Page 48 - Color Tour 2018
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Choose a park that will match your color tour
Three parks.
Three personalities.
All owned by one county.
Not to be overlooked when tour-
ing the county for color are county parks, says Leelanau County com- missioner Casey Noonan of Empire. He’s chair of the county Parks and Recreation Committee.
“We strive to make sure our parks stay beautiful, and all three of our county parks have great things to offer visitors,” Noonan said.
He offered descriptions of each, from west to east.
Old Settlers’ Park
The smallest in size but not in stature or history, Old Settlers’ Park was established in 1892 as a picnic grounds with access to big Glen Lake. The tradition of honoring the  rst settlers in the area continues each summer.
The 6.5-acre park, which is accessed off Dunns Farm Road near Burdickville, sports a new look after a good portion of its hun- dred-plus year old oaks were top- pled by a wind shear storm in 2015.
“There is a little less shade now, but it’s actually better. Grass can grow. It opened up, and all the roots and holes and divots have been cleaned up. It looks really nice,” Noonan said.
The park offers a pavilion, picnic tables and playground. In summer, curious visitors catch a glimpse of a rare monkey  ower blossom; the plant is an endangered species.
Myles Kimmerly Recreation Area
The 143-acre park located off Co. Rd. 616 west of Maple City seems to say “recreate” to visitors.
“It’s for the athletes with the ten-
nis court, driving range, soccer  eld and baseball  eld. And there’s a disc golf course that people use,” Noonan said.
A historic barn that’s been reno- vated on the north side of the road by a nonpro t group that stepped in to prevent its destruction. A small horse arena is open to the public.
And there’s about a mile of walk- ing trails through hardwoods at the far south side of the park.
Hunting is allowed in the park.
Veronica Valley Park
The largest stretch of park land found east of 22-mile long Lake Leelanau, Veronica Valley was made for nature lovers. A former golf course purchased with state Trust Fund monies, the park is being managed as a refuge for birds — and bird lovers. Mebert Creek  ows through the property, which is
Old Settlers park is steeped in history, as shown in a view of the Old Settlers’ Picnic held in August.
popular for people walking their dogs.
“It’s for an outdoor experience,” explained Noonan. “Thereis a lot of room to roam around.
Again, hunting is allowed in the park.
It’s ponds near Lake Leelanau Drive have been stocked with blue- gill and are reserved for young  shers.
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