Most of the more than 20 parks in the southwest area come equipped with grassy fields, playgrounds, picnic areas and bathrooms. However, certain locations with unique features have turned some residents into regular visitors.
The community around the Western Trails Equestrian Park, 7500 Cameron St., had a lot of input in the park’s design and features, according to Steve Corry, assistant director for Clark County Parks and Recreation.
“The neighbors in that area just enjoy horses, so it’s horse-themed and tailors to the needs of horses and their owners,” he said.
Sitting on 9 acres, the park offers owners an arena to exercise their horses and a pen to let them rest. A large parking lot provides enough room for owners to unload their horses with ease.
Corry said there are also trails near the park that wind through open desert areas.
“We try to be respectful to the community around the park so we don’t host any events inside the horse arena,” he said, “but the open-use trails do allow horses on them.”
Gary Parker, who owns a horse, said he visits the park often.
“It’s just a nice area in the neighborhood,” he said. “All of us that have horses obviously have room to house them, but it’s nice to have a change of scenery.”
A Western-themed playground area is north of the horse park at 7355 Rogers St. It features wagon-covered picnic tables, a wooden windmill and bathrooms decorated as an old general store.
“It’s a quiet neighborhood park,” Parker said. “What more do we need?”
Spring Valley Community Park, 7600 W. Flamingo Road, offers residents three gated areas to let their dogs play.
Two areas are open at any given time and separated into small- and large-dog zones. The third area is usually under maintenance, Corry said.
“Dogs make a significant impact on parks in the community,” Corry said. “So instead of shutting down the whole dog park at one time, we’re able to rotate areas.”
Cynthia Bosworth ends her daily neighborhood walks with her Weimaraner, Hulk, at the dog park.
“I think it’s his favorite part; he’s always in a hurry to get here,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to let him loose for a few minutes.”
Benches and water faucets are available in each gated area, but Bosworth said Hulk prefers that no one use the faucet because it scares him.
“He’s just a big baby,” she said.
GAUDY AS A BUTTERFLY
Once a litter-filled lot, Charlie Frias Park, 4801 S. Decatur Blvd., offers the community 32 acres of recreation.
“It was a great cleanup of the area,” Corry said. “With more traffic and public coming in and out of the area, it lessened the illegal activities (of dumping trash).”
The park opened in October 2012 through a partnership involving the Regional Flood Control District, Clark County and the Frias family.
“The detention basin needed to be built anyway as a flood control device for that part of town,” Corry said. “So, the flood control people talked to the county planning people and said the basin could have a park component to it.”
A quiet area, the Butterfly Garden, is decorated with flowers, rock formations, bushes and trees. A path winds through the garden to a lookout with a bench.
Brandie Rios said she finds the lookouts and garden areas peaceful.
“The area was an eyesore,” she said. “They did a great job (fixing it up).”
Rios often brought her nephew to the park during the summer while her sister worked.
“Once you’re locked inside the house with a hyper 5-year-old, you’ll be looking for a way out quick,” Rios said. “He can run all his energy out here while I sit back and take a breather.”
The park also offers a grassy multi-use field, dog park, horseshoe pit, picnic area and two playgrounds.
Exploration Peak Park inside Mountain’s Edge, 9600 S. Buffalo Drive, opened in 2007, offering the community a hiking spot.
Several dirt trails on the peak lead to two flat areas with shaded benches that look out into the valley.
“The path is a good quarter of a mile, if not more,” Corry said. “It’s got a beautiful view from the top.”
Victor Wells, 34, said he used to run the trails almost every morning before he broke his leg.
“If it wasn’t as rocky, I’d be up there right now,” he said as he watched his daughter Mira from a park bench. “I’m just itching to be able to run again.”
The playground also has a Western theme with storefront decorations, a sheriff’s building and a hotel sign. A volleyball net, water park, picnic area, horseshoe pit and an amphitheater are also available.
Desert Breeze Park, 8275 Spring Mountain Road, is the second-largest park in Clark County.
At more than 100 acres, the park is a major hub for activities in the southwest, such as soccer, basketball and baseball. It also has plagrounds, picnic ares and a dog park.
Of all the amenities, 6-year-old Brooklyn Geoble said her favorite is the skate park. She practices riding her bike for BMX races at least twice a week.
Brooklyn’s father, Guy, who also races, got her into the sport about six months ago.
“Daddy made me start, but I like it,” she said. “It’s fun riding because you can do jumps and go fast.”
Brooklyn has participated in weekly races and even a national race. Despite all her trophies, she said school comes first.
“I only want to do this when I’m not in school,” she said.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
All Clark County parks and recreation areas abide by the same set of rules.
Parks are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Cars parked overnight are subject to citation or towing.
Music at volume levels that annoy other park users or neighbors is prohibited. Carrying, possessing or discharging weapons or fireworks is not allowed.
All cats and dogs must be under control of a handler and on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Drinking alcoholic beverages is prohibited.