Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Solite Park-Updated

*In tribute to the fabulous weather this week, we thought we'd update you on some of the changes to one of our S. Durham parks.  Hope you're heading to your favorite local park today! (All of our changes and updates will be in italics.)

What it is: Solite Park is a park located on the American Tobacco Trail in South Durham.  It has two smaller play structures, a swing set with both regular swings and bucket swings, picnic structures, and restrooms.  All of this is surrounded by large open areas.  While mostly grass, these open areas include a basketball court, some weathered volleyball courts, and some small dirt hills created for biking (a style of biking track apparently called Trail and Pump track).  The park is also directly off of the American Tobacco Trail.

*As of 9/12 the two play structures have been replaced by a nice new large one and a rock wall tunnel that was little enough for my young ones to climb up and over.  They also had a ball hiding under it.  Plus, they have a new see saw.  I love how we're starting to see these come back at the newer playgrounds!  My boys love to bounce up and down on these (with a little help).

What we liked: This playground was great for my toddler because the play structures were a bit smaller.  With the size of the structures and the emptiness of the playground, my more-cautious son did much more exploring on the actual structures than usual.  The dirt hills for biking were also a great toddler diversion.  Even though the playground was very sunny, the large picnic shelter gave us ample space to get out of the sun for some snacks.  The access to the American Tobacco Trail makes this a great stop if you would like to go out for a little walk and then have a place for toddlers that have been cooped up in strollers to blow off some steam.

They also have bathrooms that, in my experience, are actually open.  It is a frequent bathroom break for people running and biking long distances on the Tobacco Trail. 

*The new play equipment is a lot of fun!  My boys like the new play structure but loved the see saw and rock wall tunnel.  However, while we were there we did notice that one of the regular bathrooms was locked, but they did have a port--o-potty there as well.

What we would change: While this park feels completely safe with a group, I might not feel safe heading there on my own.  In addition, in the heat of summer, it would be hot! 

*The new play structure is very tall, so I had to watch my little one pretty carefully as he climbed.  With the current safety watches on the Tobacco Trail, I would still recommend going to this park with someone else.  

Website and other important information: The entrance to Solite Park is a bit tricky to find.  It is located off of Fayetteville Rd. between MLK Blvd. and Barbee, but you have to look carefully for the gravel road to the parking lot.

Website: http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/gis_apps/parkapp/park.cfm?selVal=park&ParkNam=Solite+Park

Address: 4704 FAYETTEVILLE ROAD 27713


(The new play structure)

(new rock wall tunnel)

(A view looking back out towards Fayetteville Rd. from the park.  It is separated from the road by a large grassy expanse.)

(The picnic shelter)

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