Summertime in the park

Summer vacation is as close as Clear Creek Park and Lake Shelby, a tree-lined idyll for fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, hiking and more. Pack your swimsuit, fishing poles, golf clubs, binoculars, hiking shoes and tent and head to Shelbyville’s busiest and most established park.

Stretching out 130 acres and named for the creek that runs through the park and creates the pristine 20-acre Lake Shelby, Clear Creek is a summer vacation just waiting for the family.

The park is home to the Family Activity Center with indoor and outdoor pools (water slide, anyone?), basketball and tennis courts, sports and youth activities, indoor walking track, dry sauna and more. Clear Creek has plenty of walking trails for nature hikes or, for a good walk spoiled, there is the challenging 9-hole Clear Creek Golf Course.

Canoes, paddle boats and row boats can be rented to take out on Lake Shelby to while away a summer’s afternoon fishing, relaxing, taking pictures – even bird watching. (A bald eagle was recently spotted in the area.) Plus, every third Friday of the month, now through September, Lake Shelby hosts a fish fry that is open to all. The menu? Cod fish, coleslaw, hush puppies and potato wedges and ice cream for dessert.

For families that relish outdoor adventure in the summertime – kite flying, fishing, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, participating in summer youth programs and more – Shelby County has over 900 acres of big green fun. As one of Shelby County’s 12 beautiful parks, Clear Creek is a getaway in the city that feels like your miles away in the country.

Among its other parks are Red Orchard Park, a nature lover’s paradise with horse trails, hiking trails, horse arena and 5-acre dog park, plus Miller Outdoor Education Center with exhibits and hands-on fun. Shelby Trail Park is nature preserve and equestrian park with miles of horseback, hiking and running trails, horse stables and boarding, indoor riding arena, riding lessons and guided trail rides.

Like a smaller piece of paradise? Head to the 11-acre Finchville Park with its picnic shelter, playground, small pond and plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. Or hit the paved trail at Clear Creek Greenway for walking, running, bicycling or rollerblading.

Director of Parks Shawn W. Pickens offers his seven sensational reasons to visit Shelby County Parks this summer:

  1. Family fun: playgrounds, picnic shelters, kids camps, camping, canoeing, swimming, open spaces for running and romping and more
  2. Relaxation and stress release
  3. Fitness: walking, jogging, hiking, biking, horseback riding,
  4. Scenic beauty: forested land, sparkling lakes, wildflowers and wildlife
  5. Natural aspects: sheer environmental beauty and connecting with nature
  6. Shady spots to cool off from the hot sun
  7. A place for animal lovers to play with their dogs or go horseback riding 

There’s one other reason Pickens recommends a visit to a Shelby County Park: volunteering and community service – and in a place that is guaranteed to make you smile.

Learn more about all the recreational fun and activities waiting for you and your family at Shelby County Parks at http://ShelbyCountyParks.com.