What it is: Old Chapel Hill Road Park's official parking lot is located off of SW Durham Dr. in South Durham near Githens Middle School. Up until recently this park contained soccer fields and some great hiking trails. However, now, it also has a fabulous new playground. Strangely enough, this playground is not located near the parking lot of the park, in fact it's quite a toddler walk from that point. Instead, we accessed the park from Old Chapel Hill Rd. where there is a new dirt access point directly next to the playground. There's no official parking lot but there is room for a few cars to park near the construction dumpster. Other parking might be available at Githens Middle School, but I'm not sure how far that is from the playground.
Now on to the fun stuff, the actual playground. It was great! Someone made the comment that it was like a playground that Ikea had built, and I can see that comparison. The equipment was different and interesting. It seemed that there was one half that was geared more toward younger children and then one for older. However, I think that ANY age could enjoy this playground. In fact, while we were there with my one year old and three year old some middle schoolers arrived and had just as good of a time. There were swings, a structure with a slide and a small cargo net, and a model car. There were also some great spinning buckets to sit in and a circle that you could sit on and spin around that reminded me of a newer version of the old metal merry-go-rounds that we used to play on when we were younger. They also had a contraption that looked like a skateboard on metal rails. You could grab on to some handles and swing the skateboards from side to side. There was a huge climbing structure with rock climbing grips. Then there was a HUGE rope structure that would even be fun for adults to climb around on!
After we played on the play equipment for a long time, we wandered down the trail toward the rest of the park. It was a nice trail. Our little group of toddlers only made it as far as the first soccer field we saw which was a fabulous place for them to just run.
What we liked: We loved the different, new playground equipment. It's always nice to head to a park with new equipment that the kids have never seen before. Plus, the playground is fun for all different ages. It is also nice that the trails and fields are near the playground in case the kids need a little more to do.
What we would change: Right now, it definitely seems like the areas around the play area aren't quite finished. While the surface of the playground itself is great, around the playground is dirt, or (if it rains) mud. So, you have to watch out if you have some mud-loving toddlers that they don't find some puddles. In addition, the parking situation right now is not ideal, but there is room for some cars in the dirt area off Old Chapel Hill Rd. Hopefully, they will build a parking area at that side of the park soon.
Website and other important information:
Address: 3751 SW Durham Dr. 27707
1. A view of some of the bigger equipment
2. The climbing structure
3. The smaller side of the playground (notice the spinning tulip seat in the foreground)
4. The soccer field