Saturday, January 14, 2012

Garrett Road Park

What it is: We've lived in Durham for ten years all together, and I used to drive to work by Garrett Rd. Park across from Jordan High School everyday.  While I'd played tennis at its courts, I always wondered what the rest of the park was like.  Then, recently, I noticed some new equipment going up as I drove by, so I was definitely curious to check out what was actually there.

Last Saturday morning when the tennis courts were bustling, we headed on over to see what else was there.  There are three distinct sections that we noticed at the park.  First, there are the tennis courts which are a nice place to play if you can get an open court (which can be tricky on the weekends).  Then, there is the trail portion.  This trail passes by a lake at the park and connects to the Third Fork Creek Trail which takes you all the way up to Southern Boundaries Park off of MLK.  There were plenty of dog walkers heading out when we saw it.

The last part of the park was the part we were most interested in: the picnic shelter and playground area.  It was a very weird collection of play structures.  They had a tire swing, a bar you could climb on and push around, a net hung between two rocks, and another small rocks to climb.  These items were clearly new as well as the mulch underfoot.  The playground still had a nice view of the lake which was fenced off to keep kids from running in to take a dip.  The picnic shelter was right next to the playground and was clearly not newly renovated, but it did contain several picnic tables and had a grill nearby.  Next to the playground was a HUGE, fairly-cleared wooded area.  The trees were large and there was plenty of room for kids to run underneath for as long as they wanted.  This was actually my favorite part.  My boys, however, liked this one older structure off in the woods a little ways that was clearly a remnant of the older playground equipment.  It was a ladder that led up into a UFO shaped metal hideout.  I remember playing in these when I was little, and my boys had a great time getting up in it.

What we liked:  We liked the tennis courts and trail in combination with this playground.  We also loved the large wooded area for the kids to run and play in.  It was also a nice thought to fence in the lake so kids couldn't jump in.

What we would change: While they do have a nice long fence to separate the park from busy Garrett Rd. it does end if you go far enough up through the trees.  So, you would have to make sure your kids didn't wander that far.  In addition, when we went in the picnic shelter, we did notice broken glass which was a big negative that day.  The fact that it's across from Jordan High School might also mean that you would have high schoolers hanging out there on the weekdays like you do at Hope Valley Baptist Church, but you would have to check that out for yourself.

Website and other important information:


Address: 6815 GARRETT ROAD 27707


1. a view of the woods to frolic in

2. A view of the playground and picnic shelter

3. The tennis courts and trail

4. A view of the lake from the playground

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