In the far reaches of the northern side of the metroplex, Erwin Park is a hidden gem found in the city of McKinney Texas. Tucked away amongst trees and prairie land, this DORBA maintained mountain bike trail provides an easy to moderately difficult trail for mountain bikers of all skill levels.
What Makes It Great
Although the park is situated between several local farms and ranch lands, the crop of trees that are protected in this city park provide a welcomed relief to the relatively flat landscape that surrounds the park boundary. While it can take some time to reach the park from the cities to the south, this low traffic, high speed trail will surely find itself on your rotation list of fun mountain bike trails.
One minute you’ll be in the thick of a forest, and the next you’ll pop out into open prairie. This allows the rider to gain some serious speed and the trail winds through the open grass. During the summer months this can create blistering conditions, however, you should be able to get through these sections fast enough to reach the shaded sections in no time.
Unlike the surrounding flat farm lands, the 8 mile trail has some serious terrain to deal with. Tight twists and turns through manicured tree sections will keep your eyes on the path in front of you. Dips and climbs are scattered throughout the wooded sections, with multiple pitches containing logs and obstacles to jump or roll over. Hard dirt and some soft sand are characteristic of the majority of the trail, and rocks are scarcely encountered – though roots are commonplace.
Who is Going to Love It
For those looking to practice time trials, this is a great trail to do over and over again. With the open space the prairie sections provide, you’re sure to find this a great workout as you speed through the broad twists and turns cut into the grassland. With the lack of any major rock gardens or cliffs, novice riders will find this trail a good place to introduce themselves to the sport. Bypasses are also available throughout the trail, allowing the not so experienced rider to skip the technical sections.
Picnic tables, bathrooms, playgrounds, and rest areas are present on the park grounds making this a great place for the family to visit. Camping is also available for those looking to spend a night or two.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Dallas, head north on I-75 until reaching the City of McKinney. Head west on Hwy 380 where you will go north on Lake Forest Drive. A quick right on FM 162-FM164, then an immediate left on FM 1006 will take you to the park entrance. Keep left upon entering the park and use the far parking area, which is free. The trailhead can be found down the road a bit further marked by the DORBA kiosk.
Bring plenty of water during the summer months, and always wear a helmet!