Midlothian Parks Offer Recreation and Scenery
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian McCord
Recreation is an integral part of Midlothian's vibrant lifestyle, and the wealth of outdoor opportunities ranges from boating and hiking to youth sports and golf.
The city is home to 11 parks, and it's continually adding even more scenic places to play. One of the city's most-used green spaces is Heritage Park, a quiet, downtown spot complete with a walking path, flowers and shade trees – landscaping that received an award in 2009. On site is the Larking Newton Log Cabin, built in 1848. This park is a popular place for weddings and other special events, and a farmers market takes place here during the warm-weather months.
Free summer concerts, community dances and other events are held at Kimmel Park and the downtown business district, and free family movies are played once a month outdoors during the spring and summer at the 21-acre Hawkins Spring Park. Movie nights usually draw between 400 and 650 people – quite a crowd for a mid-size town.
"The parks give kids and adults a safe place to gather," says Parks and Recreation Manager James Berman. "It's all about quality of life and bringing the community together."
Youth sports are a major part of the city's culture, with baseball, soccer, tennis, football, wrestling and softball among the offerings. Many games are played at the 25-acre Midlothian Sports Complex, which includes two soccer fields, four ball fields, eight tennis courts, a basketball court, sand volleyball court, playground and more. Jaycee Park hosts youth baseball games, and youth soccer takes place at Hawkins Spring Park.
A major draw for folks in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex is nearby Joe Pool Lake, where visitors can enjoy fishing, boating and camping. Along the northeast corner of Joe Pool Lake is Cedar Hill State Park, a gorgeous area that includes a marina, boat ramps, a fishing barge, hiking trails, a mountain biking trail, a swimming area and more than 300 campsites.
In the planning stage in early 2010 was a new 125-acre, multi-use recreation area featuring a splash park, trails, playgrounds, athletic fields, concession stands and a picnic pavilion. In addition, a trail system master plan was completed in summer 2009 to add a network of trails to provide hiking and biking access throughout the community – an effort that residents have deemed a top priority.