Kids' Corner: Leita Thompson Memorial Park
Hiking, exploring and fishing - and it's free!
Back yards aren't as wild as they used to be. So if you need some outdoor space where your kids can run, explore, chunk rocks and fish for bream, you might love Leita Thompson Memorial Park.
Located right off Highway 92 beside Roswell's Art Center West and the new dog park, Leita Thompson Memorial Park is a beautiful natural area maintained by the city of Roswell. Miles of hiking trails will lead you through the forest, past meadows and over small creeks. We've seen crayfish, owls, hawks, vultures, squirrels, rabbits and deer there, and my kids love to play in the creeks. The meadow also includes picnic tables and a site sculpture that can be played like drums to create interesting sounds.
If you want to introduce your kids to fishing, there's also a lake on the property, right by the port-o-potties. We've had the best luck with a $10 kids fishing pole from Target and a bag of balled-up bread. Although we've only pulled bream out of the lake, we're pretty sure we've seen larger fish lurking further in, including bass. It's catch and release, though, so make sure you kiss 'em on the head and throw 'em back for good luck.
Dogs are welcome on the trails, so long as you pick up after them. There's also a small cabin with a fire pit that can be rented by groups, such as Boy or Girl Scouts, but you don't want to get caught in the park after dark. Not only does it get seriously creepy, but the park security keep a close eye out for shenanigans. My advice is to go early in the morning when it's cool and let the kids run until they collapse.
It works for us.