Walk It Out: The Best Spots to Stroll this Spring

We made it guys! *knock on wood* It may finally be safe to say that warm weather is here without the fear of being hit with another snowstorm. In celebration of these glorious temperatures, we decided to interrupt your regularly scheduled activities with a blog dedicated to the beautiful spaces we have to stroll in our city. Lace up your tennies and come walk it out with us as we rediscover the beauty that is Champaign Center.


We can’t discuss the parks of Champaign without starting off with our Downtown favorite, West Side Park! With amazing walkways, a fountain and gazebo, gorgeous landscaping and even an amazing play area for both your older and younger kiddos – there are not too many parks that rank higher in Champaign than West Side Park. Add in the amazing location of being smack dab in the heart of Champaign and its proximity to the local shops and restaurants (West Side stroll to pregame for your dinner and a show at The Virginia Theatre and La Bahia Grill with anyone?) and you have found park perfection in West Side Park.


If you are looking for an action-packed park where you will almost always be able to find a friend, then head on over to Champaign’s Campustown and hit up Scott Park.  This popular property seems to have it all with notable highlights including an interactive playground that’s a surefire draw for the Mommy and Me crowd as well as a full basketball court that will be a winning addition for our ballers. As the temperatures continue to raise, I’m sure you won’t be the only one with the bright idea to pick up some tacos at the nearby Maize Mexican Grill to munch while you catch some rays on the sprawling grounds of Scott Park.


Get ready for this gorgeous combination of Helms Park and Boneyard Creek Park (not the actual name btw). Think of this two for one deal as sort of a bridge between the two districts of Champaign’s Campustown and Midtown. On the Campustown side you have Helms Park which, notably, happens to be the second smallest park in Champaign. This pint-sized property offers a well-kept path for walkers and joggers to take their laps around the beautifully landscaped pond, where it seems that duck watching is a popular past time. After you have had your fill of ducks take a few steps north past the historic Stone Arch Bridge and you will find your self in Champaign’s Midtown and amongst the manicured lawn of the Boneyard Creek Park. Home to the Second Street Basin, which is currently in the midst of a restoration process, the land surrounding the basin appears to be the perfect spot for park goers to catch up on some sleep, drink in the Vitamin D or give Fido some much needed exercise. Don’t let the size fool you, these two landscapes may be small but together, Helms Park and Boneyard Creek, are a mighty addition to the beauty that resides in Champaign Center.


If you are looking a little alone time and yearn for some peace and quiet, step off the beaten path to Skelton Park in Champaign’s Midtown. While it may not have some of the aforementioned amenities of our previous entries, this little slice of Eden does offer a picturesque setting to snag a little one on one time with yourself. With a few well-tended gardens scattered amongst the plot and a well-placed bench perfect for people watching, Skelton Park gives a new definition to the terms tranquil and serene.