by Jenny Mathews
Ahhhhh Cache Valley springtime……. One day it’s 70 degrees and sunny and the next you’re back in snow boots, scraping ice off of your windshield. Pretty soon, though, the sunny days will rule the forecast and your family can explore the many wonders of this beautiful valley. Did you know that Cache Valley has over 75 parks? Sure, your favorite is usually the one closest to home, but it is nice to know wherever you’re at, there is probably a playground nearby. Here’s a list of some of the best parks and trails your family can visit on those precious days when Mother Nature decides to cooperate.
BEST parks for group get-togethers:
If you have a large group gathering to plan, the following parks have everything you could ask for.
Smithfield’s Mack Park has two reservable pavilions with seating for around 100 people, sand volleyball area, streams, fire pits, playground and a horseshoe pit. The trees are gigantic and would provide much needed shade in the heat of the summer — especially great when you consider the very young and very mature visitors. There are also playgrounds for the kids and a stream that is perfect for racing twig boats.
Adams Park in Logan is another shady haven. The city seems to fade into the background as the leaves of the large ancient trees rustle and sway in this historical park. With newer playground equipment, a large covered pavilion with electricity, barbeque areas as well as a sand volleyball pit, you might be surprised to find it all so much in the center of everything.
Hyrum Gibbons Mt. Logan Park is Logan’s largest neighborhood park. This 22-acre park is situated on the east bench or “Cliffside” area of Logan, and has a stunning view. The park is relatively new and is perfect for kids of all ages! Some of the best features are its large open spaces, well maintained pavilions and restrooms and loop walkway.
Lundstrom Park, Merlin Olsen Park and Willow Park are classic Cache Valley parks and all offer everything you need for a group gathering, large or small. I have fond memories of leisurely floating along or wading in the river at Merlin Olsen Park as a child. At Willow Park there is something for everyone. There’s a zoo, sports complex, batting cages, sand volleyball pit, pavilions with seating for up to 300 and more. Lundstrom Park is known for sunny, wide-open spaces, large trees and the one thing that everyone runs to first: the tire swing!
BEST parks For Nature lovers:
Without a doubt, Cache Valley is a nature lovers dream. For you all, we have many lovely parks and trails. Take a drive up Logan canyon and visit Canyon Entrance Park. There, you can feed the ducks, fish or begin a trek along the Logan River Walk Trail. Farther along you can visit Second Dam or Rendezvous Park for fishing, camping and more. For more wildlife viewing and trail walking, visit Denzil Stewart Nature Park on the Island or Devere and Velda Harris Park and Nature Preserve up Dry Canyon. A.J. Park up Blacksmith Fork Canyon has a lot to offer the family looking for a little of everything. Nestled in the mountainside, just off the highway, the park has enough pavilion seating for 120+ people, a fire pit, sand volleyball pit and playground. You can get away from it all, surround yourself with all the canyon has to offer, without sacrificing conveniences.
Adventure Park in Logan
BEST Playground Parks:
A quick Facebook poll revealed the two favorite playgrounds in Cache Valley are at Ryan’s Place Park in River Heights (400 South and 600 East) and the new Adventure Park at the Whittier community center in Logan (290 North 400 East). These special parks were built with donations of time and money from the community and have equipment that accommodates children with disabilities. Imaginations are limitless amongst the castles, rocket ships, trains, boats, and bridges. Local mom, Leinani Jenkins, had this to say about Adventure Park,
“… By far the best in the valley. I love that it is gated- having 4 young kids and twin two-year-olds; I feel that they are safe even if I can’t see all 4 of them at the same time. I appreciate that the floor is safe and not messy…”
Neither of these parks have their own restrooms, but Adventure Park does has access to the Whittier Center’s restroom’s if the Center is open. So plan ahead for that.
BEST “hidden treasure” parks:
We’re not talking about actual pirate treasure, but visit these next several smaller parks and you just may discover something unique and valuable.
River Hollow Park on the Island has that peaceful charm that the Island is known for. It has many of the amenities of a larger park including the reservable pavilion, volleyball pit, barbeques, etc, but there are usually fewer people.
Pioneer Park in Mendon may not have any playground equipment, but children and adults alike will enjoy the beauty that surrounds them on the foothills of the Wellsville Mountains as they explore the log cabin and maybe even put on an impromptu performance in the amphitheater.
Disc (or Frisbee) Golf is becoming widely popular and as far as we can tell, the only park in the valley with a disc golf course is Von Baer Park in Providence. You have to try this game; your family will be hooked.
Childhood simply wouldn’t be childhood and summer simply wouldn’t be summer without running through the sprinklers. Now, with the addition of splash pads in two Cache Valley parks, you can enjoy the same experience with fewer sticky pieces of wet grass to clean off of shivering kids! Though these splash pads, won’t be operating until school is out, check them out in Providence at Alma Leonhardt Park on 310 West 250 North, and Meadow View Park in North Logan at 2720 North 300 East.
For a more comprehensive list of parks in Logan City, their facilities, pet restrictions, and reservation information, visit www.loganutah.org/PR/parks_and_trails. For information on other parks mentioned, try these links: