Plano, Texas, has some of the most beautiful outdoor scenery and amazing recreation in the entire state. You can really enjoy all that our town has to offer when you visit one of its many awesome parks. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Plano has put together this list of our seven favorite parks in Plano. The next time you want to play catch, go for a stroll, or sit under the warm Texas sun, check out one of these fantastic parks around Plano.
Image via Flickr by byzantiumbooks Licensed CC BY 2.0
Haggard Park is a wonderful little park on 15th Street. Here, your family can enjoy a stroll around the lake or a picnic by the shore. You can even dine in the gazebo, which has a great view of the lake, the on-site museum, and the playgrounds. Kids will love running around the grassy areas or playing on one of the two playgrounds. One playground is meant for kids 2 to 5 years old, while the other is for kids ages 5 years old and up.
What’s more, this park is also home to the Interurban Railway Museum, one of the most interesting local museums in Plano. Here you can learn all about how trains operate and the history of trains in Texas through interactive exhibits and a tour of an old train car.
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is a massive, 800-acre nature park right here in Plano. It’s one of the top spots in town for nature hiking, thanks to its 8 miles of paved trails and 5 miles of soft-surface trails. Some of the best trails in the park include the Rowlett Creek Trail, which runs along the bubbling creek it’s named after, and the Blue-Eyed Trail, which takes you on a panoramic view of the creek. There’s also a pond here where you can launch a kayak or canoe or even fish for channel catfish.
The local parks department has plans to further develop areas of this park and add elements like a natural playground, more parking, and an activity lawn.
Big Lake Park
Big Lake Park is a fantastic spot for water sports like kayaking, canoeing, standup paddle boarding, and fishing. However, Big Lake doesn’t accommodate any swimming. This park is also a peaceful place for a lakeside stroll or bike ride, with a 0.7-mile loop trail that takes you around the perimeter of Big Lake itself. Your family can also set up a picnic on the open grass or at a table. Take advantage of the on-site grills to cook up some fresh food. And before or after your picnic, you can play with the kids at the little playground.
Jack Carter Park
Jack Carter Park has a little bit of everything, from kid-friendly play spaces to athletic fields to picnic areas. Here, your family can cook their own food on the available grills for a fresh cookout at the pavilion or the picnic tables. While you wait for food, you can play volleyball on the sand court, enjoy the sights of the little pond, or go on a walk or bike ride on the 0.7-mile Jack Carter Park Trail.
You can also take your kids to play at the all-abilities playground, which has a variety of accessible amenities for kids, including those with limited mobility. You’ll find features like an adapted swing, a musical wall that provides audio-visual play, a roller table, and other inclusive play elements.
Russell Creek Park
You might visit this large community park to cheer on your little athletes as they play soccer or baseball. But you can also enjoy a picnic, a pleasant hike or bike ride on the 0.6-mile loop around the lake, or fish for catfish in the lake here at Russell Creek Park. What’s more, the playground is undergoing some serious renovations until the Fall of 2022, after which it will have brand-new play structures and improved lighting for evening and early morning play, among other upgrades.
Bob Woodruff Park
Bob Woodruff Park is divided into two portions: North and South. While each part of the park offers a little something different, both areas have equestrian trails you can explore with your horse or while riding with a local stable.
Bob Woodruff Park North is home to the park’s playground that city plans to renovate, sand volleyball courts, multi-use athletic courts, the lake and fishing pier, and much of the walking and biking trail system. There’s even a scenic 0.7-mile loop around the lake. This portion also has the park’s learning center, where your family can discover the natural history of Plano.
In Bob Woodruff Park South, you can take your pooch to the dog park so they can play with other local pups and get some exercise. There’s also another portion of the hiking and biking trail so you can see even more of Rowlett Creek. You can also stop by the Bicentennial Bur Oak Tree or set up a picnic near this commemorative natural landmark.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
On the western part of Plano is Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, a sprawling 200-acre park that offers a wide variety of outdoor exploration. There are 3 miles of natural trails throughout the preserve that are exclusively for hiking, but there are also 3 miles of paved trails for hiking and biking. For bikers who want a little more adventure, there are 2.8 miles of unpaved off-road cycling trails, too. All of these options are fantastic for wildlife viewing, and you’re likely to spot small mammals, snakes, and lots of birds.
This park also has a small playground with baby swings, an adapted swing, and a play structure best for kids 2 to 12 years old. And, you can cook up food on one of the grills for a fresh picnic after a long hike.
So there you have it, the seven best parks in Plano. Did we miss your family’s favorite outdoor recreation destination around your hometown? If so, contact us today, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!