The three major natural zones featured in the preserve, Riparian Forest, Upland Forest and Blackland Prairie; encompass the 200-acre Arbor Hills Nature Preserve park on the western border of Plano. The vast areas provide natural beauty for walking, jogging, hiking, orienteering, and other outdoor activities you can enjoy year round.
Dog Park at Jack Carter Park
The Dog Park at Jack Carter Park is a double-gated, fenced, 2-acre area along Bluebonnet Trail in central Plano. The dog park is the only off-leash area park with benches, picnic tables, water stations for both humans and animals, and waste pickup/disposal stations. Plan your outing with your best friend with information from the website
Haggard Park is located amidst the thriving Historic Downtown Plano and is home to the Interurban Railway Museum. Originally the primary stop on the Texas Electric Railway that ran from Denison to Dallas beginning in 1908, the Interurban Railway Museum was restored in 1990 and now contains artifacts associated with the Interurban Line. The five acre park offers a gazebo, picnic tables, and playground and is host to activities such as summer community band concerts, festivals and the annual Dickens in Historic Downtown holiday celebration. Haggard Park is the only park along the DART light rail system and is easily accessed from the Downtown Plano Station.
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
The Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is approximately 800 acres located along Rowlett Creek in eastern Plano. One of the features of the park is the amphitheater. Amenities include seating for 1000 persons on terraces and native Texas limestone retaining walls, permanent sound and lights, an entertainment roof structure, comfortable and convenient restroom facilities, and production control room.
Plano Balloon Festival
Every September Plano hosts the Plano Balloon Festival with over 200,000 visitors. It's a nonprofit event for the whole family that features ballooning events, performance arts stages, hands-on activities, and more.
Bob Woodruff Park
Bob Woodruff Park has two pavilions, a playground, restrooms, a fishing pier, a sand volleyball court, and a hard surface recreational trail measuring 1.7 miles for hiking and biking. The pavilions are available for reservation through the parks and recreation reservation system here.
Plano Bicycle Association
New to group cycling? Then the Plano Bicycle Association (pba) is the perfect place to start. With nearly 600 members and over 20 weekly rides throughtout the year, the PBA has options for riders of every skill level and is a great way for newcomers to make friends.
Plano Sports Authority (PSA)
Plano Sports Authority provides quality year-round recreational sports leagues to youth who live within the Plano Independent School District and surrounding areas. The PSA was founded as a non-profit agency when the individual sports leagues incorporated to form one administrative youth sports organization. Its volunteer base offers 14 different sports to 44,0000 kids annually.
The Dr Pepper StarCenter
The Plano Dr Pepper StarCenter provides lessons for ice skating, hockey and figure skating. The Plano facility is home to the Dallas Junior Hockey Assocation. It also serves the most figure skating customers in the Metro area.
World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA)
The World Olympic Gymnastics Academy is one of the nation's premiere gymnastic training programs. Olympic All-Around Champions Nastia Liukin (2008) and Carly Patterson (2004) trained at WOGA in Plano. WOGA founders Valeri Liukin and Yevgeny Marchenki serve as coaches. WOGA also offers gymnastics for children of all ages and skill level.
Texas Parks & Wildlife
The Texas Parks & Wildlife department is as devoted to making Texas' fishing, hiking, boating, biking and other outdoor recreations more accessible and fun for everyone as it is to conserving the natural and cultural resources of Texas. For your guide to Texas State Parks, historic sites, and many other outdoor activities, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.
North Texas Lakes
There are more than 60 lakes within 100 miles of the Dallas/Fort Worth area that are open for sailing enthusiasts, water and jet skiing, fishing, swimming and countless other water recreations. To locate a lake in North Texas, use the Texas Parks & Wildlife's Texas Lake Finder.
Cedar Hill State Park
An excellent example of the high quality Texas State Park experience can be found at the Cedar Hill State Park. This 1,826 acre park is located right in Southwest Dallas County in an area known as the "Cedar Mountains." The park features 4.5 miles of hiking/backpacking trails, 10.3 miles of mountain bike trails, and the 7,500-acre Joe Pool Reservoir. Cedar Hill has some of the best mountain bike trails in Texas. Only minutes away from downtown Dallas, Cedar Hill State Park is a unique outdoor destination that isn't far from home.
Dallas Sierra Club
The Dallas Sierra Club is an organization of volunteers that conducts more than 150 outings every year, free of charge. The outings feature activities such as day hikes around Dallas, weekend trips to state parks, or backpack trips to national wilderness areas. The Dallas Sierra Club is also committed to conserving the environment and helping inner-city children experience the great outdoors.
Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve
The Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve, located south of Alma Drive on Tatum Road, is 72 acres of tree-lined meadows and a cavernous winding creek lined by towering native trees. It is owned by Connemara Conservancy which is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving and protecting open space and the remaining natural beauty in North Texas for both present and future generations. The Meadow is open by appointment and can be made available for certain types of events.
Cedar Ridge Preserve
At an elevation of 755 feet, Cedar Ridge Preserve is a slice of the hill country just 20 minutes outside Dallas. Located at 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas, Cedar Ridge Preserve is a not-for-profit natural habitat of 633 acres featuring 10 miles of hiking trails, a native plant nursery, butterfly gardens and picnic areas. Hours: Sunrise to Sunset, Tuesday – Sunday.
White Rock Lake
Dallas' White Rock Lake is a scenic town lake which is popular with city residents who enjoy running, biking, walking and fishing. It features a 9.3 mile hike and bike trail that wraps around the lake. The lake is surrounded by scenic neighborhoods and provides a good view of downtown Dallas. Other amenities include: Audubon Society-designated bird watching area and wetlands site, numerous scenic picnic areas, and fishing piers for catfish, sunfish, and bass fishing. Special events, including the March of Dimes Walk America, White Rock Marathon, the White Rock Lake Trash Bash, and numerous sponsored runs.
Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary
The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural science education center, uniquely set and preserved in McKinney, Texas. With a 289-acre wildlife sanctuary, four miles of hiking trails, a two-acre native plant garden, live animals, indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as classrooms and laboratories, The Heard welcomes over 60,000 visitors annually, including more than 20,000 children who attend science and hands-on preschool, home school and summer camp programs. Hundreds of volunteers make The Heard their favorite backyard, and affinity groups, sponsors, donors and members contribute to The Heard's focus on ecosystem restoration and conservation. The Heard is dedicated to demonstrating, by example, the extraordinary importance of protecting the environment and natural habitats.
Gleneagles Country Club (Private Course)
Gleneagles Country Club was established in 1985 and is perhaps best known for its golf courses, 36 holes of championship golf, designed by the team of Von Hagge and Devlin. The two courses have superior bent grass greens and water in view on the majority of the fairways. The Queen’s Course stretches to the North with a par 71, 141 slope. Many lakes come into play, and when the wind blows, she is not quite the lady her name suggests. The King’s Course takes a turn to the South with the challenge of White Rock Creek giving it a par 72, 146 slope.
The Hills Golf Course, of Prestonwood Country Club (Private Course)
The Hills Golf Course, of Prestonwood Country Club, was designed by Dave Bennett of Austin and is an 18-hole championship course. This course offers members one of the most exciting golfing challenges today encompasses rolling hills, crystal waterscapes and a profusion of natural foliage.
The golf course at Los Rios Country Club (Private Course)
The golf course at Los Rios Country Club was designed in 1974 by Texas golf legend Don January. The traditional layout spreads over 220 acres and features tree-lined fairways and generous sized Bermuda greens. The natural terrain for this 6,507 yard, par-71 course is studded with Live Oak trees and etched by the waters of a meandering creek that comes into play on 14 of 18 holes. Eight glistening ponds are found throughout the course, adding an additional test for golfers. The trees narrow the fairways providing you with an unforgettable round that challenges your skills.
Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course (Public Course)
Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course is a championship municipal golf course built on City land and privately operated on behalf of the City of Plano. The course, which opened in October, 1996, features a challenging layout of rolling hills and tree-lined fairways. All the greens are accessible from the front, are large in size, fast and undulating, while the fairways are average width, fairly flat and forgiving.
High Point Park Tennis Center (Public Courts)
High Point Park Tennis Center, a City of Plano Parks and Recreation Facility, consists of 21 lighted outdoor tennis courts, practice wall, Sports PC wall, playground, and pro shop with restrooms and dressing facilities. Lessons, leagues, and tournaments are offered on a regular basis for those wanting organized activities. For players not wanting a structured activity, many courts are open for reservations.
Trinity River Corridor Project
This ambitious public works project seeks to transform 10,000 acres of the Trinity River into the largest urban park in the U.S. Along the river will be a collection of sports fields, trails, nature centers, and recreational opportunities. The Trinity River Project incorporates several new recreational developments aimed at improving quality of life for downtown Dallas residents and visitors. These include: an Audubon nature center a set of new trails for biking, hiking, and walking, parks, a standing wave, sports complexes, a horse park, and two man-made lakes.
Trinity River Audubon Center
The 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States. The forest supports a diverse community of plant and animal species and contains a unique mixture of bottomland hardwoods, wetlands and grasslands. Visitors to the Trinity River Audubon Center have the opportunity to explore hands-on exhibits, four miles of nature viewing trails, the Children’s Discovery Garden, and a great nature store with unique gifts and nature related items.