As the weather warms up and the days get longer, many people find the urge to spend more time outdoors. The Plano area offers plenty of great spots to get out and enjoy some vitamin D, with a variety of activities to enjoy with friends, family, or that special someone. If you’re looking for something to do, check out the seven best outdoor activities in Plano, Texas.
- Oak Point Park and Nature Reserve
As the largest park in Plano, Oak Point Park and Nature Reserve offers over 800 acres of space to explore and enjoy. The park offers visitors over eight miles of trails, including just over five miles of natural dirt trails. These trails are great for jogging, walking, hiking, and biking and open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily. You’ll find a playground for children to climb around on and over for hours of entertainment. The park provides an all-weather restroom available to the public, along with drinking fountains and a dog bowl.
You can bring your paddleboard, kayak, or canoe to enjoy an afternoon on the pond. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch to share under the pavilion to help make the most of your visit and allow you to stay and play longer. Located at 5901 Lost Rios, Blvd., the Oak Point Park and Nature Reserve is open from 5:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
- Arbor Hills Nature Reserve
Another great green space to enjoy is the 200-acre Arbor Hills Nature Reserve, located at 6701 W. Parker Road. Offering a large playground area, pavilion, restroom facilities, and several trails ideal for walking, running, or biking, you can easily spend an entire day here. Trails include a 3-mile paved route, three miles of natural unpaved trails, and a 2.8-mile off-road biking trail. Arbor Hills is open Thursday through Tuesday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. because they perform maintenance from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Heritage Farmstead Museum
This 365-acre homestead was originally built in 1891, consisting of several buildings full of Texas history, including a one-room schoolhouse. Wander the homestead to learn about life on the farm years ago through the various collections, including tools and implements or textiles and costumes. The little ones can feed the chickens and pet the horses for the first-hand experience of farm life. You can find the Heritage Farmstead Museum at 1900 W. 15th St., open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 pm, plus the second and fourth Saturday of each month for the same hours.
- Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park
For the more adventurous, check out Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park at 5901 Los Rios, Blvd, in Oak Point Park. This adventure will take you over 27 feet above the woods of Oak Point Park and Nature Reserve for a unique experience and view. Go Ape offers zipline courses, a high-ropes adventure course, a suspended obstacle course, axe throwing, and a jump line that’s 40 feet off the ground. There are age, height, and weight restrictions on several attractions, so be sure to check out their website before you go.
- Amphitheater at Oak Point Park
Oak Point Park has a Park and Nature Reserve as well as Go Ape Zipline, Adventure Park, and now the Amphitheater at Oak Point Park. This beautiful venue allows you to enjoy festivals and concerts nestled in Oak Point Park and Nature Reserve’s natural elements. Bring your own picnic basket, lawn chairs, and blankets to find your spot on the grass-covered landings surrounded by terraced rows that help accommodate over 2,000 guests. Everyone can enjoy a little music under the stars at the amphitheater.
- Public Art Tour
The city of Plano is home to several beautiful pieces of outdoor art located throughout the city. Put on your walking shoes and wander the streets of the town to view the pieces for yourself. The Downtown Plano Arts District offers murals in Vickery Park, Legacy Central, Georgia’s Farmers’ Market. In addition to the bold, colorful murals, you’ll also find other works and sculptures throughout Plano. Soak up some sun while you take in these local masterpieces.
- Connemara Conservancy
Located in nearby Allen, Texas, is the Connemara Conservancy, founded in 1981 as one of Texas’s first land trusts. The idea behind the original 72-acre conservancy was to help ranchers, landowners, and farmers protect open land that remains in Texas. It continues to support critical habitats of local wildlife and plants, along with more than 6,000 acres of open space in Texas.
The Connemara Conservancy is open to the public from dawn until dusk, offering a land rich in tall grass that was once the Blackland Prairie full of beautiful wildflowers. It’s home to hundreds of different species of plants, including Texas aster, spring forget-me-not, and trumpet-creeper. Each season offers a new experience at the conservancy.
Grab binoculars and enjoy a splendid day of bird watching. Several species that have been spotted on the land are the peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, mourning dove, great-horned owl, ruby-throated hummingbird, and blue jay, just to name a few.
Attend a free monthly open house or enjoy a guided walk, both of which are listed on their events calendar on the Connemara Conservancy website. If you’re interested in learning more about birds in the area, take the Bird Walks with Gailon Brehm and Rodney Thomas, naturalists with Timbers Audubon Society. Learn about natural habitats with Rich Jaynes, a Texas Master naturalist and Environmental Scientist. Clyde Camp, another Texas Master Naturalist, will take you out to explore the stars on the Astronomy Walks.
Each of these offerings is between two to three hours and free of charge.
Now is the perfect time to plan your outdoor adventures near Plano, Texas. If you don’t see your favorite spot on the list, contact us at Huffines CDJR Plano. We’re always looking for fun, outdoor adventures to share. Get out and enjoy any one of these outdoor activities.
Image via Flickr by gurdonark