If I was forced to pick my favorite park in Southwest Wake County, I would definitely have to say Crowder Park. Crowder Park is located off of TenTen Road in Apex. I honestly think it has everything you need in a park. (Map of Crowder Park) Great Natural Habitats I love the natural feel of Crowder Park. Yes, I know that it’s a park and that’s how they are supposed to feel, but the three acre pond full of fish and turtles nestled right in the middle of hardwood forests doesn’t have that “man made” feel like some other places. And while I realize the boardwalk is definitely man made, it’s natural materials and tasteful build make it fit into the surroundings of the park perfectly. It enhances the experience of the park by getting you closer to the water without tampering with the earthiness. (I can promise you that “earthiness” isn’t a word I use very often…;)) Paved and Unpaved Trails As a mom of a stroller rider, paved trails are pretty essential to my park visits. I like to have the option of walking (or jogging when I’m feeling really ambitious) and dirt or gravel trails just aren’t a great option. Crowder park offers the paved trail in a completely natural habitat. I don’t feel like I’m walking around a parking lot or just doing laps on a track. I still have the experience of a nature walk, while on a nice path. Crowder Park even has mile markers to help you manage your distance. If you’re looking for a little more adventure (and I use that word in the lightest way possible), there are also natural trails throughout the wooded areas of the park. These would be completely safe to use with small (preschooler) children, but are not stroller friendly. Multiple Playgrounds and Shelters Most of the time when I head to the park with my kids, I am hoping for a good playground. When we go to Crowder Park, we get our choice of good playgrounds! While there is one main play area that is probably the highlight for most kids, you can find a couple of other play structures along the paved trail that are lots of fun too. The best part? They are near picnic shelters. You can check into renting picnic shelters at Crowder Park for birthdays, family get togethers, or picnics with friends. There are even some grills available for use. Nice Bathrooms Finding a public park with great wildlife and nice bathrooms isn’t always easy. Crowder Park delivers with bathrooms close to the large playground (convenient to both kids playing and adults walking the trails) and a second nice bathroom close to one of the picnic shelters. This is definitely a plus in my book. For more information on Crowder Park: – visit Crowder Park online. – like Crowder Park on Facebook.