The Parks and Recreation Department of Allen faces many challenges the city continues its rapid growth as opportunities for recreation in the city are as plentiful as those for commerce. There are approximately 340 acres of developed park and recreational areas distributed among 24 sites and 100 acres of undeveloped parks found at six different locations. Here, year-round activities like basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, cheerleading, volleyball and football are available for adults and children.
The Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium is a fully enclosed swimming facility, located at the southwest corner of Exchange Parkway and Rivercrest Drive. The facility features an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an indoor swim/play area complete with water lagoon, waterfalls, slides and more. Providing a complete workout facility with state of the art equipments to Allen residents as well as a climbing wall and the water sports, this facility offers individual or family memberships to Allen area residents.
Joe Farmer Recreation Center, located in Bethany Lakes Park on the northeast corner of Allen Heights and Bethany, features an outdoor amphitheatre - the location for the City's outdoor free concerts - as well as basketball court, racquetball courts, indoor walking track and workout area. Meeting space is also available in the facility and in the two adjacent buildings, both situated on the water. Picnicking, fishing and hiking is also available in the park.
Allen has a vibrant, involved senior population who enjoy a wide array of planned and impromptu activities through the Allen Senior Citizens Center. A calendar of Senior activities is available from the Center or in the Chamber office (972-727-5585).
Golf, Lakes & Other Outdoor Activities
Twin Creeks Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, opened in 1995, meanders around two tree-lined creeks creating a course that invigorates and challenges even the best golfers. The course so impressed a panel from Golf Digest that they rated Twin Creeks in the top 10 daily-fee courses in Texas. The link's design and Crenshaw bent grass greens are a dynamic combination; producing a perfect day of golf. According to Arnold Palmer, "This may be one of the best public courses in the state of Texas and the most peaceful 18-hole course that I have designed." The course is beautifully integrated into the Twin Creeks Master Planned Community. Twin Creeks has hosted both USGA and Tour tournaments. All carts are equipped with ProShot, a GPS locator providing information to the golfers.
One of the finest public facilities in the United States, Chase Oaks Golf Club offers 27 holes of championship golf. Designed by architects Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin, the courses feature bentgrass greens, tiff fairways, creeks, lakes, hills, and lots of trees.
The Blackjack course is a beautiful 18-hole championship layout that can be very demanding, especially from the back tees. Blackjack often rewards strategic shotmaking instead of strength. In 1991, the Blackjack course was named the Best Public Course in Texas by the Dallas Morning News. The course is also annually ranked in the Top 10 North Texas Courses by PGA members.
Founded in 1981, the Connemara Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to the preservation and protection of open spaces throughout North Central Texas. From an initial gift from Frances Williams of 72 acres, known as The Meadow and located on the border of Plano and Allen, the Conservancy has grown to encompass conservation easements throughout North Texas. Connemara regularly hosts workshops, seminars, school tours, nature walks and other activities designed to educate the public on the importance of preserving open spaces. Each year, artists from around the world gather at Connemara for an internationally-acclaimed sculpture show composed of works inspired by, and installed on, The Meadow. Funding for projects has come through the Texas Commission of the Arts and the cities of Allen and Plano. In 1998, the show attracted its first European participant, Scotland's Jim Buchanan. The show usually runs from early March to mid-May and includes a series of classical music events. Art and nature lovers will find it hard to beat picnicking in the Meadow among the works on a pritine spring afternoon.
Lake Lavon is an expansive and scenic 21,000 acre lake has 120 miles of shoreline with ample parks and campsites. Fishing includes catfish, blue gill, perch, crappie, bass, white bass and more. Swimming can be found at Collin Park, Mallard Park and Pebble Beach. Other amenities offered at the various parks include: campsites with electric/water hookups; tent sites; picnic areas; boat ramps/fishing; handicap picnic and fishing areas; and jet ski rentals. Various fees are applicable based on activity. Campsites in East Fork & Lavon are by reservation only at 1-800-284-2267. Group Shelter Reservations are at (972) 442-3141.
Lake Ray Hubbard is the largest recreational facility in North Texas. There is year-round fishing and sailing, and warm summers create a great temptation for water skiing and picnics. Lake Ray Hubbard was originally created as a water supply reservoir, along with other area lakes. The water surface and shore are owned by the city of Dallas, and it is city policy that such property is open to the public.
Lake Ray Roberts, with 11 miles of shoreline, features fishing, which includes channel catfish, white bass, large mouth black bass, crappie and pan fish. The park also has the following amenities: 4.5 miles of hike/bike trails; 12 miles of multi-use trails; 192 picnic sites/day areas; 184 overnight campsites; and swimming areas.
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