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Southside Park in Huntsville

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Southside Park in Huntsville

Location: 15935 Chaney Thompson Road, Huntsville, AL (map)

Amenities: Excellent variety of playground equipment for all ages, dog park, walking trail, multiple pavilions with picnic tables, frisbee golf, and bathrooms.

Mom’s Thoughts

This review and the pictures taken were made right after the park opened and a day after a heavy rain. The dog park and areas surrounding the playground were very muddy and wet, but I expect this will improve with time, especially after the grass grows in. The playground wasn’t muddy, and there were lots of families enjoying the sunny day.

Southside Park Collage
Covered pavilion space, water bottle fountains, and great playground equipment are all at Southside Park.

I suspect this awesome park will stay crowded on pretty days. Luckily, there are lots of things for the kids to play on. There is a good mix of equipment for all ages at the playground, and the kids enjoyed seeing the dogs being walked on the trail, which runs right beside the playground. Although there are trees in the park, there is no shade on the playground.


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There is plenty of parking in the parking lot, and bathrooms are located in the large pavilion close by, so that we didn’t have to walk very far to find them.

Also at the pavilion are picnic tables and a water fountain with an insert to fill a water bottle, which I thought was super handy! There is a “regular” water fountain here and also one for dogs. Changing tables are located inside both the men’s and women’s restrooms, and there is a family restroom too – all located in the large pavilion.

Southside Park swings
Lots of choices for swinging!

On the other side of the playground are some smaller pavilions, so there is plenty of seating to sit and eat, and trash cans were located throughout the park.

The city has announced they will add a disk golf course and ball fields to Southside Park as soon as possible. The extensive dog park already in place here makes it a good destination for the whole family – Fido included!

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Southside Park dogs

Overall, this is great park. Keep in mind that the playground and parking lot are beside each other and there is no fence around the playground, so you’ll have to watch your little ones closely if they tend to be runners. Also, there is a deep ditch nearby – another reason to watch your little ones closely.

 


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View Comments (15)
  • We took our two beagles there on Thursday. I am actually very dissapointed. I hope they are still working on it. My issues:
    -muddy! But, I get that. Can we get some cedar chips?
    – someplace to sit? Benches?
    -No double gate entry. While we were there an eager 3 yro opened the gate and a couple dogs got out before anyone could react
    -2/3 is, well, swamp trees, natural “stuff”. My dogs enjoyed it, but I couldn’t see then nearly the whole time.
    -no small vs large play yards.

    As it is stands now, I will not be returning to the Astro Dog Park.

    • We have tried to take our dogs twice but both times it was muddy and drenched with puddles of water. To me the dog park part of Southside Park is useless until they do more updates and improvements. At this point I would not recommend it to anyone with dogs.

  • I heard they are adding an archery range to the park. But from the looks of the plans, the range basically points directly toward the school whose campus neighbors the park. I’m sure if everyone who used the range followed all of the safety rules, the berm would stop all potentially harmful/fatal arrows. However, it is impossible to guarantee that every person who uses the range will follow the safety rules and with some compound bows being able to shoot an arrow 1000 feet or more, one irresponsibly fired arrow could be a serious safety concern. I feel like this is a risk that they should be unwilling to take.

    • I have heard this too and it is frightening that even one accident could and eventually will happen. Is there somewhere online that we can view the plan that has the archery range included ? Thanks so much!

      • It’s highly unlikely the archery range will open without substantial safeguards in place. I think you can reasonably count on a backstop-height chain-link fence, or something similar, as a barrier preventing errant shots from injuring bystanders.

  • Does anyone knows if i can make a reservation for a pavillion to make a birthday party?

    • The best way to find out would be to call the City of Huntsville Parks & Rec Dept. Steve Ivey is the new director: 256-564-8026. We’ve done this in the city of Madison before but not HUntsville.

      And happy birthday prep!

  • Swampy, ticky & snaky with fences that don’t touch the ground in many places and to much space to see all the dogs. No double gate, no benches & no small dog / large dog side. Basically the worst, most poorly designed piece of crap ‘dog park’ ever created.

    • We encourage you to share your feelings with the city. The more people who complain the more likely they are to work toward fixing it. Of course, public complaints like this one also work well 🙂

  • Late 2016 update:

    I avoided this dog park after reading the reviews. I rode by today finally and everything seems to have been addressed. I see benches, dry grass, a double gate entry, a small and large side, and covered pavilions. This park has any dog park in Huntsville or Madison beat by miles

    • This dog park is the best by far in the city now. I just moved here and was glad to see a small update on it. The fence is very tall and secure, unlike the ones I saw in Madison. The double gate is there and people pick up after their dogs here too, so its not just a toilet for lazy pet owners. But the best feature by far is the “Working Dog” area, a totally fenced in large space with woods and streams. You can walk off leash for a good half mile around an area. It’s located on the Large Dog side. It stays very muddy but its worth it for the exercise.

  • This is an absolutely incredible place .The dog park would be great if the man with 4 vicious standard poodles would leave. They are like pack dogs and will attack other dogs. A woman with a young child walking around was frightened. He let’s them run loose from his car to the park. They are uncontrollable and work as a pack ready to bounce on any dog.

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