Just Kidding: Plenty of parks on central peninsula

As daylight lengthens, so does the chance to spend more time outdoors. The lands developed around the Kenai Peninsula Borough provide space and services for family and community recreation. Parks provide excellent spaces to for meeting other community members, and simply having some fun.

Here is a look into some of what the area has to offer for parents who want to show their kids everything outdoors.

The North Peninsula Recreation Service Area has outdoor recreational activities suited for families whose members have a variety of personal interests. The Nikiski Community Recreation Center and Nikiski Pool on Poolside Avenue have indoor swimming, trails, picnic areas with barbecue pits, and a community playground.

For the younger athletes, the Nikiski Community Recreation Center has a large playground and a neighboring skateboard park.

Entrances to three easy community trails, Mt. Iliamna Loop, Mt. Spurr Loop and Mt. Redoubt Loop, as well as an 18-hole disc golf course can be found behind the Nikiski Pool and the Hockey Rink. The trails have various picnic shelters and fitness stations set up throughout.

The Chinook Loop, Sockeye Loop and Cohoe Loop may be accessed at Nikiski High School. Trail distances range between .5 and 1.34 miles.

For more information visit NPRSA’s website at northpenrec.com.

The Kenai Parks and Recreation department has interactive opportunities for groups of all ages to get involved in their beautification projects across the city.

The Kenai Strip Park has a community garden, which includes plots designed for younger gardeners, who may receive assistance from High School age volunteers.

The Kenai Park Strip has something for almost every age group, and outdoor interest.

A covered shelter houses four small grills for barbecues, with tables and electricity available. Kids can explore a playground structure, while older siblings compete on the sanded volleyball court.

Municipal Park has everything from a large, recently updated playground area, to a basketball court, and handicap accessible trails and picnic site are readily available for families interested in outdoor activities.

For a chance to run into some local fauna, the Kenai Wildlife Viewing Area has a short boardwalk leading to a wide view over the flats beside the mouth of the Kenai River that regularly see a diverse population of shorebirds, which can be viewed through an telescope.

For more information on what services each park provides visit the website at ci.kenai.ak.us/parks_recreation.html.

Soldotna has more than ten parks that provide families great locations for a quick trip complete with picnics and playground adventures at Soldotna Creek and Farnsworth, to overnight campouts at Centennial Park and Swiftwater Park.

Centennial Park, Swiftwater Park, Rotary Park and Soldotna Creek Park offer access to the Kenai River.

Soldotna Creek has pavilions that can be rented out for special occasions.

For families looking for a quieter experience, Farnsworth Park and Riverview Park are smaller and fit only a few families. Sunrise Park, Farnsworth Park, and Soldotna Creek Park have open fields with enough space to send the dog and kids running around for a few hours.

For more information on what services are provided in each park, visit the Soldotna Parks and Recreation Department page at soldotna.org.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in Life

Hip-Hop students practice their routines for Forever Christmas on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at Forever Dance in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Forever Dance rings in the holidays with variety show

The show serves as a fun holiday tradition and an opportunity to get on stage early in the season

Image courtesy 20th Century 
Ralph Fiennes is Chef Julien Slowik and Anya Taylor-Joy is Margot in “The Menu”
On the Screen: ‘The Menu’ serves up fun twists and earnest commentary

I was plenty interested in the film I saw in the trailers, but the one I saw at the theater was so much more

Golden Soup mixes cauliflower, onions and apples and can be made in one pot. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Golden soup offers a healthy reprieve after holiday indulgence

On the off days between the trips and celebrations I find it necessary to eat strategically

Photo courtesy of the National Archives 
This photo and information from a “prison book” at San Quentin state prison in California shows Arthur Vernon Watson when he entered the prison at age 23.
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 2

Well before he shot and killed a man in Soldotna in 1961, Arthur Vernon Watson was considered trouble

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Thanksgiving

We at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like.

This is Arthur Vernon Watson at age 39, when he was transferred from the federal prison in Atlanta to the penitentiary on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 3

Anchorage probation officer Roy V. Norquist was monitoring Arthur’s movements and reported that he was pleased with what he saw

Cranberry sauce made from scratch with hand-picked berries makes a special holiday treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Foraging with love and gratitude

Gathered and prepared by hand, cranberries brighten a Thanksgiving feast

Minister’s Message: When the going gets tough…

Suffering as a Christian is not always a popular preaching topic.

Letitia Wright as Shuri in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Image courtesy Marvel Studios)
On the Screen: ‘Wakanda Forever’ picks up the pieces

“Black Panther” sequel grapples with grief and hope after franchise loses its star

Most Read