I went to a place that I’ve only heard mentioned on the news, Dacula Georgia. Turns out it’s really not too far, straight out 316 about 20 minutes from where I live. The 20 minutes was well worth the drive to experience Rabbit Hill Park.
The park is split and runs on both sides of Rabbit Hill Trail and hosts an abundance of amenities. In the evenings the entire park is in use. In the mornings, folks primarily make use of the trail and the dog park. What’s cool about the dog park is that it doesn’t allow for dogs and owners to mingle all willy-nlly. There are separate spaces for large and small dogs as well as a “dog run”.
The park website indicates 2.65 miles of paved trail. Coming from Hurricane Shoals, this refers to the part of the park that is on the left, which includes the dog park and volleyball lots. The outer loop of the trail is 1.34 miles. The loop and the inner trails make up the the 2.65. I actually chose to run the 1.34 outer loop, crossed the street and looped around the basketball/baseball/lake side of the park which is about 1 mile with another 1/4 mile (approximate) around the lake. Whatever route you choose, it’s all pretty much smooth sailing.(map courtesy of Gwinnett County Parks)
A few other notes on the trail to be mindful of: only the dog park side is marked, also both sides have stretches where there is no shade, i.e. you’ll cook but only briefly. Lastly neither side of the park is hilly, winding yes, some short inclines yes, but no hills. I’d say it’s perfect for getting in speedwork which I did see a guy doing but I didn’t photograph him as he was giving me side eye when we crossed paths earlier.
I love this park. Rabbit Hill has something for just about everyone. After having completed Peachtree, I really wanted to go out and run for the joy of it and Rabbit Hill Park is a great place to run/walk/bike etc. and enjoy the sights. For more information on Rabbit Hill Park visit the website. For more photos, see the album on Google+.
Until next time see you on the trail.
Photos: MsThorns except where noted
When I first discovered it about four years ago, it was closed, blocked off and pretty much in shambles. I kept passing by and in 2013 saw that it was being renovated and shaping up to be nothing like that first visit. The place had been gutted with signs of life appearing that looked very much like many of Gwinnett’s other great parks. This past weekend, on a quest for the next park to try, I found an article about a re-opening. Woo-hoo! Lion’s Club Park had re-opened so I had to go check it out.
Lion’s Club Park
in Lilburn, Georgia received a $5.3 million overhaul
and was re-opened in February 2014. By Memorial weekend 2014, residents were taking full advantage of its amenities which include: a baseball complex with five lighted ball fields, 1,800-square-foot concession/restroom building, plaza, batting cages, 60-foot pavilion area, maintenance building, more than 850 parking spaces, paved trail system with benches, adult swings and shelters. (Amenities listing courtesy of the Gwinnett Daily Post. The county’s website has not been updated as of this writing)
The trail is paved, circles the park and is a short but challenging .77 miles. From the parking area at the main entrance headed toward Rockbridge is all downhill. There’s a brief flat area on the back end near the furthest baseball field and then it’s back uphill to the starting point. There are no mile markers, which is okay given the distance. Additionally since this park is basically new, there are mostly new trees, meaning that shade is limited and located in the back of the park by the residential entrance and the front main entrance. Runners, walkers and other sportos should get there EARLY to avoid getting baked.
Now if a quick 3 miles is all you want, circle the park 4 times for a near 5K or, at the bottom on Rockbridge stay left at the fork, pass under Rockbridge and enter the Camp Creek Greenway
— Glorious! Not available until this year, the Lion’s Club Park Trail now feeds into the Greenway. A potential long route is to loop around Lion’s Club Park onto the Greenway, through Lilburn Park, onto the Greenway offshoots and back, which is some nice mileage with a mix of scenery, inclines and flats. I chose a “tweener” route by taking one loop around Lion’s Club Park over to the Greenway, circling Lilburn Park and coming back to Lion’s Club which was a bit over 4 miles.
The new Lion’s Club Park is a great neighborhood park for families, fitness enthusiasts and baseball/softball fans with the bonus of a feeder trail system. If you’re in the area or are from Lilburn and remember how the park was, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what the park has become.
Until next time, see you on the trail where I’ll be getting my running legs back. 🙂
I moved to Atlanta from New Orleans. For my two years as a resident I had the joy of running through Audubon Park
, a fast, beautiful shaded 1.8 mile trail near campus and my apartment. Coming to Atlanta was a rude for me as a runner, having started running through the flatness of Indiana, then in NOLA, I was dismayed with the hills of this new locale. Just the same I was determined to resume running somewhere and enlisted my BFF to find me a suitable park . That first park was Best Friend Park
. Located off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross, Georgia, Best Friend at that time (21 years ago) was more about hoops than it was about running and walking. Just the same, I gave the park a whirl found it less than desirable. I don’t believe that the trail was even finished at that time.
Having run most of the parks in my area over the last few years, I recently headed back to Best Friend. Entering from Jimmy Carter and heading back toward the giant powerlines leads straight to the beginning of the trail. What I saw was a pleasant surprise, nothing at all like I remembered.
The trail starts on top of a slight hill, winds down and back up near the tennis center. There’s a pedestrian crossing at that point as there is an entrance on that side. The trail continues past a field up another slight hill, curves around and ends back at the trail start. The trail is listed at .75 miles and it goes fairly quickly since it’s not hilly. The shade is adequate on the back side, but I imagine it may be pretty hot during the summer as you’re making the loop around back to the start as there are no trees on that portion of the trail.
The Best Friend Park paved trail is a great, short trail that would be good for days when you don’t want to do anything long or difficult or if you want to do some speedwork amongst the trees in lieu of a track. If you’re in the area, check it out hopefully you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I.
Until next time, see you on the trail, where you will not EVER find ME doing speedwork. 🙂
I knew it was my last one until November (ragweed sucks) but I’m so glad I got this one in.
Since I was going to be in the area, I came geared up and ready to run in George Pierce Park. A huge park in the Gwinnett part of Suwanee was a good one to go to. On this particular Saturday I ran right smack into the Suwanee Fall Festival on the square, but once through the traffic I made it the park.
George Pierce Park features all the typicals but on a grand scale. Multiple baseball, football and softball fields, a senior center, basketball court, pavillions and playgrounds. In fact the park is so big that I didn’t get to see it all and with darkness approaching quickly I had to stop the tour in order to get the run in.
Or should I say trails, there are multiple ones. The main paved trail loops around a couple of football fields and is a little over a mile long and slightly, not overly hilly. After running the mile loop twice, I made a turn down hill and ran right on to the Suwanee Greenway which was a treat that wasn’t expected.
Suwanee Greenway runs between two parks, George Pierce in Suwanee and Suwanee Creek in Buford and is a whopping 9.5 miles of basically flat, fast tree covered running/walking/biking excellence. The trail is concrete and wooden with several diversions along the way that allow great views of the wetlands and wildlife.
George Pierce is a great park for families and sports enthusiasts and families, but is it’s connection to the Suwanee Greenway that puts sends it right to the top of my list for great places to run in Gwinnett.
See you on the trail!
(because fall pollen season is over :-))
For more photos, see the Picasa album (taken the night of the run and the next day).
In between the 4:00 and 8:30 pm games I ducked out briefly out of curiosity. Having scanned my park map earlier in the day. I went looking for something close by. Not as close as I thought but worth the trip I headed over to Jones Bridge Park.
The park, is nestled in the Jones Bridge area of Norcross has some different amenities than than some of the others, and some of these amenities were closed. The park is an area in which there are periodic releases of flows from he Chattahoochee River and there is ample signage to let folks know about so that they aren’t swept away when they come. Here in the metro, every summer there are televised rescues of folks from the different parts of the Chattahoochee where flows are being releases so the signs are definitely appropriate.
Features include, children’s playground, soccer fields (closed), sand lot volleyball, a large pavilion senior center. The park is also a great place for fishing and family barbecue, and there was plenty of both activities going on even at near dusk.
There is None. There are plenty of natural foot made paths throughout the wooded areas and designated walking paths to get to the fishing areas, but a paved trail is non-existent.
As always I’ve never been to a park that I didn’t like. Jones Bridge is no exception. If you want to hangout with friends and family or go fishing, this is a beautiful park to do so. If you want to do any running or walking for fitness, blaze your own trail if you must. I’ll be hanging out at the barbecue while you do.
See you on the trail.
For more information on Jones Bridge Park, check it out on the web.
For additional photos. See the set on Google+.
After a day in the house feeling a little sluggish and in need of some air and some people. I headed out to a place I’d passed several times before, Club Drive Park.
Situated on Club Drive in Lawrenceville GA the park features all of the usual park type stuff only on a smaller scale than others I’ve visited and run in Gwinnett County. Notably absent at Club Drive are tennis courts, and a baseball/softball diamond. Additionally there is only one basketball court which is divided into two half courts with benches in between for dudes “who got next” and spectators.
The children’s playground is really one of the highlights of the park, as it is LARGE. Even in this late summer evening heat, it was packed with children and parents enjoying themselves. Another highlight is the lake. Which features wooden walkways and covered and uncovered seating to enjoy the sites and sounds of the park or anything else you might want to do.
Now for what I go to each of these parks for, the trail.
The trail is paved, flat and fast, however it is SHORT .3 miles. I would only recommend runners come here during off-peak times (late morning, mid-day) and when it is not swelteringly hot outside. This is great place to do speed work (I don’t do it anymore) but if you do, it’s perfect. Long runs are not recommended, you’ll simply have to run around too many times to get any miles in.
There’s really no park that I don’t like and Club Drive Park isn’t bucking that trend. For families, for folks who want to chill and read or watch the ducks and geese and for speed freaks, Club Drive is the place to be. If you’re in the area, check it out. Until next time, see you on the trail.
For more photos, go here.
5.5 in the Love Rain of Bethesda Park (Taken with instagram)