Fun Parks to Visit in the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife

NWF   |   March 11, 2015

Parks are great places to get outdoors and see wildlife, especially in cities. Whether a park is 100 acres or 4000 acres, wildlife is sure to be found in the trees, on the ground, in the water – all over! I’ve compiled a list of parks that would be fun to visit in the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife, but these are just the tip of an iceberg of great green spaces throughout the country. What is your favorite park to visit and enjoy living with wildlife?

  1. Zilker Metropolitan Park in Austin, Texas is one of the best-reviewed parks in the city. The 351 acre park offers a wide variety of recreational activities from disc golf to canoeing to hiking and has an off-leash dog area. The park also has different activities for different times of the year such as a Holiday Tree in December, a Kite Festival in March, and a Summer Musical with free events from late-March until September.
    Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin Texas. Photo by Wally Gobetz, Flickr Creative Commons

    Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin Texas. Photo by Wally Gobetz, Flickr Creative Commons

  2. Acquired in 1871,Washington Park in Portland, Oregon has become one of the local’s favorites. Park visitors often like to come with their children to play on the city’s biggest playground. Also within the park’s 160 acres are amenities such as the Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and Portland’s first zoo, the Oregon Zoo.
    International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park, Portland Oregon. Photo by InSapphoWeTrust, Flickr Creative Commons

    International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park, Portland Oregon. Photo by InSapphoWeTrust, Flickr Creative Commons

  3. Known as the “Central Park” of Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park is situated 2 miles from downtown Atlanta and has a calendar of activities for park goers to join and enjoy throughout the year. The 185 acre park has two playgrounds as well as a dog park and Green Market.
    piedmont park

    Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Clinton Steeds, Flickr Creative Commons

  4. Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore, Maryland is an ideal place to find wildlife and connect with nature. The park contains over 500 acres of woodlands and wetlands and surrounds Lake Roland. Along with providing an incentive to hike the trails through the Nature Quest program, park goers can also see or have their own art on the trail!
    robert e. lee park

    Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Something Ferdinand, Flickr Creative Commons

  5. With over 1200 acres, Anacostia Park in Washington D.C. is one of the largest parks in the city. Located near the Anacostia River, this park has many recreational activities such as walking trails, bird watching, roller skating, and swimming. Some of the wildlife species that can be found in the park are milkweed, bald eagles, foxes, frogs, and more!
    anacostia park

    Playground in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Tim Evanson, Flickr Creative Commons

  6. Seward Park in Seattle, Washington has a lot to offer park visitors. The 300 acre park has old growth forest areas, wooded trails, an amphitheater and a paved waterfront trail. Through Seward Park’s Audubon Center, the park hosts a variety of youth and family programs, wildlife classes and trainings, and other recreational and volunteer fun!
    seward park

    Walking on a trail in Seward Park in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Daryl Tanghe, Flickr Creative Commons

  7. Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Rio Grande Nature Center Park is 270 acres and has multiple hiking and interpretive trails. Park amenities include an amphitheater, gardens, group picnic areas, and wildlife viewing blinds. The area is also great for bird watching and spotting Sandhill Cranes. Leashed dogs are allowed in certain areas.
    rio grande nature center park

    Rio Grande Nature Center Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo by Molly V, Flickr Creative Commons

  8. At 4000 acres, Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana is the fourth largest city park in the United States. The park hosts many programs and activities such as music lessons, sailing lessons, camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting. Also, in the winter, the park allows cross-country skiing; then in the summer, the park opens its beach area from May to August.
    eagle creek

    Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Ju Zara, Flickr Creative Commons

  9. Freedom Park is a 98 acre park in Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, North Carolina. The park is equipped with tennis courts, volleyball courts, soccer fields, and other recreational sporting facilities as well as walking trails and a scenic seven acre lake. Freedom Park also has a demonstration garden where visitors can explore the gardens and ask questions and take classes with master gardeners.
    Freedom Park

    Lake Shot in Freedom Park in Charlotte, North Caroline. Photo by CherleJoyful, Flickr Creative Commons

  10. New York City’s second biggest park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a historical 1255 acre park where two of the World Fairs were hosted. As the largest park in Queens, the Park offers a wide range of amenities such as recreational fields, an off leash dog area, a boating lake, the Queens Zoo and Wi-Fi accessible spots. The park also has planted rain gardens composed of wetlands plants and grasses like Bald Cypress, Swamp Azalea, and Swamp Milkweed to control storm water runoff and beautify the area.
    Flushing Meadows Corona Park

    The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park was originally created for the 1964 World’s Fair. Photo by David Shankbone, Flickr Creative Commons

Looking for a park in your city? Try checking your local government’s parks and recreation website for park listings.

Never Miss A Story!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

National Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
PO Box 1583, Merrifield VA 22116-1583 1-800-822-9919
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Protect Wildlife