City Parks: A Canine Perspective

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With more than 500 acres of parks, nearly five miles of greenways, a full service public fitness facility,and endless recreational opportunities, Gallatin is a place that beckons everyone, even the family dog, to come outside. My name is Artemis and I’m a Pudelpointer, a cross between the German hunting poodle and theEnglish Pointer. When the editors of Gallatin City Guide asked meand my ownersto visit Gallatin’svariousparks and recreation facilities, I jumped at the chance. In the spirit of full disclosure, it’simportant that you know that I was compensated for my time with hundreds of treats, dozens of bellyrubs, and 10 hours of fetch. My owners are still recovering from that. Greenways love to run. Thanks to Gallatin’s expansive greenway system, I can run as much as I want. When my owner picks up my leash, I get excited because we’re usually headed for the five miles of paved greenway trails that wind throughout the city.I love the four-mile greenway link between the Gallatin Civic Center and Triple Creek Park as well as theTown Creek Greenway, which runs from the entrance of Triple Creek Park along Town Creek to Perolee Street in Gallatin’s Historic Woodson Terrace Neighborhood.Sometimes, we bike into Gallatin’s historic square where I get lots of attention (people love my furry face)and sometimes a special yummy treat from one of the shops. You might be surprised to know that dogs like history. I like to know how things came to be. That’s why I love it when my owners take me toThompson Park, the city’s very first public park. Located just south of Gallatin’s historic square, this park was once home to an Olympic-size public swimming pool which is now covered by the popular Skate Park of Gallatin.I love watching the fearless skateboarders working to perfect their tricks on the park’s built-in ramps, rails, and half pipes.Municipal Parkis a great place for a dog. Trust me. My owners took me there to watch the kids play ontheir Little League team. This park is home to baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, sand volleyballcourts, horseshoe pits, three picnic pavilions, a leafy picnic area, and the city’s largest playground.I like it when my owners takeme to Clearview Park, located just behind historic Union High School. We investigate the softball field and basketball court while the kids play on the playground. Not long ago,I discovered the park’s two horseshoe pits as the family set up lunch in one of the picnic pavilions. I thought about playing fetch but then thought better of it after trying to catch a horseshoe. I won’t be trying that again anytime soon.My favorite park by far isTriple Creek Park, located just north of thehistoric town square. That’s where you’ll find Sumner County’s first (and best, in my opinion) dog park. The tunnels, jumps, fire hydrants,and agility apparatus are lots of fun,but nothing beats the tennis ball launcher for an endless game offetch. I could do that all day. There’s plenty of fresh water for me and a shaded sitting area for the family. This massive park offers everything a family needs to have a good time, including soccer fields,baseball and softball fields, two full-length football fields, a ten-hole disk golf range,and walking trails.It’s also thehome base for Gallatin Soccer Club and Gallatin Youth Football Leagu eand hosts many diskgolf tournaments throughout the year.Our trips to Triple Creek Parkgot even better last summer after the outdoor fitness centeropened. I’ve never seen anything like this shaded workout area. When my owners are taking me for a walk, they stopand use the four-person leg press, the two-person wheelchair accessible chest press, the single elliptical cross trainer, the rower, and several other fitness stations. It makes me want to work out!The first time I saw Lock 4 Park, I fell in love. It’s not only one of the most beautiful lake spots in Gallatin for picnicking, fishing, launchingaboat, or getting in the water. It is also the home of the famous Lock 4 Bike Trails.One of my owners is a teenage mountain bike enthusiast who loves the rolling BMX trails hidden in the park’s scenic woods.If I could ride a bike, I would ride it here. I like watching her ride the 9-mile single-track course that’s safe enough for everyone yet fun and challenging for even the most skilled rider.The whole family goes to watch her compete in races like the XTERRALock 4 Blast and theLock 4 Old Hickory Classic. And just a few minutes beyond the city limits is Bledsoe Creek State Park’s new all-inclusive playground designed to accommodate all children, including those with disabilities. One of my owners is a little boy who needs a wheelchair to get around and this park is his favorite place in the world. Next to running around in the city’s parks and greenways, my favorite thing to do is eat. Nearly every park in the city has covered picnic shelters and leafy picnic areas. Some, like Triple Creek Park, have large event pavilions that can accommodate crowds. You can reserve those shelters at the city’s website!