Collin County has great natural beauty. From the beautiful vegetation to the incredible views, there are many places within the county that offer a great outdoor experience for the entire family.
The major lake in the county is Lavon Lake. It is located on the East Fork of the Trinity River near Wylie just off of State Highway 78. Fully finished in 1953, this 21,400 acre lake is a great location for family fun for all of Collin County. With 121 miles of shoreline, there are plenty of beach areas to enjoy an afternoon along with various camping sites to spend more time. There are several dominant species of fish in this lake including Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Crappie, and Blue Catfish.
Fishing in Collin County starts with Lavon Lake. As mentioned previously, the dominant fish species of the lake are Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Crappie, and Blue Catfish. With these species, the fish records for Lavon Lake are quite impressive. The largemouth bass record stands at 11.32 lbs. with a length of 24.75 inches. The White Bass record currently sits at 2.12 lbs. with a length of 16.50 inches. An impressive Blue Catfish record stands at 68 lbs. with a length of 48.5 inches. Finally, the largest Crappie caught at Lavon Lake is 2.91 lbs. with a length of 16 inches. These numbers are quite impressive, and many have been achieved in the last 3 years. The fishing at Lavon Lake is most definitely on the rise. In order to legally fish in Texas, it is required for you to have a Texas hunting and fishing license.
Other popular fishing locations include Russell Creek Park and Bob Woodruff Park. Both of these popular park-regulated fisheries are located in Plano. While there are a limited number of overall species in these areas, they are frequented by the casual fisherman or the family looking to throw a line in the water while enjoying a day at the park.
Boating in the area is fully centered on Lavon Lake. While there are numerous streams and coves off of Lavon Lake, they are not frequently accessible to boats. Lavon Lake only goes to a maximum of 38 ft. deep. For this reason, heavy winds can really get the water choppy and rough. During calm water, boaters who are regularly pulling skiers, knee boarders, wake boarders, and tubers on the water heavily populate Lavon Lake. The depth may not be deep, but the surface area of Lavon Lake make it perfect for such a populated area. Boating is readily acceptable on the lake, but a boater’s license from the State of Texas is required before operating a boat on Lavon Lake.
Collin County is dotted with parks all across the area. We are picking a select few to spotlight some of the specific aspects of the parks offered in the area. Overall, most any of the parks in the area will allow for great family fun in a comfortable atmosphere. Each park has much to offer in the way of activities and amenities.
Princeton, TX 75407
Bratonia Park is located in Princeton, Texas just off of Lavon Lake east of Lucas. This is one of the most rural and open areas in Collin County. The vegetation here is largely country centered, featuring prairie grasses and subtle, rolling hills. This park is owned and operated by the Richardson Radio Control Club. A unique feature of this park is the paved landing strip at the center of the park for model airplanes. This is the location to go for model airplane usage. Easy lake access completes the many great features of Bratonia Park.
7117 Co Rd. 166
McKinney, TX 75071
Myers Park is another rural gem on this list. It is fairly new in comparison with others of the area, opening officially in 1969 on donated land by the Myers’ family. The park now encompasses over 160 acres of land. The Farm Museum is located on these grounds. Additionally, the beautiful rolling plains of Myers Park also feature an indoor and outdoor arena, picnic pavilion, gazebos, and several camping venues available for rental.
County Road 668
Blue Ridge, TX 75424
Parkhill Prairie officially opened in 1990. This park is in the far reaches of northeast Collin County and is the most rural park of them all. The ambiance of this park is focused on capturing the same views as the earliest settlers of the area did. There are two small ponds on the lake that offer great sunfish fishing for the entire family. The park is open each and every day. Among the best things about this park are the wildlife and vegetation. Bird watching is a big hit at this park, as is butterfly charting. The springtime finds this park riddled with gorgeous wildflowers that are magnificent to the eye. The mild winds make kite flying very popular here as well. This is the epitome of rural bliss in Collin County.
Sister Grove Park
11110 Co Rd. 562
Princeton, TX 75407
Sister Grove Park is located near Princeton, Texas very near Lavon Lake. Sister Grove Park has magnificent views of the horizon and beautiful spring and winter vegetation. Sister Grove Park has a great day hiking trail that is perfect for a leisurely stroll through the North Texas prairie lands. The trail has multiple splits, many leading to Lavon Lake. Spring time features mild wind and beautiful honeysuckle in full bloom. Winter will find Holly trees in full berry. Sister Grove Park has become for the growing city population of the area.
Near Lucas and Wylie
Trinity Trails is a trail system that encompasses a very large area. Trinity Trails has many picnic and restroom facilities on site. There is one major reason that people frequent Trinity Trails, and that is the gorgeous trail system that has been put in place here. Taken care of by the Trinity Trail Preservation Society, be assured that the trails are always in top shape. There are many entrances to the trail and many detours. For a complete map of the trail system, it is recommended to visit www.trinitytrails.org for more information.
Hiking areas are very prevalent in Collin County. As was discussed within the parks area, Sister Grove Park is a great option for those who are looking for a leisurely stroll through the Texas country. We have picked out some of the most popular hiking areas in the county with an overall look at what to expect from that site.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
6701 W. Parker Rd.
Plano, TX 75093
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve sits on 200 acres on the outskirts of Plano. There are three major trail systems at Arbor Hills, all surrounded by the beauty of the natural vegetation of the area. A paved, recreational trail is available. Frequently used by joggers and runners, this trail covers a full area of 3 miles. There are also 3 miles of natural, unpaved trails that are available to pedestrians only. This is a beautiful option if someone looking for unique scenery on a hike. There is also an off-road cycling trail that is very popular here. This trail covers 2.8 miles and has varying levels of difficulty.
4300 Co Rd. 1006
McKinney, TX 75071
Erwin Park is the epitome of cycling trails in the entire county, and the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association meticulously maintains the trails. There are 7 miles of total mountain bike trails at Erwin Park along with two bicycle repair stations. In addition to cycling trails, there are numerous hiking trails throughout the park as well.
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
5901 Los Rios Blvd.
Plano, TX 75074
Oak Point Park features something for everyone. While the vast amenities such as the zip line area and the outdoor amphitheater are impressive, patrons come here mainly for the vast amount of trails available. There are both paved trails and natural trails all throughout the area. These trails get visitors up close and personal with nature in a truly scenic setting. Oak Point Park is a great option for hiking and trail walking.
Russell Creek Park
3500 McDermott Rd.
Plano, TX 75025
Russell Creek Park is a beautiful location overall. This park has a small lake that can be used to fish or relax by the water. There is a hiking trail that runs around the lake as well as several trails that naturally occur around the park. The beauty of this area lies in the close view of the water along a hike around the trail.
The Trail at the Woods
1424 Rollins Dr.
Allen, TX 75013
The Trail at the Woods is located in the heart of Allen. Allen is among the busiest cities in Collin County. The Trail at the Woods is frequented by its many residents on a steady basis, especially after the workday has ended. This trail is perfect for jogging and running, as well as a controlled pace walk. The nature is breathtaking here. Many of the trees go up seemingly forever. A beautiful stream is commonly accompanying the trail as well, providing for a great experience with nature along with a hike.
Area State Parks
Collin County itself doesn’t have any state parks of its own. However, Denton County is home to a state park that lies along the gorgeous Ray Roberts Lake. Denton County borders Collin County to the west. Just south, in Dallas County, Cedar Hill State Park lies in the southern reaches.
Cedar Hill State Park
1570 FM 1382
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Cedar Hill State Park is known as the “Urban Oasis”. At the center of the park is a man-made small lake, complete with a beach for chairs and towels. There are numerous campsites to enjoy as well as several picnic pavilions. Take a hike on one of the many gorgeous nature trails in the park, or hop on a bike and take a ride on the paved trails around the area. Cedar Hill State Park has enjoyed great growth and has been well maintained.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park
100 PW 4137
Pilot Point, TX 76258
Ray Roberts Lake State Park is one of the most inviting parks in Texas. Ray Roberts Lake is one of the most unique lakes in the state, featuring great outlet streams for paddling and kayaking. At Ray Roberts Lake State Park, visitors can go camping for the weekend or picnic for the afternoon. Many come to enjoy the vast trails and backpacking areas available. This park is a complete and well-serviced park that has thousands of visitors each month.
Copyright: macsim / 123RF Stock Photo