The accidental park visit

We had grand plans for the week of Spring Break for several day trips. Unfortunately the boys had a nasty lingering stomach virus most of the week and we barely left the house. On the one day they were feeling well we planned to visit Lake Pflugerville after seeing this post on the Free Fun in Austin blog.  http://www.freefuninaustin.com/2010/06/beach-at-lake-pflugerville.html

I’m not very familiar with the Pflugerville area and was using the map function on my iPhone for directions.  I try to avoid taking the toll roads whenever possible but I couldn’t figure out another way to get there with the directions I had. There was construction on the toll road and as a result the exit we should have taken to go to Lake Pflugerville was before you could see the exit sign.  Fail on the traffic planners part…We had to drive several more miles before we could get off the toll road (I45) to turn around.  When we exited we saw a sign that said county park to the right and we decide to go check that park out instead.

We ended up at Northeast Metro Park. http://www.austinparks.org/apfweb/park.php?&parkId=677 The park is primarily a sports complex with a large number of soccer fields and a couple of playgrounds near concession stand areas. Initially I thought the park was going to be a total bust but we noticed a sign marking a nature trail so we parked and investigated the trail.

The trail is a paved park trail with fitness stations along the way.  The trailhead splits in two directions and we took the path to the left thinking that it would be a large loop. However, it turned out to be an out and back trail with a loop at the other end.  We did not go back and take the path to the right.  The trail was close to a creek for part of the way and there were some picnic tables that were fairly near the creek bed.

The boys enjoyed trying out their skills at balance beam walking, pull ups, push ups, sit ups and log climbing and jumping.

I didn’t have my Garmin with me that day and the trail mileage wasn’t marked. I’m guessing that we walked about 2 miles total.  It was a nice uncrowded trail and we enjoyed our visit.

Facilities:

Restrooms – There was a large restroom facility at the parking lot for the trail next to a concession stand and soccer fields.  However, the restroom was locked in the middle of the afternoon during Spring Break week.  My assumption is that they only unlock the bathrooms when sporting events are occurring.  This was disappointing as I think restrooms next to trails should be open for the walkers/runners/bikers etc to be able to use them.

Water fountain – There was a water fountain next to the restrooms as well but it was not operational.  The entire park outing was a spur of the moment venture and we did not take any water or Gatorade with us like we normally would.

We had planned to stay at the park a bit longer for the boys to play on the playscape but after we discovered the locked bathroom and non-functional water fountain we decided to skip the playscape.

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