It’s easy to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Texas weather in and around Plano. This city has lots of welcoming parks, nature preserves, and multi-use trails. No matter your skill level, there’s a hiking spot near Plano that you can enjoy. Many of these places also allow running, cycling, and pets, so keep them in mind for all of your outdoor activities. Here are six hiking spots in and around Plano that you should check out.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Just 10 miles west of Plano’s city center, the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve offers a welcome escape from the hustle of everyday life. This is a beautiful spot for all kinds of fun including mountain biking, trail running, and even weddings. Hike out to the observation tower for a breathtaking view of the preserve and a great opportunity to see some wildlife. Near the entrance to the park, you’ll find restrooms, a picnic area, shelters, and a playground. Grab a park map to get an idea of the many trails that wind through the three distinct ecosystems represented.
The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a great place for solo hikes and family hikes. It’s a safe area to hike alone, and the trails are well maintained. Most of the trails are fairly flat, allowing less experienced hikers or little ones to handle them well. With more than 3 miles of unpaved pedestrian trails and a 3-mile paved recreational trail, you’ll have plenty of options for hiking and exploring. The preserve is open to the public daily from dawn until dusk.
Spring Creek Forest Preserve
Head 6 miles southeast of Plano to Spring Creek Forest Preserve for adventurous hiking and lots of opportunities to learn about nature. The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest offers guided nature walks and bird walks throughout the year. Check the website for upcoming walks and events. Follow the self-guided Interpretive Walking Trail and read the markers along the way for more information about the ecology of the preserve.
Other trails can be accessed throughout the preserve from different entrances. The Spring Creek Harris Trail is in the northwestern part of the preserve. This 1-mile loop provides an easy hiking surface around a small pond. On the opposite end of the preserve, off of Holford Road, you’ll find the Spring Creek Trail and Spring Creek Forest Trail. Both are easy and short but provide a relaxing space to appreciate nature.
Rowlett Nature Preserve and Trail
Rowlett Nature Preserve offers more than 16 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. The trails follow a loop system to help visitors keep track of their routes. Choose the North Loop trail for an easy, but lengthy route. This loop trail is almost 7 miles long and kid-friendly. If you’re looking for a challenge, consider the 14-mile DORBA (Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association) loop for mountain biking and hiking.
A short nature trail along the western side of Lake Ray Hubbard, the Rowlett Nature Trail is a popular spot for hikers, bikers, and runners. The trail follows Rowlett Creek, south of the preserve, for 1.4 miles and remains relatively flat with a crushed gravel surface and benches along the way. This is a fun trail for explorers as there are plenty of opportunities to search for little creatures along the shores of the creek and cross the water on stepping stones. The trail entrance is on Miller Road, and the other end of the trail meets with the lake.
You’ll find lots of great hiking trails all around Lavon Lake, just 12 miles east of Plano. Explore the Trinity Trail that runs along the eastern side of the lake by starting at the Brockdale Trailhead near Brockdale Park in Lucas, Texas. The South Trinity Trail covers 9 miles and welcomes hikers and equestrians. For a longer hike, head 10 miles north from Brockdale and connect with the Sycamore Loop trail with a picnic area at the base of a huge sycamore tree.
After your hike, head down to the southern shore of Lavon Lake to Lavonia Park for a swim in the lake or a relaxing time on the beach. Restrooms, picnic shelters, and boat ramps are all available at Lavonia.
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
Less than 5 miles north of Downtown Plano, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is an easy place to hike and enjoy nature even with a busy schedule. The park’s main trail is an 8.4-mile paved trail surrounded by huge trees, water, and open fields. This paved trail is good for any use and is wheelchair accessible. Both the park and preserve are open every day from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Along the main paved trail, you’ll see several markings for natural surface trails. These are fun trails for hikers who want to go a little deeper into nature. If you weave along all of the natural surface trails throughout the preserve, you can enjoy more than 5 miles of hiking. Keep an eye out for special events happening throughout the year at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, like the annual Plano Balloon Festival.
Lewisville Lake Nature Preserve
Lewisville Lake Nature Preserve is only 25 miles west of Plano and perfect for weekend hikes. Whether you want to experience marshes, prairies, forests, or the lakeshore, there’s a trail in the nature preserve for you. The Blackjack Trail and Cottonwood Trail both cover 1.5 miles and travel through marsh and prairie habitats. Choose the Bittern Marsh Trail for 2 miles of hiking through forests. The Lewisville Lake Nature Preserve is open every day from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the winter and until 7 p.m. in the summer. Each vehicle will need to pay a $5 entrance fee.
There you go! The top hiking spots in and around Plano, Texas, according to Huffines Hyundai Plano. Have you tried any of these spots out before? If so, what did you think? Drop us a line and let us know about your favorite places to hike in the area. Maybe we missed a spot we’ll have to add to our list.
Image via Flickr by spasticsparky