Exploring Three Ashland City Parks

North Mountain, Riverwalk and Ashland Creek Parks

Photos by Darryl, Patricia and Sunny

A small group gathered at North Mountain Park, some driving and some walking from home; ready for fun, exercise and socializing.

Continuing a theme from last week, we combined exploring three parks into a new hybrid local hike. With all three city parks located between North Mountain Avenue and Helman Street, it was natural to investigate all three for a 6 mile loop. And an appreciation of nature is what we found as all three parks are bordered by first Bear Creek and then Ashland Creek.

At North Mountain Park, we started at the Nature Center where park visitors can list all the birds and other wildlife they viewed on their visit. Next came a walk through the volunteer garden, with a section tended by our own Patricia Smith. We were reminded of our friend Betty Lowes, who loved to tend her section.

From there we followed the path across bridges to our first view of Bear Creek and noted that you can watch salmon swimming up the creek during October. The mulch path took us through the simulated native American village and then to the unique all natural playground. We completed our loop of North Mountain by heading up the aerobic hill to the upper park.

As we crossed North Mountain Avenue we entered a wild area along  Bear Creek that birders love; this is the new Riverwalk Park. The park, which grew by five acres in 2020 when the land was donated by an Ashland couple, also has a loop trail that includes a view of Bear Creek and a possible extension of Kestrel Park across the creek. An uphill hike out of the park leads us out to Oak Street and on to our final park.

Ashland Creek Park on Hersey Street is on a large expanse of land which includes the 48 plot community garden, playground with sheltered picnic tables and lawn, area in the back for a proposed dog park and the scenic Ashland Creek running down the west side of the park. We stopped for lunch in the picnic area as the sun was still out but dark clouds were moving overhead

It turned out to be a great day, as we got a break from the recent rain and fog, and the sun warmed us a bit during the hike. Our group was really happy to explore these three city parks that combine both recreation and excellent views of nature.

Happy Trails,
Rich  

Ashland Hiking Home

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