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.
The trail that winds its way to the south eventually circles around a large pond called French Lake. Here you will find your local fishermen comfortably seated in their fold-up chairs waiting for the next bite as bikers, runners, walkers, strollers, and tricycles move with purpose and ease around them. Visit the park on a nice day and you will find many children taking advantage of the jungle gym area that is located on the southern tip of the lake.
One aspect of this play area that I appreciated was that there is a section for older children and a section for younger children. I liked the fact that I did not have to worry about the height or difficulty being too much for my 2-year-old and he was able to maneuver with independence and confidence on his age appropriate jungle gym. I also appreciated the outdoor workout area for adults next to the children’s area so if the entire family wants to get out and use those facilities, they are all close within a few yards of the next area.
For those more interested in exploring, the creek offers plenty in that arena. My children loved walking up and down the creek bed when it was dry and right after a good rain, loved to go back down and explore what they could find in the moving waters. There is no shortage of manicured short grass for a nice game of flag football or a pickup game of soccer and afterwards there are a few covered and uncovered eating areas with picnic tables and grills. If you are in the mood to just sit and people watch, you will find benches sprinkled throughout the park along the meandering path. At the lake, there is a cute red bridge that might be a suitable place for some photos and the vegetation in the park also makes it a great photo spot. The park seems to be kept mostly clean, with the exception of the expected handful of trash in the waterways from local runoff, typically deposited after a storm.
The first time we went to this park it was just after days and days of being cold and wet outside and we were just itching to get out of the house. We decided to check out Candleridge Park, as it was just down the road and we pass it daily on the way to school. The 2 and 4-year-old loved it right away and took to running on the paved paths up ahead, making sure that they were within my view. After running for about a mile, we decided to head down to the creek to see what we could find. Right away they asked if they could take off their shoes and explore the water. Though I knew it was water that was run-off from the local neighborhood, I figured what the heck. We spent a good 30 minutes just in a small part of the creek that had a tiny waterfall and they explored the holes, small rocks, and shells in the water and clambered over the larger ones on the creeks edges with their pants rolled up. The older kids took to climbing the many trees that line the paved path and practicing their parkour moves off the cement culverts. On our most recent trips to the park, we have visited the area with the jungle gyms where the kids loved seeing who they can make friends with and use their imagination as they play cops and robbers or some variation of the Marvel comics dramas. They are very good at roping other kids into their games.
Nature: Though it is a sterile local community park, lacking in the different layers of a forest and having manicured lawns, it did have a good diversity of tree species that I was surprised to see. While I was there just walking around trying to keep an eye on my sprawling kids who always seem to leave my side towards every cardinal direction, I was able to see and hear several species of birds, see several turtles and ID several trees without even trying. When it comes to birds, I was glad to see that on eBird there have been over 40 species of birds recorded in the park and over 90 species of flora and fauna recorded on iNaturalist. In the fall the trees in the park are beautiful.
Neighborhood: Wedgwood South
Address: 4301 French Lake Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76133
Latitude: 32.640862 Longitude: -97.386280
Trails: 6.5 miles
Acreage: 88 acres
Amenities: Picnic areas with tables and grills, Playground, Adult Outdoor Gym, Lake, Paths, wheel chair accessible paths
Parking: There is no designated parking area. If you are going there to enjoy the paths, you can park alongside the road and hop on. If you are interested in visiting the jungle gym or the lake, then you would want to park near the bridge.
Playground Details: Merry-go-round, 3 play structures, swing set, natural climbing structure aged based.
Ideas of things to do: Birding, iNaturalist, walking, photography, jogging, kick ball, BBQ, picnic, biking, skateboarding, dog walking, and flying a kite.
History: Established in 1976
Future: Candleridge Park has been listed on the Capital Improvements Projects list for Fort Worth Parks and Recreation. As is very evident wen you drive by the park and look at the creek, it is on the list for some much needed drainage and erosion control improvements as there are some clear erosion problems.
Visited on: 10/21/2018