Quick Guide to Madison Parks and Playgrounds
Quick Guide to Madison Parks and Playgrounds
If you have ever visited our Parks Guide, you know we cover the big ones from a parent’s point of view. As we venture outdoors more, though, we are taking a closer look at parks within our communities that are easy to reach by foot. If you enjoy the Madison Parks Post, let us know, and we will work on additional areas! See something we missed? Let us know here.
Before you go out, I recommend reviewing the Madison City Parks guidelines found here. Also, please note that pavilions, park restrooms, playgrounds, and athletic fields remain closed as of May 17, 2020. Greenspaces and other areas are open for activities per Madison City Guidelines.
Palmer Park is a popular sports venue in Madison City hosting many youth soccer, baseball, and softball leagues. The park is walkable and also has easy access to Bradford Creek Greenway.
- Pro: You might catch a plane or two in landing pattern!
- Cons: Parking can be tricky during sports events. Watch for people on the paved paths.
The greenway offers a lovely look at nature and runs roughly 2.3 miles one way to Heritage Elementary School. Be careful! You cross two busy roadways along the path, but the stroll through nature is worth it. Keep an eye out for wildlife. This trail offers paved walkways and is fairly level making it a great, accessible place for taking in nature! #bringthebikes
- Pros: Nature, shade, accessibility
- Cons: Watch out for snakes!
Also note: Palmer Road on the West end and County Line Road offer wide sidewalks for exercise!
On a nice day, you can enjoy the park and take a short walk to a little neighborhood pond or head west on the sidewalk to the Liberty Middle School campus.
- Pros: Shaded picnic tables and a little green space
- Cons: This one is close to the road.
Nestled inside a neighborhood just off Balch Road, this park has tons for toddlers! Take the sunscreen, though.
- Pros: Lots for little
- Cons:No shade
Don’t confuse this neighborhood park with the Mill Creek Greenspace. This gem is tucked back in Mill Creek Crossing at the end of a cul-de-sac. It offers a HUGE green space (pick up football anyone?) and playground equipment. Bring a blanket!
- Pros: Wide open space
- Cons: Sparse shade and no picnic tables
You won’t find a classic playground, but you will find flat, paved, accessible walking space and a dog park! The dog park is sectioned for small and large and is shaded, has bench seating and hoses, and lots of room to run and play! Kids enjoy it too. Always ask a pet’s people if it is okay to play.
- Pros: Doggos
- Cons: Some days there are no doggos.
This little neighborhood park has a cute character. There is a nice gazebo for a gathering and plenty of play for the kiddos.
- Pro: Covered space for hot days or pop up sprinkles
- Cons: Close to the road (kids are quick)
Pick up a quick history lesson at this park and check out the old tombstones. This classic Madison park has some old faves like the spring seats!
- Pro: a history lesson
- Con: (?) not for those who don’t appreciate park patina
Two covered picnic pavilions and a shady, green playspace make this sweet park a nice stop for families.
- Pro: Shade
- Con: Small in size
Nestled behind Asbury Church, this park is a popular spot for scout troops and other large groups looking to have some sun and fun.
- Pro: Space
- Con: Little to no shade
Soccer anyone? This neighborhood park has large goals for practice and playground equipment for play.
- Pro: Wide open space
- Con: No shade
Small but mighty, Downtown Madison is a delight to explore! Come hungry, and bring your pocketbook. With some of the best burgers (OBB) and strawberry pretzel salad (Main Street Cafe) around and a plethora of shops selling everything from antiques, to boutique clothing, to knitting supplies, to amphibians, you can make a day of it. Walk off lunch or dinner through the older part of town. There are many historic homes and churches. Heads up – the train runs through downtown regularly! Rest your feet in a gazebo on the green.
- Pro: Lots to explore
- Con: The train can be loud/overwhelming for sensitive ears – be prepared.
This park is the perfect spot for a pickup basketball game! There is a small slide and swingset as well and is convenient to downtown.
- Pro: Basketball
- Con:Small size
This neighborhood park offers lots of shade and is settled at the end of a cul-de-sac, down a small ravine for keeping kiddos quasi-contained. Don’t leave them unsupervised though, obvs. If you want the old-school climbing tower from years past, this is the park to hit.
- Pros: Shade and relative seclusion
- Cons: Lots of leaves can mean critters, keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, etc.
Play at the park or take a hike….or both! Enjoy Madison’s own piece of the Land Trust. Trails are rocky with steep drop-offs. Plan accordingly.
- Pro: Beautiful views of Madison!
- Con: Trails may be too much for littles (but they are sure to enjoy the playground)
I admit that Highlands is one of my favorite neighborhoods to walk in Madison. Ashley is one of the available parks. It is a nice, shaded respite during a long neighborhood walk.
- Pro: Plenty of shade
- Con: This small park may not keep littles occupied long.
This classic park also located in the Highlands are used to boast an old-school merry-go-round. That has been gone a few years, but this park still offers a wide space to play, your basic park accoutrements, and a shady lawn area that is nice for a picnic or play.
- Pro: space
- Con: There is a basketball goal but no court.
This park has been around a while and offers a small ball field for practice, wide-open space for frisbee, and a classic playground with a mulch floor. There is a small walking trail that leads to a moderate, uphill walk, perfect for sturdy toddlers’ first “hiking” experiences. A grassy plain awaits at the end for resting before walking back down the trail to the park.
- Pros: Basketball and baseball
- Cons:Watch for poison ivy on trail!
This small park affords a nice view of Dublin pond and geese.
- Pro: BIG slide!
- Con: No shade
When my twins were wee, they called this “Secret Park.” I am not sure why, as it is not secret, but, okay. This one offers a shady play and picnic area and a wide, open sunny spot. The layout encourages kids to run and play.
- Pro: Shady play as space to run and get your vitamin D
- Con: Close to the road
Many would call this the crown jewel of Madison Parks with indoor and outdoor pools, soccer fields, Kids Kingdom Play Space, and tennis courts. With fishing and walking space plentiful, you can really make a day of it!
- Pro: One-stop shop for park fun
- Con: Why isn’t there a dog park?
Pop Up Park
While Madison City Farmer’s Market is open this season, COVID is forcing limited visits. Keep an eye open for a healthier future. Generally, the green space beside the market is open and is a superb place for kids to play!
Madison, AL Parks
Christa Landingham and her husband are Madison County natives and life-long residents. They have boy/girl twins and two Boston Terriers. As the Director of Sales for Rocket City Mom, Christa gets to dedicate her professional energy to the community. In her “free-time” she loves to garden, travel with her family, and comb local thrift stores.