It has been a few years since we have visited this great park. With it being only 45 minutes from Fort Worth, we decided to go back for a visit as the kids were itching to climb on some rocks. Before we headed out into the trails the standard bathroom break was up first. As with most state parks, they do a great job taking care of their over visited restrooms and we found our restroom visit to be just as nice. Though I was a little perturbed as I was carrying our 3 year-old on my hip up to the restroom, and turned around to make sure the others were coming and waited a few minutes longer. This is when he decided to pee all on the side of my shirt. Good thing for him, we always bring several changes of clothes, but of course I didn't have an extra shirt. A mother walked in on me washing my shirt with the parks soap and water with it still on my body, and she laughed and stated that she totally has been there. After everyone used the restroom and I managed to soak half my shirt with water, we had snack in their really neat picnic area. All of the picnic areas are nestled in a wooded area. Some of the picnic tables are your standard metal ones, while others sit up high looking over the lake and are made of stone. After snack, we wound our way down some steep stone steps into Penitentiary Hollow, which is a natural rock climbing spot.
It was getting late on Christmas day and we had been inside all day playing with our new toys and eating food when we decided that it was time we got out of the house. So, we headed to Handley Park around 5pm just long enough to be there for a few hours and play in the last rays of the day. We have driven by the park a few times, as our nature-based preschool is located just around the corner and decided it was about time we have it a visit. As usual, the kids ran screaming to the playground and the 7-year-old jumped out and got his new remote controlled car situated and ready to take off around the park.
This park was the very first of this kind that we have been to. The neat thing that I have learned as I read up on this park was that it is the first inclusive park in the nation. How cool is it that it started right here in our own backyard? This playground was named as a National Demonstration Site for meeting best practices for inclusive playgrounds by Playcore. When we first got there the kids, as well as us adults, were amazed by the size and features of this park.
So many times we will pull up to a park and at first glance I think I have the place figured out and that it will be a quick in and out for us. But as it usually goes, I get surprised by my family and myself when we chose to purposefully explore, observe, and notice the small and boring looking aspects of a park. These usually turn into the most memorable moments at the parks. When we first arrived, the kids automatically headed to the jungle gym yipping and hollering, “wow” with my husband following behind to watch after them. As they headed to the jungle gym, I headed towards the lake and to explore the other features of the park.
The thing I love about Candleridge Park is that it is a linear park (longer than it is wide) and is not clumped together, but instead spreads out and winds itself into the neighborhood it belongs to, Wedgwood South. This 88-acre park has over six miles of tree lined paved trails that are mostly shaded. The trails are more or less in the shape of the letter “T” with a trail that is oriented east to west and one that splits off in the middle of that trail and heads south. The aspect I find charming is that adjacent to these trails you will find a creek that is riddled with ducks, geese, and mini waterfalls.
I'm Nicole and my goal is to help families and visitors of Fort Worth connect to nature and come to know and love Fort Worth's green and blue spaces. I invite you to join my family and I on this journey as we learn about the 270+ parks in and around our city.