25 Ways to Have More Fun in Our Parks


Close your eyes and picture yourself having fun outdoors. What are you doing? Hiking? Playing a sport? Listening to your child giggle as she goes down the slide? No matter what your interests are, American Canyon has the park for you!

Here's a list of 25 fun things to do in American Canyon's outdoor spaces. What will you do this weekend?

1. TAKE A HIKE

Newell Open Space Preserve offers some of the best hiking trails in American Canyon. It's conveniently located at the corner of Newell Drive and Donaldson Way, but feels miles away from civilization. The first 1/2 mile or so of the trail is easy for little ones to navigate, and they'll be delighted to explore the seasonal creek and excellent climbing trees. The terrain does get a little tougher as you progress down the trail, eventually leading to a moderately steep hill. If you make it to the top you'll be rewarded with amazing views of American Canyon, that stretch all the way to the San Pablo Bay. For more information about Newell Open Space, and to view a map of the trail loop, click here.

2. LEARN TO RIDE A BIKE

The Wetlands Edge Drive sidewalk is perfect for teaching your child to ride a bike. The sidewalk is flat, smooth, and wide enough to walk alongside your child. Plus, it's long enough for your child to practice pedaling without navigating any tricky turns! There are several benches available when it's time for a break, and the Wetlands make a gorgeous backdrop for those first bike ride photos!

3. THROW A PARTY

American Canyon knows how to throw a party! Did you know that American Canyon residents may reserve the picnic areas at many of our beautiful parks, for as little as $5 per hour? Imagine how much fun your company picnic, or your child's birthday, would be at one of our parks! Picnic areas may be reserved at the following parks:

  • Community Park I

  • Gadwall Park

  • Linwood Park (behind the Recreation Center)

  • Main Street Park

  • Northampton Park

  • Pelleria Park (La Vigne Development)

  • Shenandoah Park

  • Silver Oak Park

  • Via Bellagio Park (La Vigne Development)

For more information, check out the city's Park Rental Guide, or call the Parks & Recreation office at (707) 648-7475. Park rental applications must be submitted in person at the Parks & Recreation office at 100 Benton Way.

4. HOST A POOL PARTY

Does your child have a summer birthday? Celebrate with a pool party! The Philip West Aquatics Center may be reserved for private parties, or during open swim hours. For more information, please see the city's website or contact the Parks & Recreation Department at (707) 648-7475.

5. CATCH SOME AIR

Thrill seeking skateboard and scooter enthusiasts can catch some serious air at our 13,000 square foot skate park. Don't forget your helmet!

6. HOST A PLAYDATE

The following playgrounds have super fun playground equipment, as well as seating for parents.

  • Community Park I

  • Gadwall Park

  • Linwood Park

  • Main Street Park

  • Northampton Park

  • Pelleria Park

  • Shenandoah Park

  • Silver Oak Park

  • Via Bellagio Park

  • Nottingham & Bentley

  • Veteran's Memorial Park

7. PLAY BOCCE

Did you know that there are 4 bocce courts at Veterans Memorial Park? American Canyon even has it's own bocce league! Bring your friends, (and your bocce balls), over for a game anytime during park hours! Interested in joining the American Canyon Bocce Ball League? Email Mike McCamish at bfmilkman@aol.com.

8. PLAY SOCCER

Shenandoah Park, Silver Oak Park, and Kimberly Park have soccer fields. Kimberly Park is currently being renovated, but will be open in the summer of 2016.

9. PLAY BASKETBALL

Northampton Park and Elliott Park have full basketball courts. Half courts are located at Pelleria, Danrose, and Gadwall Parks.

10. PLAY TENNIS

Melvin Park and Elliott Park each have two tennis courts, as well as playground equipment for the kids.

11. PLAY BASEBALL

The following parks have baseball or softball fields:

  • Northampton Park (youth softball field)

  • Shenandoah Park (baseball field)

  • Silver Oak Park (Little League size field)

  • Community Park I (baseball and a softball field)

  • Little League Complex (four Little League fields)

12. PLAY VOLLEYBALL

Did you know that American Canyon has a sand volleyball court at Community Park I? Bring your friends out for some fun in the sun!

13. PLAY HORSESHOES

Toss some horseshoes at Community Park I.

14. PICK SOME BERRIES

Score some free blackberries at Newell Open Space Preserve. Blackberries ripen during the summer months, and the largest cluster of bushes can be found at the trail fork just before the picnic area.

15. GO OFF ROAD CYCLING

Newell Open Space is a popular destination for mountain biking. Looking for something a little more family friendly? The Napa River Bay Trail's flat, partially paved trails are perfect for a family bike ride, and you can't beat the views!

16. SEARCH FOR TREASURE

Glass Beach, on the Napa River View trail at the Wetlands, is home to colorful, glittering bits of tumbled glass that have been smoothed by their journey to the shore. You'll also find some pretty neat drift wood, and take in some amazing views! To get to Glass Beach you'll walk the 1+ mile path from the Wetlands Edge Trailhead and parking lot. Look for the giant agave plants as you head out towards the river!

17. TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE PARK

Bring your dog to Veteran's Memorial Dog Park for some off leash fun! Leashed dogs are welcome at all other city parks, but are not permitted in some, including Newell Open Space Preserve.

18. GO FOR A STROLLER-FRIENDLY STROLL

The Napa River Bay Trail's flat, partially paved trails are easy to navigate with your stroller, and you can't beat the view of the wetlands! The smooth, paved trail around Shenandoah Park is a 1/2-mile long. Walk or jog around the path twice, and you've just logged a mile!

19. HAVE A PICNIC

There are picnic tables located in parks all over town, but the most scenic picnic spots are at Newell Open Space, (make a right at the trail fork), and the Wetlands near Glass Beach.

20. POSE FOR A FAMILY PHOTO

The Wetlands, (Napa River Bay Trail), is by far the most popular place in town for family photos, and it's easy to see why!

21. PRACTICE YOUR CANNON BALL

The Philip West Aquatics Center holds Open Swim sessions throughout the summer. Stop by and practice your cannon ball!

22. BIRD WATCH

Bird watchers from all over flock to American Canyon's wetlands and the Napa River Bay Trail to spot migrant and resident water birds. Interested in learning more about our diverse bird population? Attend an educational bird walk, led by The Napa-Solano Audobon Society.

23. WATCH THE SUNSET.

The best place to watch the sunset is definitely the Wetlands. Snap a few shots of the beautiful colors while you're there!

24. SPOT A SEA OTTER

Sea otters have occasionally been spotted at the Wetlands during high tide, near the entrance to the Mike Thompson Hike and Bike Trail, and in the old salt ponds.

25. SPY A WILD TURKEY

If you hike quietly enough at Newell Open Space Preserve you just might catch a glimpse of our resident flock of wild turkeys.

With so much to see and do, our parks are the place to be... and play!

#NewellOpenSpace #AmericanCanyonCommunityParksFoundation #WetlandsEdge #openspaces #naturephotography #parks #BayRiverTrail #NapaRiverBayTrail #AmericanCanyon

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