Hendersonville, North Carolina is an amazing, magical city. I have been there many, many times and I still am finding undiscovered treasures. I really need to spend a full day in Hendersonville just to scratch its surface.
However, I have found perhaps its biggest secret. Four Seasons Boulevard runs from I-26 to downtown Hendersonville. Southeast of this stretch of road is Jackson Park, a huge complex that literally took my breath away.
Welcome to Jackson Park a magical place beyond your expectations.
There are signs directing you to Jackson Park along Four Seasons Boulevard. Or you could use a map or your GPS. Of course a great way to find it would be to stop at the Visitor’s Center at 201 South Main Street and find out what else Henderson County has to offer. But I digress.
This photo gives a great idea of how big Jackson Park actually is.
Jackson Park offers state of the art sports fields to the residents of Henderson County. But it is so much more than a sporting arena. On the opposite end of the spectrum the Park is an amazing habitat for birds and aquatic critters.
This may not look cozy to you or me but its home to lots of creatures. Wetlands are essential to our ecosystem but are threatened. Jackson Park's wetlands are an impressive commitment to the environment.
Wetlands aren't the only environment represented in the Park.
Later in the year this will be a paradise for birds and bird watchers.
The pristine condition of these trails speaks volumes about Henderson County's commitment to the quality of life of its residents.
Give this a month or two and it will be a great place to pause on a quiet spring stroll.
Even with spring just arriving this is still a perfect landscape.
Blooms like this are one of the perks of a mild winter. I hope this tree is surviving our cold nights well.
Yet another perfect place for a walk.
Okay, so you get the idea that Jackson Park is full of trails where both people and wildlife are welcome. Now let me show you the scope of Henderson County’s commitment to Jackson Park.
This is big. Really big.
In the sign above Jackson Park is the large green block at the bottom of the map. There is a greenway trail that connects it to a series of other parks running north almost all the way to Fletcher. For those of you familiar with Hendersonville the top most park (Patton Park) is located north of where NC 191 intersects with US 25. This is a huge commitment of resources and it speaks volumes about where Henderson County places its priorities. For more information about the Oklawaha Greenway click here to view a PDF pamphlet.
This is an aerial map of Jackson Park. Those round tan circles are baseball diamonds. This place is huge.
This house sits at the top of the hill overlooking the sports complex. Its home to the Park offices.
Of course, Jackson Park is more than just a spacious sports complex, a pristine eco-system and the anchor for an impressive greenway. Its a great place to have a picnic.
This is one of the smaller picnic shelters. Of course all I mean by "smaller" is the other one is larger. This is quite spacious in its own right.
This is part of the larger picnic shed, which was in use when I visited. Actually most of the park was in use with folks taking advantage of the mild March weather. This image doesn't show other amenities the larger shelter has, including a soda machine.
This is a third picnic type of picnic area the park offers. This section offers parking spots, grills, picnic tables, trash cans and there is a restroom dedicated to this area. A nearby playground was fully occupied at the time of my visit.
This is one of the many parking lots available at Jackson Park. The picnic areas and sports complexes each have dedicated parking areas.
Finally I have to mention the Park’s very impressive community garden. Not only does the garden show the County’s commitment to quality of life issues but it looks great.
This is the Bountiful Harvest Community Garden Look at these well laid out plots and the gorgeous flowers.
This is a great place to put in a plug for gardening in general and community gardens in particular. they are a great way of saving money, saving your health and supplementing your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
For information about Jackson Park’s facilities, how to reserve them and directions to it click here to visit the official Henderson County Parks and Recreation site.