Marching Through March
By Ernie Reppe
There's no denying it, Eau Claire locals love Carson Park. When I asked a group of friends what they love most about the park, I got at least a dozen different answers and numerous stories. Truth is, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another park that offers as many amenities and attractions as Carson Park does. Whether this is your first time to the park or your thousandth, we want to help you get the most out of your Carson Park experience. Here is a list we assembled of 15 must-do activities.
1. Buy yourself some peanuts and cracker jacks at a baseball game
A stadium steeped in history, it plays host to various high schools, the university club team, local amateur and American Legion teams and a Northwoods League team. With so many teams playing, it becomes easy to catch a game during the summer.
Hanging out at Braun’s Bay is like being at the cabin except it doesn’t require a long drive or a second mortgage. This is also a great place to jump into the lake with your canoe or kayak.
Spend a quiet afternoon in the park researching regional history and heritage, and when you’re done grab an old-fashioned ice cream soda. Group tours and field trips are also welcomed at the museum.
It doesn’t get any better than Roadside Ice Cream and Diner on Menomonie St. near the south entrance to the park. Grab your favorite ice cream treat and stroll through the park.
Fish along the shore of the east entrance or launch your boat into Half Moon Lake from the landing at Braun’s Bay, which also features a handicap-accessible fishing pier.
Carson Park is the place to be for football. Semi-pro teams take to the gridiron during the summer and high school and college teams play throughout the fall.
What's the Fourth of July without an iconic firework show? Join thousands of others sprawled out across the baseball and football fields as they watch the awesome display of fireworks over Half Moon Lake.
Traverse the park’s 134 acres in search of a cache or two.
Who’s ready to throw some ringers?! Carson Park features 18 outdoor horseshoe courts.
If you’re visiting the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum in Carson Park, you can’t leave without first getting a picture with Paul and Babe.
Being the largest park in Eau Claire, Carson has more than enough space to host your gathering of family and friends. There are pavilions to rent otherwise use one of the numerous picnic tables and grills on a first-come, first-served basis.
Unfortunately, the iconic Rocket Slide is no longer with us, but Carson Park still has some sweet playground equipment and a couple other slides that will keep kids and parents entertained for hours. A huge bonus? The equipment is handicapped accessible. And yes, parents, there are benches to rest on!
All aboard! My family loves riding the miniature train at Carson Park. Suitable for all ages, this scenic half-mile journey along Half Moon Lake brings us back to the park every year.
The park features three tennis courts – with lights.
Carson Park has both paved trails and nature trails for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy year-round.
And there you have it – 15 must-do activities at Carson Park. While not an exhaustive list, it should give you many hours of exploration and fun! Have a great time and be sure to share your experience with friends and family. So in short, yes, we are extremely proud of this beautiful piece of land, right in the heart of our city.