In Search of Green to Celebrate Spring

Teri Stickler, Outdoor Blogger

Kaia’s nose knows that spring is so close! Our recent warm weather brought Kaia and me out to explore one of our local parks in Milan, Illinois.  Camden Park is well known for its fine baseball and softball diamonds, but did you know it’s  a great location for frisbee golf?

Naturally (no pun intended) Kaia and I were there for out-door exploration, especially some hiking trails.  What we found were two disc golf courses, Camden 1 and 2. We had parked the car close to some dense woods, a deep ravine and a meandering creek, but immediately saw that we were at tee #1 of Camden 2 (C2). We did not think we should be walking the disc golf course, so we ventured forth, still surveying for a trail head. 

In the process we started walking an alluring blacktop walkway through a well-groomed wooded area then out into wide open spaces. Realizing this was also at least partially in and alongside Camden 1 course, we were not certain we should be walking there either. That is, until we noticed not one, but several golfers accompanied with their dogs.

We found a nice gazebo overlooking the course, broke open the backpack and had our packed lunch. It could not have been a nicer day. Nearly 70 degrees, in Illinois, in winter! If I had to be honest, it might not have been Kaia’s perfect type of day, since as a  Samoyed, she likes that white fluffy stuff, but she likes to see me happy and vice versa.

Well-fed and somewhat educated, we decided to tackle Camden 2, or as one on-line source described it, “…a very intimidating first hole greets you.” If I were to personally rate Camden 1 to Camden 2, I’d place most of Camden 1 as easy walking, but if you are up for a bit of a workout and you really like being in the woods, then choose Camden 2.  In speaking with a golfer on the first tee, he told us Camden 2 would take him approximately 2 ½ hours to complete.  That is not unlike regular golf, and we loved it.  Snow or no snow.

After our hike we explored more of Camden. The park has restrooms, numerous areas with playground equipment and benches and tables everywhere.  One more fun discovery, especially if you have young children with you, is their Born Learning Trail. This paved “trail” with activity signs along the way, instruct you to do various activities.

You will get to hop, shake, wiggle, describe, see, sing, look and I guarantee, you and whomever you talk into doing this with you, will end up a bit goofy, filled with laughter and feeling great. Check out Camden Park. It’s a good one. The Camden Centre, 2701 1st Street, East Milan, Illinois, is a very nice banquet/event center which can be rented for either large or small functions.  

 

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