Friday, July 11, 2008

Just a Walk in the Park

Not every activity in Tucson has to cost you money to participate in of course. Why not just get out of the house and get some exercise? I don’t have any hard facts in front of me to back me up, but if I had to guess I’d say that Tucson has one of the healthiest populations in the U.S. Hiking, walking, biking, jogging, are all well represented here.

One of the favorite local places to go is Reid Park, located at 1100 South Randolph Way. Yesterday I grabbed my camera and headed out for some fresh air and exercise.

Reid Park photo 1
Sandwiched between Broadway Boulevard to the north and 22nd street to the south, Reid Park (officially named Gene C. Reid Park) is easy to find in central Tucson. There is plenty of free parking around the area on a weekday. Weekends however are likely to offer fewer available parking spots.

In addition to a great place for a walk, Reid Park is also the home of DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, which provides a venue for various events throughout the year. The last two weeks in June it hosted evening performances of “Shakespeare in the Park”.

Golfers will find a municipal course there, and tennis bums will discover at 25 lighted tennis courts [1] for you to practice your crosscourt backhand. If that isn’t enough activity for you, the Reid Park Zoo is also located here. [2]

I know I’ll hear from the baseball fans out there if I don’t also mention that Reid Park is also the home of Hi Corbett field, the pre-season home of the Colorado Rockies. The stadium is a beautiful art deco style design that was built in 1937 and has been renovated throughout the years. [3]

Reid Park photo 2
Okay, back to the walking trail. The official name is the David Bell Bike/Walking path and as the name implies, it’s not just for walkers and joggers. While I was there I saw cyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, and a very unique adult tricycle apparatus. Dogs are also welcome as long as they’re kept on a leash.

I was told that one lap around the 131 acre park is a three mile trek. Funny, it sure felt more like four miles to me. But then I arrived just a little later in the day than I would have liked. As with any outdoor activity in Tucson, you should plan on either being finished by 10:00 a.m. or not starting until about 6:00 p.m. during the summer months. I hit the path at about 9:00 a.m. when the outside temperature was at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. I was finished (both figuratively and literally!) at 10:00 a.m.

Reid Park photo 3
Of course when I got back home, I felt good about getting out and doing something positive for my health and well being. The next time you’re in the mood for a little fresh air and sunshine, take a walk in the park. Reid Park that is.


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