5 awesome ways to enjoy our parks this spring break

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

What better way to celebrate spring break than to explore the beautiful parks near your own backyard?

With College Station’s 54 developed parks covering more than 1,864 acres, we have plenty of space and activities to discover.

Allow me to suggest five free adventures:

1. Splash Pads

Slip on your swimsuits and slather on the sunscreen — we have two splash pads open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. No lifeguards are on duty, so you must supervise your children. Pets, food, glass objects, alcohol, smoking, vaping, and tobacco are prohibited. We also don’t allow toys, skateboards, rollerblades, skates, bikes, scooters, or similar equipment.

The covered, wheelchair-accessible splash pad at the Fun for All Playground at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park has tipping buckets, a weeping water shower, and directional spray areas.  The W.A. Tarrow Splash Pad next to the Lincoln Recreation Center has tipping buckets and directional spray areas.

2. Lick Creek Park

The 523-acre Lick Creek Park may be the crown jewel of College Station’s park system. As the area’s premier nature preserve, Lick Creek displays various native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. 

The park has five miles of marked trails and opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study. Restrooms are available at the Lick Creek Nature Center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday. 

Looking for a way to keep your nature lover engaged? Try your luck at Lick Creek Park Trail Bingo.

3. Fishing

If you like fishing, you can easily recall details of your best day on the lake or the first time you reeled in a feisty trout or catfish. You can recreate those experiences with your children at the ponds at Cy Miller and Beachy Central parks, which are stocked with rainbow trout each winter by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Reel in a big one with cheese, kernel corn, pastes, nightcrawlers, red wigglers, and mealworms. If you’d rather use a lure, try a small inline spinner or spoon. And don’t forget your Freshwater Fishing Stamp if you’re older than 17. 

For more information on harvest regulations and license requirements, visit Texas Parks & Wildlife.

The G. Hysmith Skate Park is a popular venue for skaters and skateboarders of all skill levels. The lighted facility features a covered spectator area, a sizeable pro-style flow bowl, pool-type bowl, and a long, linear street course with hundreds of feet of varying terrain and scalable elements. 

5. Picnics

What better way to enjoy nature than a simple picnic? Beachy Central Park offers lots of green space to enjoy an outdoor meal. You can set up a classic picnic under the trees by the pond and watch the ducks and fishers, sit beneath the gazebo, or claim a picnic table and fire up the barbecue pit. 

The park also offers climate-controlled restrooms located in the pavilion and athletic shed.

Of course, there’s more to picnicking than eating, and Central Park has plenty of fun activities. You can play a pickup game on the basketball courts or enjoy sand volleyball, flag football, soccer, or frisbee on the athletic fields. The park also has a pair of lighted tennis courts, a play unit for little ones, a one-mile walking trail, and our newest attraction, the Fun for All Playground.

Take advantage of spring break and discover something awesome right here in College Station. If you have questions or want more suggestions, contact me at knesbitt@cstx.gov.

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