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Parr Park Sprayground and Kimzey Park

Spring is creeping back into the Metroplex. This is a beautiful place three seasons of the year, but holy crap is it bleak in winter. I’m always so glad to see that first translucent shimmer of green in the treetops.

I had never seen Bob Jones Park in any season but winter, but on my last ride there I finally saw the first hints of green.

Mahogany is never calmer than when we are cruising through those woodsy trails. I think she and I are forest-loving kindred spirits. She is even becoming a pro at water crossings and lakes.

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The kids and I celebrated the return of spring by combining our first real hike of the year with the addition of two new parks to our collection: Parr Park Sprayground in Grapevine and Kimzey Park in Colleyville.

The parks ended up on my radar thanks to a metal pedestrian ramp that runs for no apparent reason up out of the Big Bear creekbed to the bridge where Pool Rd crosses the creek. There is no place to park nearby to take a closer look at it, and Google Maps was no help. This was a mystery that required solving!

Then Google added that trail system to its maps, and the mystery was solved: the ramp connects to a bike trail along Big Bear Creek. The trail was immediately added to my to-do list for when the weather warmed up. Our first attempt was rained out, but for our second try we got lovely 70┬║ weather.

Parr Park Sprayground is a great water-spray park for small children, a sports park for older kids and a connection point for a much larger trail system for the rest of us.

The water features are not in operation this early in the year, but there is a great playground for younger kids (and for those of us who never outgrew our affinity for climbing stuff).

There are a few different trail options here. We chose the one that would take us to the ramp at Pool Rd.

Part of the path was labeled “Bluebonnet Trail,” but we saw a grand total of three bluebonnets. Here they are in all their Texan glory:

We reached the metal ramp more quickly than we had expected. When you cross Pool Rd, you also cross from Grapevine…

…into Colleyville.

Being the contentious rebels that we are, we opted to cross under the bridge rather than utilizing the ramp.

Once across Pool Rd, Google instructed us to turn left and take a public road to Kimzey Park, but I opted to turn right and stay on the bike trail because I thought I was better at reading maps than Google.

Yeah…the bike trail eventually dead-ended. So we ended up taking the long way around via Colleyville Blvd and LongWood Dr.

We got there eventually.

We found a tree that was wearing birds instead of leaves.

For the return trip, we followed Google’s advice and took the road. It was indeed the shortest route. We crossed atop Pool Rd this time and took the metal ramp back down, and then backtracked the rest of the way to Parr Park.

Our next stop was Chan’s Mongolian Grill, which is basically an all-you-can-eat version of Genghis Grill. My fortune cookie told me that it’s time for another road trip.

As soon as Texas gets a bit greener, I think I might take my fortune cookie’s advice.

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, environment, Family, Horses, kids, Life, maps, trail rides, Travel, trees, Weather, Winter | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: More Parks Along the Trinity

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Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, environment, Friends, Life, maps, trees, Wildlife, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A Plethora of Parks: Summit Park and McPherson Park

I was chatting recently with one of my SoCal friends who, like me, loves to explore new places and loves public parks. I told her that the kids and I could go to a different DFW park every week and not run out of new ones for literally years. It’s one of my favorite things about the Metroplex.

That conversation got me thinking that maybe other people would enjoy reading about the parks here and what each of them has to offer. Some of them are big, sprawling places perfect for long, scenic walks, while others are more like little picnic spots. I was inspired to start a “collection” of local parks, with pics and descriptions of each one.

We can’t actually visit a different park each week. There’s no shortage of parks, just a shortage of time. But every time we do get to a new one, I’ll add it to my collection.

So yesterday the kids and I were at the Trader Joe’s in Southlake. There are two parks within easy walking distance of the store: Summit Park and McPherson Park.

Summit Park sits on a little hill surrounded by businesses:

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The area is a lot prettier in person than it looks on Google Maps. Here’s a view of the park from the top level of the parking garage behind Trader Joe’s:

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And here it is as seen from Cafe Express, where the kids and I had lunch:

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There’s a little gazebo near the center of the park.

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I would classify Summit Park as a picnic spot, because it only takes a few minutes to walk from one end to the other, but it’s a really lovely walk.

Here is the sign, to make Summit Park an official entry in my collection:

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If you’re walking from Summit Park to McPherson Park, I would recommend going by way of Southlake Town Square. There is a pretty pond and a gazebo and a fountain…

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Plus this guy.

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There’s a directory next to the Town Square. Use it to make sure you walk through the courtyard behind Brio Tuscan Grille on your way to McPherson Park, because that’s worth seeing too.

McPherson Park:

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There’s not much to say about McPherson Park; it’s basically a pond with a trail around it. It looked so uninspiring that we didn’t even walk around the pond, we just followed the trail far enough to snap a pic of the sign to make it official…

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…and then looped back into the shopping district, which is gorgeous and a nice place to spend a lot of money if that’s your thing.

To summarize, Summit Park is a lovely little picnic spot. McPherson Park is nothing special, but I’m glad we went because we saw a lot of cool stuff during the walk there and back.

Hopefully I’ll be adding new parks to my collection at least once a month. If you live in the Metroplex and you have a favorite park that you’d like to see recognized here, feel free to leave a note in the comments.

Happy trails!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Family, food, Friends, kids, Life, maps | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Knight To Queen’s Center Island

Luke and Elizabeth are supposed to return all their toys and stuff to their bedrooms or the playroom before they go to bed at night, but I found this on the living-room floor this morning:

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I have no idea what they call it or what the rules might be, but I suspect that it may be distantly related to Calvinball.

Categories: Family, Gaming, Humor, kids, Life, maps | 3 Comments

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