Imagine the colorful, soft-play area in a mall, but then place it in the middle of the woods, designed with a nature theme, and constructed of concrete. Haw Creek Park is a one-of-a-kind play space.

Features: Three “pods” are connected by walking paths in this play area, which has no traditional slides or swings. Kids are challenged to let their imaginations take over. The first pod has two giant acorns and a few giant logs. The second pod has giant logs, big bugs that you can sit on or climb on, and super-sized mushrooms and leaves on the ground. The last pod has an enormous log that has a bench inside, a giant mama bear and her two cubs, and a big log with a climbing net attached. My kids played for nearly two hours on the structures and enjoyed the cool shade that’s provided in two of the three pods.

Amenities: Bike trails and hiking trails wind through this park. The play area is accessible by an unpaved path (approximately 250 feet long and ADA accessible) leading from the pavilion. That path meanders around the park, for a little over three miles.

Location: 2205 Echols Rd., Cumming. The park is open daylight hours.

– Cathy Walker

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