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Wednesday
Oct122011

Great Parks! Waa Kee Sha Park Park in Oswego

If you’re looking to find some peace and quiet, the most recent spot in our “Great Parks!” series might be a perfect fit.

The playground at Waa Kee Sha Park. Photo by Tara Burghart.Park Name and Size: Waa Kee Sha Park. It is 22 acres and part of the Oswegoland Park District.

Location: Located at 4700 Reservation Road in Oswego. (I used my car’s GPS to find the park; For those of you who are more familiar with Oswego, the park district’s website notes that it is located on the south side of Reservation Road, off of Grove Road.)

Amenities: A playground; swingset; large picnic shelter; grills and picnic tables; natural area; trails for hiking and cross country skiing; horseshoe pits; fire ring; portable toilet.

Good For: Families, children, birthday parties and other large gatherings, hikers, cross-country skiiers.

Our Experience: My daughter and I were in Oswego a few weeks ago, and I wanted to check out something new to us. I got on my smart phone, went to the Oswegoland Park District’s list of parks and headed toward Waa Kee Sha Park solely because I was intrigued by its name.

The lane that leads to the park. Photo by Tara Burghart.I don’t know Oswego well, so I felt like I was driving “in the country” a bit before we reached the turnoff for the park. That turnoff is actually a very long lane (maybe a mile long?) that leads to the parking lot, located very near to the playground.

Because the park is located so far from any main roads, it was amazing the sounds of wildlife we could hear there. It definitely felt more remote and peaceful than most community parks.

The park’s playground is one of the best I’ve seen recently. It has a “fort in the woods” vibe and features lots of varied opportunities for climbing. My 3 year old could have played on it for hours. There is also a swingset, with two baby swings and two regular swings. But I would say that the playground is best for children ages 3 and up. There is not much low to the ground, and there is not a designated tot playground.

We also walked a short distance on some of the trails – very pretty scenery. And I thought the shelter, combined with the park’s isolated nature, would make for a great setting for a birthday party or any other large family gathering.

Three caveats:

  • The park does not have bathrooms, just a portable toilet near the parking lot.
  • The park is closed to vehicular traffic in late fall and reopens in early spring. The closure dates are typically from Dec. 1 through March 1. But hikers and cross-country skiiers are welcome all winter long.
  • I’m a bit of an anxious sort, and so while I loved that we could hear the sounds of nature at the park, its isolated location made me somewhat nervous about being alone there. I would have been able to relax and have more fun if I’d been with another mom and her kids or had hubby along. But that might just be me.

Go West Readers: Do you have a park you think we should profile for the "Great Parks!" series? Tell us about it!

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