The other weekend I stumbled upon the prettiest little park in McKinney, TX. The park is 7.2 acres and located at 6452 Collin McKinney Pkwy. There is a small parking lot and a gorgeous entry sign to the paved trails that take you through many different varieties of Crape Myrtles.
It isn’t exactly peek season for the blooms but even with that it was beautiful. There are great signs that explain what you are looking at and more about the plants/trees. There are picnic tables and benches for families and people to take a seat and enjoy the view.
To me this is a hidden gem of McKinney that everyone needs to see, not to mention the photo opportunities that are available here! Enjoy some time just enjoying nature and learning more about these wonderful trees.
There is also a Crape Myrtle Trails Foundations that has partnered with the City of McKinney to plant thousands of Crape Myrtles in the median and more. I get to enjoy these year round because I live just off Eldorado Parkway and that is where a majority are planted.
I was so excited to go see the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. From McKinney the drive was pretty easy and we went on a Sunday. The parking can be tricky so just pay attention as you get closer. I also recommend buying your tickets and parking pass prior to arrival. It made it so easy. You can go to the website and purchase everything you need and doing this gives you a parking discount. You have a large window of time to use the tickets as well if plans change last minute.
It was a gorgeous day and we walked the entire property. There is so much to see and as the seasons change so do the gardens. There are great spaces for picnics, photos along with restaurants and food stands for a lunch or evening date. We saw many families playing with kids and relaxing in the open grass fields. Very family friendly.
They also have events that go on year round with live music, food tastings, holiday celebrations and more. We were there on Mother’s Day and they had a band and gave out roses to the first so many moms who entered.
I cannot wait to go back.
I love to hike and explore the parks and trails near us. We have been wanting to try some since we moved and finally found the time over the weekend. We took the dogs and went to Bonnie Wenk Nature Trail. It was close by and had great rating/reviews.
It is still under some construction but the main path is open as well as the restrooms, playground and dog park. The trail is great because it is wide, paved and clean. This allows plenty of room for people to pass by without disturbing each other. The full trail is 4.5 miles but it is not a loop. We did about 2 miles total with the dogs. When I walk on my own I go much faster and farther but the dogs are little slow and their short legs get tired. They need their exercise too so it was a great time to all be together outdoors and get some exercise.
There is great scenery and large open spaces. The dog park looked well maintained but very busy when we were there. All the facilities were new and still well kept, the playground looked like great fun. (Even for me)
I would definitely recommend this area for families, runners, bikers and walkers/joggers. The path is great for strollers, wheelchairs, young children, dogs and beginners. We will go back for sure.
One of my favorite things to do is hike or walk a new park or nature area on the weekends. If you knew me when I was younger this could be shocking information. lol It has really become a relaxing experience for me and I feel like I am really experiencing so much more of our world. I love seeing how different each area is even being so close together sometimes.
Just around our home there are so many options for hiking and walking. One of the places I really enjoy is Joshua Springs Park & Preserves. It is just a quick drive north and has a dog park, fishing area, picnic area, play area and trails. It is very well kept and is a great place to spend the day or afternoon. I always love to see the water falls or look through the bird watching buildings to see if I can spot any deer.
We tried a new place recently as well, Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area. Also just a quick drive away. It offers many trails to choose from and these are more natural and not paved like many are now. I recommend actual hiking shoes or boots for this location. The Guadalupe River runs right through and you can hike along it or take a canoe or kayak. It is animal friendly and also very well kept. With the hills, and natural trail you really get a great workout here while enjoying the hill country views.
Both of these are free! What a great way to get out, get active, enjoy nature and not have to spend any money. Make sure you take your own water to both.