Summer is the best time of year to get outside and explore the local Plano, Texas, waterways. Whether your family wants to fish, paddleboard, kayak, or swim, here’s a list of six waterways our team at Crème de la Crème of Plano put together for you.

Big Lake Park

A Young boy fishing out on a pier surrounded by a big blue body of water

Big Park Lake is the perfect place to spend the day with your family. This quiet park has a couple of stocked fishing ponds where you can cast your line for fish species such as channel catfish, rainbow trout, bluegill, and largemouth bass. 

Besides fishing, you can kayak, canoe, or paddleboard; hike the nature trails; and enjoy a meal at one of the many picnic tables. Be aware that swimming isn’t allowed at Big Park Lake, but the family can enjoy other activities like climbing on the play structures, watching for wildlife, and admiring the seasonal flower blooms.

Location: 3800 Rainer Road in Plano.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Bob Woodruff Park North

It’s a breeze to spend the day at Bob Woodruff Park North hiking, biking, fishing, and feeding the ducks that live on and around the lake. Bring your fishing poles and license with you and enjoy fishing from the wooden pier to catch stocked fish, including sunfish, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.

You’ll also want to bring a volleyball with you to play on the sand courts, and the open grassy area is perfect for tossing a Frisbee or ball back and forth. After a busy morning, break out the picnic basket, and enjoy a meal under a shady tree.

Location: 2601 San Gabriel Drive in Plano.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Bethany Lakes Park

Bethany Lakes Park in nearby Allen is another great place to fish, either from the ponds’ shorelines or the dedicated fishing pier. As with other stocked ponds in the Plano area, you can catch bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. Did you know that kids 17 and under can fish without a license? The youngsters will have a blast casting their line.

The 40-acre Bethany Lakes Park  also has a nine-hole disc golf course, a baseball field, a play area, and a clubhouse you can rent for special events. If you want to get extra exercise, hike or bike the nature trails while keeping an eye out for local and migrating birds.

Location: 745 S. Allen Heights Drive in Allen.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Consider spending the weekend or longer camping, boating, swimming, and fishing at Ray Roberts Lake State Park  in Pilot Point. This Texas state park has nine units, including Johnson Branch, Isle du Bois, and the Greenbelt Corridor. The family can lounge on the beach while the youngsters swim, kayak, or toss a line in the water to catch fish for the campfire.

Stop by the Lake Ray Roberts Marina or Lone Star Lodge Marina to pick up fishing, boating, or camping supplies to make your getaway special and convenient. Hikers, bikers, and equestrians will appreciate the miles of multi-use trails scattered throughout the park.

Kids will get a kick out of visiting the Interpretive Center at Isle du Bois, where they can pick up a Texas State Parks Junior Ranger Explorer Pack filled with tools to help them further appreciate the natural world around them. If you stay for a few days, you can reserve a campsite with or without electricity. Some of these sites have water hookups, and plenty of clean restrooms are close to each site.

Location for the Isle du Bois Unit: 100 PW 4137 in Pilot Point.

Contact: Daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Lakeview Park at Lake Grapevine

If you’d like to visit the best little park on Lake Grapevine, stop by Lakeview Park. This quiet spot on the south shores of Lake Grapevine is the perfect place to take out a small sailboat, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to feel the breeze on your face and cast your line for fish. The Texas Parks and Wildlife team stocks the lake with largemouth, smallmouth, white, and spotted bass; white crappie; and channel and blue catfish. Unless you’re under 17 or born before 1931, you’ll need to purchase a fishing license valid for 12 months.

You can access the water via two boat ramps or from the shore, and youngsters can burn off energy in the playground or build sandcastles on the sandy beach. After a full day at Lakeview Park, the family will be hungry and can enjoy a meal at one of the shady picnic areas.

Location: 2100 Lakeview Drive in Grapevine.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve

Not only can the family explore the 16-acre lake, but they can also look for nesting kestrel birds, hike the wooded area of the Rowlett Creek corridor, and toss a ball on the open grassy area at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. This 800-acre neighborhood park is one of Plano’s largest and home to the Go Ape Treetop Adventure zipline course. Anglers can rent poles and fishing gear from the Oak Point Park Nature and Retreat Center to catch fish to bring home for dinner.

Bring your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to the pond at this park to enjoy being on the water from dawn to dusk. Keep in mind that anyone paddling on the pond must adhere to Texas Park and Wildlife’s Water Safety Code, including wearing a life jacket and knowing how to swim.

Location: 5901 Los Rios Blvd. in Plano.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Which Waterway Is Your Favorite?

Our team at Crème de la Crème of Plano hopes you and your family have a blast recreating at and on these waterways in the Plano, Texas, area. If you have a recommendation for other amazing waterways nearby, let us know, and we can share the information so our local community can enjoy and explore them.

fishing by woodleywonderworks is licensed with CC BY 2.0