Taking it Easy at Rabbit Hill Park

IMG_8678I went to a place that I’ve only heard mentioned on the news, Dacula Georgia. Turns out it’s really not too far, straight out 316 about 20 minutes from where I live. The 20 minutes was well worth the drive to experience Rabbit Hill Park.

Amenities
IMG_8688The park is split and runs on both sides of Rabbit Hill Trail and hosts an abundance of amenities. In the evenings the entire park is in use. In the mornings, folks primarily make use of the trail and the dog park. What’s cool about the dog park is that it doesn’t allow for dogs and owners to mingle all willy-nlly. There are separate spaces for large and small dogs as well as a “dog run”.IMG_8916

The Trail
The park website indicates 2.65 miles of paved trail. Coming from Hurricane Shoals, this refers to the part of the park that is on the left, which includes the dog park and volleyball lots. The outer loop of the trail is 1.34 miles. The loop and the inner trails make up the the 2.65. I actually chose to run the 1.34 outer loop, crossed the street and looped around the basketball/baseball/lake side of the park which is about 1 mile with another 1/4 mile (approximate) around the lake. Whatever route you choose, it’s all pretty much smooth sailing.RabbitHilltrailmap(map courtesy of Gwinnett County Parks)

A few other notes on the trail to be mindful of: only the dog park side is marked, also both sides have stretches where there is no shade, i.e. you’ll cook but only briefly. Lastly neither side of the park is hilly, winding yes, some short inclines yes, but no hills. I’d say it’s perfect for getting in speedwork which I did see a guy doing but I didn’t photograph him as he was giving me side eye when we crossed paths earlier.

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IMG_8951Overall Impression

I love this park. Rabbit Hill has something for just about everyone. After having completed Peachtree, I really wanted to go out and run for the joy of it and Rabbit Hill Park is a great place to run/walk/bike etc. and enjoy the sights. For more information on Rabbit Hill Park visit the website. For more photos, see the album on Google+.

Until next time see you on the trail.

Photos: MsThorns except where noted

Welcome Back to Lion’s Club Park

When I first discovered it about four years ago, it was closed, blocked off and pretty much in shambles.  I kept passing by and in 2013 saw that it was being renovated and shaping up to be nothing like that first visit. The place had been gutted with signs of life appearing that looked very much like many of Gwinnett’s other great parks. This past weekend, on a quest for the next park to try, I found an article about a re-opening. Woo-hoo! Lion’s Club Park had re-opened so I had to go check it out.
Lion’s Club Park in Lilburn, Georgia received a $5.3 million overhaul and was re-opened in February 2014. By Memorial weekend 2014, residents were taking full advantage of its amenities which include: a baseball complex with five lighted ball fields, 1,800-square-foot concession/restroom building, plaza, batting cages, 60-foot pavilion area, maintenance building, more than 850 parking spaces, paved trail system with benches, adult swings and shelters. (Amenities listing courtesy of the Gwinnett Daily Post. The county’s website has not been updated as of this writing).
The Trail
The trail is paved, circles the park and is a short but challenging .77 miles.  From the parking area at the main entrance headed toward Rockbridge is all downhill. There’s a brief flat area on the back end near the furthest baseball field and then it’s back uphill to the starting point.  There are no mile markers, which is okay given the distance.  Additionally since this park is basically new, there are mostly new trees, meaning that shade is limited and located in the back of the park by the residential entrance and the front main entrance. Runners, walkers and other sportos should get there EARLY to avoid getting baked.
The Fork
Now if a quick 3 miles is all you want, circle the park 4 times for a near 5K or, at the bottom on Rockbridge stay left at the fork, pass under Rockbridge and enter the Camp Creek Greenway — Glorious!  Not available until this year, the Lion’s Club Park Trail now feeds into the Greenway.  A potential long route is to loop around Lion’s Club Park onto the Greenway, through Lilburn Park, onto the Greenway offshoots and back, which is some nice mileage with a mix of scenery, inclines and flats. I chose a “tweener” route by taking one loop around Lion’s Club Park over to the Greenway, circling Lilburn Park and coming back to Lion’s Club which was a bit over 4 miles.DSCN7855
The new Lion’s Club Park is a great neighborhood park for families, fitness enthusiasts and baseball/softball fans with the bonus of a feeder trail system. If you’re in the area or are from Lilburn and remember how the park was, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what the park has become.
Until next time, see you on the trail where I’ll be getting my running legs back. 🙂
Photos: MsThorns