crape myrtles to 5th-grade students before Mother’s Day to plant in the park.

Wander along this 7.2-acre park’s stunning paved trails under the shade of these delightful flowering trees. It’s a short, easy hike that guides you through the four “color rooms” within the park. You’ll find informational signage, picnic tables, and benches for resting. There’s also plenty of free parking available.

Erwin Park

The whole family can enjoy a hike at Erwin Park. Restore your spirit within this popular McKinney green space’s tranquil borders on Country Road 1006. Experience loads of open space and Texas’ natural beauty sprawled over 212 partially wooded acres.

The Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association maintains the park’s 10 miles of dirt trails that wind throughout the park. Bring the kiddos for a trek and refuel afterward with a picnic lunch. The park is safe and clean and offers families the convenience of two modern restrooms. You’ll also appreciate:

  • Campfire sites.
  • Playground for preschoolers ages 3 and up.
  • Picnic tables.
  • Covered wooden pavilion.
  • Free parking.

Dayspring Nature Preserve

The Dayspring Nature Preserve is just 9 miles from McKinney in nearby Allen on Rainforest Lane. It’s a terrific destination for everyone in the family who loves nature. Park designers developed its amenities in tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s.

This greenbelt runs along Watters Branch Creek and offers a pedestrian trail that loops through 23 heavily wooded acres. Hike both paved and dirt paths, depending on your fitness level and whether you’ve got a baby in a stroller. Dayspring Nature Preserve also offers a pavilion and a playground.

Connemara Conservancy

This 72-acre oasis between Plano and Allen is another splendid spot to put some miles on your hiking boots. It features a picturesque meadow nestled in the middle of the area’s quiet suburban neighborhoods. This refuge offers an unspoiled glimpse into the area’s most biodiverse terrain.

The Meadow trail crisscrosses the park with mowed paths surrounded by tall native grasses. Then, meander down past bubbling Rowlett Creek. Next, hop on the Connemara Conservancy’s Suncreek Trail and explore this part of the park’s towering pecan trees, Texas’ state tree. You might also catch sight of various wildlife, like:

  • Bobwhite quails.
  • Bobcats.
  • Coyotes.
  • Raccoons.
  • Rabbits.
  • Owls.
  • Hawks.

If you live with a family of ornithologists, join in on a bird walk at the Meadow. These monthly events are the ideal time to get in a hike and explore the park’s variety of birding habitats. The information you collect will help researchers worldwide. So lose yourself in this charming preserve, but leave Fido at home. Port-o-lets are also available.

Cottonwood Creek Trail

The City of Allen’s trail system offers 78 miles of hiking paths that provide McKinney families with a safe place to hike. Explore and enjoy the area’s natural beauty along the Cottonwood Creek Trail. Adventure past the creek and through the woods on this intermediate 5-mile jaunt. Stop and glimpse the town’s signature public art installation across the road from Allen Station Park.

Pick up the trail on North Cedar Drive and head toward the Allen Senior Center for the longest hike. It connects to Mustang Trail, providing over 10 miles of continuous paths. You can also park near the Star Creek subdivision for a leisurely walk with the little ones.

Celebration Park

Celebration Park is sure to become your family’s new favorite place to get in a hike. Located on Angel Parkway, this 104-acre park has a short, 1.5-mile trail that follows the facility’s perimeter and links pedestrians to Stacy Ridge park through the greenbelt.

This path briefly runs through a heavily wooded area and past a delightful pond. Beat the heat after your walk at the park’s newest feature: a community splash pad for toddlers and kids up to 12. There are also lighted sports fields, tennis courts, and barbecues, plus the kidMania Playground. These colorful play structures welcome children of all ages and abilities, providing inclusive fun with dozens of activities of varying difficulty.Well, that’s a wrap! Crème de la Crème of McKinney just informed you of the area’s best places to hike. What do you think of our picks? Did we miss a favorite hiking destination of yours — one Texas locals would love? If we did, drop us a line so we can add it to our list.