Jack Smith Park
The Jack Smith Park is spread over an area of 50 acres on the south side of Penny Road near Holly Springs Road in Raleigh, NC. We love this particular park largely because of its outstanding natural and man-made features. Hence, if you are looking for recreation offerings, you should definitely head to this park. Without beating about the bush, let´s talk about some of the many amenities the park has on offer. The park features a wonderful playground that is suitable for children from ages 2 to 12; the park has a good mix of little kid and mid-sized kid playground equipment such as traditional belt and bucket swings, slides, a tire swing, and spring riders etc. The surface under the play pieces is rubber matting, which can prove to be quite convenient if you don´t intend to clean your house of sand and mulch. In addition to that, the park also features a dog park and a climbing boulder that is suitable for both the novice and the experienced climbers. The climbing rock sits on a rubber surface and features four sides, which offer various levels of difficulty. However, we would suggest you keep a keen eye on your child should he/she attempt to climb the rock. Kids tend to over-estimate their climbing skills and get themselves into trouble pretty quickly. Next up: Durant Nature Preserve
Other numerous amenities
We also love the fact that the park has a picnic shelter that has the capacity to accommodate up to 20 people at a time. Of course, there are plenty of restrooms, picnic tables, and extensive trails for hiking purposes too. However, the feature that impresses us the most has to be the park´s spray ground; the splash pad boasts of seven water features and is suitable for ages 12 and younger. It is usually open from May through September. Regrettably, the availability of the splash pad availability is dependent on the weather conditions. The pad remains closed and rightly so when there is thunder, lighting, or harsh weather. While there, you can also visit the public art area created by N.C. artists, Vollis Simpson and William Moore. Drawing inspiration from the land´s former use as a farm, the artists have featured many eye-catching art installations in the park. The whirligigs, constructed of cast-off machine parts and farm equipment, should catch your eye. You will also notice a flock of nine Suffolk sheep scattering in the open play field near the playground area. Park hours are from sunrise to sunset.