This article appears in the May issue of 400 Life.
Traveling around Forsyth County parks, there is no shortage of fields, gyms and courts where both kids and adults can play and practice sports like football, tennis, basketball, soccer and more. But beyond the ball fields, Forsyth County parks offer numerous amenities for those with interests from skateboarding to camping and special amenities offered for furry friends and those with disabilities.
“We strive to enhance the quality of life for all citizens and believe that offering a wide variety of recreation amenities is vital,” said Laura Pate, marketing and community relations manager with Forsyth County Parks and Recreation.
“It’s important for everyone to find something they can do at their local park; to know that activities are not just limited to team sports or playgrounds. We offer activities and services for people with all abilities. Also, with such a growing population it’s important to keep expanding our offerings to include many interests and outlets for recreation opportunities.”Check out some of Forsyth County’s most unique amenities below.
For those looking for a sport more extreme than those played on fields, the skate park at Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way, lets bikers, skateboarders and in-line skaters show their stuff. It should be noted that the facility is not supervised and all users are required to wear a helmet and are encouraged to wear wrist guards and knee and elbow pads.
“The skate park was designed by the renowned skateboarder, Wally Hollyday, and is the only skate park in Forsyth County,” Pate said. “The park features bowls, rails and ramps for skateboards, scooters and bikes.”
Pets are an important part in many families, and the park system has three park amenities just for dogs, including one at Caney Creek Preserve, 2755 Caney Creek Road.
“The dog park features two fenced areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. The park allows dogs to run around off leash and socialize with other dogs,” Pate said. “The area is fairly shaded and provides benches for dog owners to relax.”
(Caney Creek Preserve, Fowler Park, Windermere Park)
In March, Forsyth Parks opened a new disc golf course at Chattahoochee Pointe Park, 5790 Chattahoochee Pointe Drive, to the community, joining an existing facility at Central Park at 2300 Keith Bridge Road.
As the name implies, in disc golf, players toss a throwing disc toward a large tee.
“The disc golf course at Chattahoochee Pointe just opened in March and is situated in a natural setting along the Chattahoochee River,” Pate said. “The course features 18 holes with blue tees for advanced players while the white tees are for beginner to intermediate players. As an added feature, the course includes two basket setting options to create different challenges for players.”
(Central and Chattahoochee Pointe parks)
For those who want to take it a little easier than some of the other rigorous features, head to Shady Grove Campground, 7800 Allyn Lane Memorial Way, for the only county-operated campground in Forsyth.
“The 109-acre campground offers over 100 campsites — including tent campsites, RV campsites and group campsites, a beach and swim area, boat ramp with a courtesy dock, children’s playground and restroom and shower facilities,” Pate said.
Pate said reservations can be made online at parks.forsythco.com. The 2019 season began in March and will continue until Nov. 2.
Along with the Big Creek Greenway, Forsyth County offers mountain biking at Charleston, Haw Creek and Matt Community parks.
At Matt Community Park, riders can traverse more than 3 miles of paths.
“The trail at Matt Community Park features stacked loops that total just over 3 miles allowing for walking, jogging and mountain biking,” Pate said. “The trail meanders through woods and near a pond. The trailhead is located near the back of the park.”
(Charleston, Haw Creek, Matt Community Park)
Forsyth County seems to have a walking trail at just about all of its parks, but Fowler Park has one unlike any other in the area.
The Braille Trail was created especially for those with vision issues and opened in 2018.
“The Braille Trail is located near the entrance to the Big Creek Greenway in Fowler Park and is approximately 200 yards in length and is comprised of eight braille signs and two sensory gardens,” Pate said. “The trail has guide ropes located on the right side for visually impaired individuals to navigate the trail. Braille signs are placed throughout the trail with information about Forsyth County, Fowler Park, the Forsyth County Lions Club and the sensory gardens.”
Bike skills park
Pate said young bikers looking for something a little different than just trails can head to Haw Creek Park, 2146 Echols Road, where the county has a bike skills park made especially for riders ages 3-11, which includes a pump track, tot track and technical trail features.
“It’s located at Haw Creek Park which also offers a 3.2-mile multi-use trail that allows mountain biking. The trail is a good beginner trail that’s conveniently located off Hwy. 20 in east Forsyth,” Pate said.