Saturday, October 29, 2016

Heatherstone Park

Heatherstone Park is probably well known to the families of children who attend the adjacent Heatherstone Elementary School, but if you don't know it's there, it could be hard to notice.

It's basically invisible when you're driving by on Pflumm to the east, it's bordered by a pocket of secluded gated houses on the south, a thick bunch of trees block your view of it even when you're in the school parking lot on the west, and there is a bunch of "no man's land" to the north.  You just have to know it's there, either by word of mouth, wandering down the path on the side of the school, or looking it up on something like Google Maps or the OPRD website.

So...does this qualify as a hidden treasure?  After a visit to the park via bicycle (coming up from the Indian Creek Trail, which runs past about half a block south), I'd say yes!

The first thing I found, riding my bike in from the Pflumm sidewalk, was the trail that goes around the park.  It features exercise stations, and winds along for about half a mile.

In the middle of the trail loop is an area that is allowed to grow kind of wild like the old prairie days, and there's also a strip of this in the "no man's land".

There is a shelter and a playground area, which I didn't photograph because other people's kids were there and I didn't want to seem creepy.

And there is also a pretty nice lake, with signs giving the rules about fishing.

All in all, this is a great park, with a number of nice features, which shouldn't be too crowded.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Arapaho Park (revisited)

Arapaho Park is a neighborhood park that we visited in the 2013 quest.  You can go have a look at that post to see a number of detals about the park, plus some photos I took at the time.  It's a pretty simple (but nice) park and there is not much to remark about.  For this post, I'll just add a few points.

1) The sign out in front of the park has much nicer landscaping now:

2) There was no sign of the "hideout" from the 2013 post.

3) Here is my track from Garmin Connect, which shows a way you can safely bike to Arapaho Park from the southern part of Olathe: click to view

Olathe Parks & Rec page on Arapaho Park

Mission Reboot

The quest to visit all of Olathe's parks in a year was fun, but my kids decided they weren't interested anymore after only getting to about six parks.  And life sort of got in the way.

I decided to see if I could start over with a little bit of a different mission.  I'm going to try to visit all the parks myself, and just to give it something unique, I'm going to see how many I can visit via bicycle.  Because in addition to the many great parks, Olathe (and Johnson County as a whole) has a lot of good biking trails, and a number of streets have bike lanes. we go!