With 200 acres in size and three distinct regions to explore nature, this park in Plano, Texas, is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers. To help you choose what to do, here’s a list of five reasons to visit Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.
Ease into Outdoors Activities
Love the outdoors, but in small doses at a time? No problem! Some of us need a little balance between the comforts of modern society and going back to basics in nature.
Located right in the middle of Plano, Arbor Hills is secluded enough to make you feel removed from the stress of day-to-day life but central enough to go back when you feel fully recharged. There are also cafes and restaurants within 3 miles of the trails in case you need a break from nature and need to make a run for a cup of coffee.
Perfect for Hiking and Biking
With a combined total of 6 miles of paved and unpaved marked trails, the park offers plenty of options for hikers and bikers. And you don’t have to be an expert to use them. In fact, even if it is your very first attempt at any of these activities, you’ll find a trail that suits your physical condition.
Walks in nature are definitely not boring at Arbor Hills, especially in the spring and early summer when blanket flowers and bluebonnets are in bloom.
Why take a trip to the zoo when you can see local wildlife in their natural habitat? Coyotes, bobcats, owls, and deer are some of the animals you can spot at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Rumor has it that a few people have spotted mountain lions in the past, so keep your eyes peeled! Just remember to keep your distance and have zero impact on animals’ daily routines.
Check Out the View
Climb the observation tower to see the park and the city from the top. You might end up spotting some of the Arbor Hills’ resident birds too.
If with kids, play the game of spotting the three different eco-regions in the park: the Blackland Prairie with lots of grass and flowers but few trees, the riparian forest growing along the creek, and the upland forest in higher places.
Have a Picnic (or a Nap)
Whether you’re on a date with your significant other or on a weekend outing with the kids, pack a lunch and head over to the sandbanks of Indian Creek. The shady groves provide shade and shelter from the city’s hustle and bustle, making it the perfect spot for a picnic.
Afternoon naps, especially after a long hike, are not entirely out of the question in this part of the park either.
Sometimes the best activity for your mind’s rest is to do nothing at all. Ever heard of “forest bathing?” It’s a Japanese practice in which you take in the forest atmosphere. It’s said to reduce stress and improve your overall health. At Arbor Hills Nature Reserve you can give this eco-therapy a go.
Photo: “Tower Overlook” by QuesterMark licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 | cropped from original