Soothing sun spot

Matthews

1900 SE 37th, Topeka

Only the most dedicated of park searchers will find this park, which is hidden sneakily behind houses. You'll feel like you're pulling into someone's driveway when you drive back to this park. In fact, the best way to find the park is to pull into what looks like an asphalt driveway at 1901 SE 37th. Just keep going. The drive will take you to a small parking lot where the park sign lets you know you've found Matthews Park. Beyond that is a prairie area.



Hillsdale

5201 SW Huntoon, Topeka

Modern, brightly colored playground equipment highlights this large park at the intersection of SW Fairlawn and SW Huntoon. Youngsters also will like the swings, sand boxes and climbing equipment. Scattered trees shade benches, and there's a BBQ grill. There's also a small storm runoff creek.



Grant Bradbury

SW 65th and Westview Road, Topeka

This sprawling prairie area is a prime spot to view native grasses and flowers. From SW Topeka Boulevard, head west on University Boulevard. The park sits where University Road turns and then becomes Westview Road. It's marked by an easy-to-miss wood sign that sits back from the corner of SW 65th and Westview Road. A small gravel road leads to a water department pump station and is the best place to park if you want to check out the fenced property. Across the street, you'll see the Kansas Quarter Midget Association.



Brookfield

2430 SW Kingsrow Road, Topeka

This newer neighborhood park located a few blocks east of Cypress Ridge Golf Course is deceptively versatile. There's modern playground equipment (on a rubberized surface) for the youngsters and a tennis/basketball court for more mature athletes. An open-air shelter covers three picnic tables and a walking path winds around the park for those wanting exercise for themselves or the dog or both. Plus there's a water fountain.



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