Denton County has a lot to offer for family entertainment during the summer months.
As we all prepare for a new school year around the corner, now is the time to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available for quality time with loved ones.
Not many counties can claim three lakes within its boundaries. In Denton County, we have Grapevine Lake (www.lake-grapevine.com), Lake Lewisville (www.lake-lewisville.org) and Lake Ray Roberts, each with swimming areas complete with beaches, boat ramps, camping areas, marinas and even cabin rentals.
Lake Ray Roberts (https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake) also sports a number of hike, bike and horse trails along the heavily-treed area surrounding the largest of the counties’ manmade reservoirs. Geocaching, backpacking and even a stay at the Lone Star Lodge are also family-friendly activities.
Alongside the Denton County Transportation Authority’s A-train commuter rail line is the 19-mile A-train Rail Trail (www.dcta.net/getting-around/a-train-rail-trail) from downtown Denton to the Hebron station in Lewisville for cyclists and pedestrians. The trail includes rest areas with benches, crosses Lake Lewisville and continues through wooded areas, connecting with several area city trails along the way.
We always welcome visitors to the Denton County Historical Park (www.dentoncounty.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Denton-County-Historical-Park-120) at 317 W. Mulberry St. in Denton, just a few blocks southwest of the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum (www.dentoncounty.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/CourthouseontheSquare-Museum-110) with exhibits for all ages to enjoy.
The Courthouse-on-the-Square, built in 1896, is surrounded by a lawn perfect for an outdoor lunch and often is at the heart of community events. The museum, free of charge, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The Historical Park features the Bayless-Selby House museum and the Quakertown House museum along with a lush landscape maintained by the Denton County Master Gardeners Association. The park museums, free of charge, are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Elm Fork Nature Preserve, which borders Denton County in Carrollton, sits off 2335 Sandy Lake Road. Nature trails on the 40-acre preserve offer flora, fauna and wildlife sightings of raccoons, beavers, armadillos, eastern cottontails red-tailed hawks, great horned owls and more. (www.cityofcarrollton.com/departments/departments-g-p/parks-recreation/facilities/elm-fork-nature-preserve)
A 2,600-acre classroom known as the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area or LLELA (www.llela.org), for short, provides an immersive outdoor experience with campfires, night hikes, nature walks, birding, fishing, kayaking and more. It even sports an 1869 log cabin. An activity calendar is available online. Currently, due to recent heavy rains, river access and fishing is not currently accessible.
Our larger communities also feature hike and bike trails, play areas, gazebos for outdoor meals and other amenities – from Flower Mound to Highland Village and Lewisville to Denton. For instance, Highland Village’s Wichita Forest Park off Highland Village Road (www.highlandvillage.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Wichita-Forest-16) is a 24-acre natural resource area perfect for a morning nature hike.
We have a plethora of opportunities to spend quality time with family in these summer months. Take the opportunity to plan a few outings in the coming weeks and enjoy all that Denton County has to offer.
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If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected], and my office number is 940-349-2820. For more information, register for my newsletter at www.Dentoncounty.gov/countyjudgenewslettersignup