Probably the coolest piece of playground equipment we have ever seen can be found at Saxapahaw Island Park in the small town of Saxapahaw, NC.
While driving times may vary based on your location in the Triangle, after an approximately 45-minute drive, you too can have an incredibly fun and Jonah-esque adventure in the park’s Nature Play Area. (The official park website says the structure is a fish, but even the wood inside looks like ribs, so personally, it felt more like a whale.)
The playground also has other structures, like swings, made out of mostly wood. While Peter was a bit young for it, there is also a section of the playground with materials to make your own lean-tos and small structures. And don’t forget to grab a laminated Saxapahaw Island Park bingo card on your way out to visit the rest of the park - they can be found in a box attached to the fence that encircles the playground area.
Besides the playground, we enjoyed walking the easy Saxapahaw Island Loop Trail that makes a full loop around the island and is only 1.5 miles long. Along this trail, there are a few places to get down to the river, and fishing is permitted in certain areas. Just be careful - sometimes the drop offs down to the river are steep.
For those with strollers, the park as a whole is not stroller friendly - BUT, the walk to the playground area was not bad and would definitely be possible with a stroller. So if your main lure to the park is the playground, you should be good.
We did not see any bathrooms on the island; however, a small area with shops, restaurants, and a gas station is very close by if you are in need.
Which brings us to our last tip - it is very easy to miss the turn off for this park because it is a hard right that comes out of nowhere. You will need to take this right just before you cross the bridge over the river. Based on the direction most people will likely be traveling from the Triangle, if you’ve crossed the bridge, you’ve gone too far.
Have you been to Saxapahaw Island Park? Let us know in the comments!
(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on October 5, 2020.)