3907 Boulder Ridge Dr.
By Emily Harrington
Right before sunset my son and I set out for Sunset Ridge Park in Champaign. As the sun went down it highlighted the miles of farmland that flank the picturesque 18-acre park.
We stumbled upon this park earlier in the week and I vowed to return. Unless you live in the Boulder Ridge neighborhood, I’m not sure you would ever come across this park. It’s FAR north on Staley. Specifically the park is situated on the corner of Staley Road and Boulder Ridge Road. I’ve lived here my entire life and have never heard of or seen this park. That’s a shame, too, because this park is really cool and well worth a bit of a drive. It seems new and clean and there were lots of kids playing. It’s definitely a neighborhood park where many kids just walk right over and play.
The playground equipment has two distinct and labeled areas. The first area is for 2 to 5-year-olds. Here you will find short slides and a “What’s the Weather?” game that kept my son’s attention for longer than a few seconds! For the 6 to 12-year-old set, there are longer, steeper slides and an inner-spiral staircase that leads to this extra-high structure. It’s tall. Vertigo-inducing tall!
Your kids can play on a rock-climbing wall and big or little kid swings in the areas surrounding the equipment. An alligator run with a plastic alligator and stepping stools connect the two structures.
If the equipment isn’t enough to lure you to the park, there’s more.
The park features a tennis court, basketball court and lengthy-extra-wide-walking paths. You could fit a double-wide stroller, spouse, tricycle-riding toddler and scooter-wielding son shoulder-to-shoulder on this path. While you are walking the path take a moment to admire the skills of the skateboarders. Yes—there’s a mini-skatepark in this park. It’s a clean-concrete area with multiple ramps and rails to challenge the young skater or brave parent.
The park also has a large pavilion, portable potty and water fountain if you still aren’t sold.
This park was a good find for our family. What I liked most about it—the activity. It was bumpin’! There were moms strolling babies, dads swinging kids, older neighborhood tweens passing the time, skateboarders, runners, basketball players—you name it. You could tell this park was a real resource to the neighborhood and was loved and appreciated by its patrons. Feel the love for yourself and visit Sunset Ridge Park.
Emily Harrington is a Chambana townie that left her 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job to be a 24/7 mom to a dreamy son. Still interested in writing, Emily uses some of naptime to practice her passion and keep her mind right. Emily is a happy wife with a happy life because she fell for a fellow townie. Oh, and let’s not forget her other son, a degenerate canine named Heppenheimer.