There’s no better way to bond as a family than by enjoying time in the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for swimming, kayaking and canoeing, or fishing opportunities, these activities make for great adventures for adults and kids alike.

Of course, planning a day out can feel like a challenge if you don’t know where to look, especially when you’re heading out with kiddos who don’t always agree on what they want to do. That’s where Crème de la Crème of McKinney comes in! We’ve rounded up this list of waterways in and around our hometown to get you started when you’re planning a day out with the kids. Explore these terrific opportunities for boating, fishing, and beyond in the McKinney, Texas, area.

Collin Park Marina

A small girl fishing on the side of a foggy river around McKinney, TX.

Image via Unsplash by btwilkins

Drive over to Wylie for a park that has it all: Collin Park Marina. Located at Lake Lavon, this marina features plenty of water-based fun to keep the whole family busy.

Whether you’re in the mood for boating, swimming, or relaxing on a sandy beach, Collin Park Marina features covered and open slips to get right into the water, and you’ll find boat ramps here as well. You can keep your own boat at the marina or rent boats by the hour or the day. Offerings include jet skis, pontoons, fishing boats, ski boats, and even party barges.

If you and the kiddos want to stay on land, Collin Park Marina offers a park, campground, and activities like beach volleyball and hiking. Hang out with loved ones at the picnic tables after reeling in your catches for the day, or take in the fishing tournaments held at Collin Park Marina.

Hidden Cove Park and Marina

With more than 470 acres boasting a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, Hidden Cove Park and Marina in nearby Frisco offers fun for the whole family. There’s a full-service marina with spots ideal for nature watching and picnicking. While you can go fishing or swimming, you can also rent a wide range of boats, including power catamarans, pontoons, and everything in between. Plus, you can rent jet skis or spend the day canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. The marina even has classes for paddleboarding and surfing that are perfect for all water sports enthusiasts. 

If you want to have a longer getaway to spend some extended time as a family enjoying all the water has to offer, Hidden Cove Park and Marina offers tent camping, cabins, and bunkhouses, too.

Paddle Point Creek Paddling Trail

Searching for a way to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the water? Head over to Rowlett’s Paddle Point Creek Paddling Trail, which is a water trail on Lake Ray Hubbard in nearby Dallas. Depending on the route you take, you can paddle this 6.4-mile trail for between 2 and 8 hours. It’s possible to do only part of the trail if you want a shorter trip, but check the wind conditions when planning a day out here as strong winds can make navigating with a kayak or canoe tough or extend your trip.

Once you’re out with the kids on your kayak or canoe, choose between the open water or paddling along the shoreline for a leisurely trip along shady, tree-lined banks. Tie off your kayak or canoe at the old bridge at the center of the lake when you want to go for a swim. Lake Ray Hubbard also offers abundant fishing, with species including bass, catfish, carp, and perch in this waterway. 

Kids will also love watching for birds, especially during migration periods that draw a variety of waterfowl to the lake, so keep an eye out for wildlife like Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles while you’re on the water.

Shawnee Park

Make the quick trip to Plano to enjoy all that Shawnee Park has to offer. The community park includes a small lake and fishing pier for a calm day out fishing with the kids. The park even features a picnic pavilion along with grills and picnic tables to gather with a bigger group after you spend the day fishing. Though the lake is on the smaller side, it still offers great fishing for species like bluegill and bass.

Lake Lewisville

You don’t have to go too far from McKinney to enjoy one of the biggest lakes in all of northeast Texas. Lake Lewisville is located just over 30 minutes away in Lewisville. The lake spans 29,000 acres and boasts 233 miles of shoreline, making it the ideal waterway for everything from fishing to swimming to recreational boating.

Reel in hybrid striper, white bass, and crappie, or go for a swim at one of several beaches and designated swimming areas. From standup paddleboards to restaurants to grab a bite to eat on the shoreline of the lake, this area has it all!

Harry Myers Park

For a great day trip with the kids, drive just over 30 miles outside of McKinney to Harry Myers Park in Rockwall. If you want to do some laps or get the little ones swimming for the first time, head to the large community swimming pool. Then, go over to one of the three ponds to reel in some catfish throughout the day, or sign your little angler up for the fishing derby. This event is for kids 3 to 14 years old who can win prizes for catching the most fish. And when you and the kids just need some splashing, visit the ‘sprayground’ to cool off from the Texas heat. 

In addition to these water-filled activities, you can host a picnic in one of the pavilions or just run around in the open area.

There you have it, Crème de la Crème of McKinney’s list of five great waterways to check out near McKinney the next time you’re looking for outdoor fun as a family. We hope we’ve inspired you to check out all our amazing area has to offer. Did we miss your favorite waterway close to home? Let us know so we can pay a visit to your go-to spot and add it to our list.