Our first introduction to Erwin Park in McKinney came when Missy JJ was getting her senior photos done. Her photographer took us to other locations in the area before completing the evening at the Park. And even though it was early spring, the drive through the Park bowled us over. Of course, following that, we planned to go back several times. but it never materialized.
Last month, one of our many trips was to Erwin Park. Located in McKinney, the Park is the best getaway for an afternoon, an evening, or even a quick camping getaway overnight. What appeals most to me is that even the approach to the Park is so rustic. Long before I set foot in the Park, my mind is winding down just driving the country roads and seeing the longhorns in the adjacent farms.
Erwin Park is spread out over 212 acres, according to the McKinney official website. There are three picnic pavilions, one with electricity (Pecan Grove Shelter). Although not available for rentals currently, the pavilions can be used on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are two restroom facilities on-site, plenty of wooded areas and playgrounds for kids of all ages, to breathe and play in nature.
There are ten designated campfire sites, three of which are next to the pavilions. Campsites are available for rentals currently. Several trails are open for hiking. The Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (DORBA) maintains ten miles of bike trails, for off-road biking enthusiasts. The Park also has two Dero Bike Repair Stations for minor repairs. The stations include tools, a stand to hold the bike, and an air pump. (Above information from the McKinney Parks and Recreation page)
The evening of our visit, we first stopped to watch the longhorns from close quarters. There were two and they were close to the fence but soon enough, one of them became irritable and started bellowing loudly, striking the ground with his right hoof. His body language conveyed belligerence, so we drove away, leaving him in peace.
There is a well-paved road that winds across the entire Park. Presumably, one could drive around the whole Park and not get out even once. But that would defeat the purpose of visiting such a vast theater of nature. There were people at one of the pavilions we drove past near the entrance. Others were walking the trails nearby. We drove on past them to stop at a meadow. Bisected by the road, the field was filled with wildflowers on one side and a pond on the other. With the golden hour approaching, we posed for photos, breathing in the clean air and enjoying the soft breeze as it whispered through the trees.
Around the bend and up the incline, we saw a couple with their tent set up for the night. There were wildflowers in profusion and close-by, we could see bikers off-roading along the bike paths. Further on, there was a third pavilion, this one occupied by a couple picnicking. Nearby was a trail where others hiked and walked their pets.
Although we were the only ones intent on capturing pictures that evening, this is a great area for a photo-shoot. But the real star of the place is the harmony between being in nature and becoming a part of it. Walk, hike, bike, camp, shoot photos, picnic, cook-out, rejoice with family, no matter what one is up to, this is a suitable venue. We haven’t tried the trails here yet, but will certainly get to them in the near future.
Erwin Park is located at 4300 CR 1006, McKinney, TX 75071. Its open from 7 am to 10 pm. Website: https://www.mckinneytexas.org/885/Erwin-Park