Hi there friends! Please enjoy another guest blog post from my friend Deborah Fike:
We visited Marche Chase Park on August 8, 2016.
Marche Chase Park is located just east of Autzen Stadium and the Science Factory. It’s a very basic neighborhood park. Not many people who don’t live here know about this place, so while you might see the occasional dog walker, you probably won’t see anyone else. The park itself is in an established, older neighborhood. Some of the houses and yards in the area are quite beautiful, making it ideal for a sidewalk stroll around the neighborhood.
Ample street parking is available along both Chevy Chase Street and Regent Avenue. I prefer to park along Regent since it’s a less trafficked street that dead-ends just a few blocks down. Here’s your map.
The playground portion of the park has only one play structure. (I wasn’t kidding when I said this park is basic.) The play structure is optimized for experienced climbers, so I wouldn’t recommend this park for kids just learning to climb. This makes this park best for kids ages 4+, although if you have a kid who either doesn’t climb well or is dangerous in high places, I’d wait until they got past that stage.
The play structure is a great place to play pretend, whether your kids like riding pirate ships, pretending to climb mountains, or being in their own treehouse. This side of the play structure has a simple slide and curved climbing ladder:
To get to the top portion of the play structure, you have two options. The first option is to climb the bumpy faux rocks with no railing or support. Even though the rocks are fake, they feel real, so it’s a great compromise between having sharp edges but really feeling like you’re climbing on huge boulders:
Or go up the rope ladder, which is twisted and curves for an added challenge:
If your kiddo can make it to the top, he or she will be rewarded with a steering wheel and a pole to shimmy down. Again, great for pretending to ride the waves on a great big ship:
Besides the play structure, the park has one bench, one picnic table, one trash can, and lots of tree cover. No restrooms or drinking fountains here. The other major feature of Marche Chase Park is the little wooded path:
This path runs through a wooded tree area (complete with fallen logs) across the length of the block. The play structure is mostly visible anywhere you are on the trail. It’s a nice path for the kids to go “on an adventure into the forest” without parents being afraid of losing sight of them. I’m not sure if there’s any poison ivy or oak back in the area, but there isn’t a lot of brush back there, so if there is any, it’s minimal. My kiddos love going on these kind of hiking trips, and it helps you to get some walking exercise while playing with your children.
This park is super basic, but it does have a few advantages. I’ve been here about five times over the last three years and have only seen two other people, so it’s quiet. There’s not a lot of car traffic to worry about. It’s got a lot of older trees for ample shade in the summer. The wooded path makes this an ideal place to let independent kids go on their first solo “hike.” And being so close to Autzen and the Science Factory, you can take a quiet break away from other, more hectic activities you might be doing in the area.
by Deborah Fike, a project manager and marketing professional with two young children.
Thanks so much, Deborah!! I love the rock climbing structure, and my kids did too. It reminds me of Disneyland 🙂