Directions to Wrightwood Park
Wrightwood park is probably the closest park, and we have recently discovered that we can travel most of the distance by walking through the woods in back of the house, up a quiet residential street, and finally across one not-too-busy thoroughfare (Anderson).
The path is not signed, however, so it is best for those who feel at home tramping around the woods. (Good walking shoes are also important, as there are fallen trees to step over and a couple of crude log-bridges to cross.)
The woods are accessed via steps behind the kids' playset (B or Z can show you where). The steps are very old and need repair (we only recenly uncovered them; they had been buried under dirt and debris for at least a decade or two!), so step carefully. Our connector trail continues from the bottom of the steps on down into the woods (it re-enters directly across the new clearing for the power lines; the kids can point it out, if they haven't already run ahead...). It crosses a dry streambed and connects to the "main" trail next to a wooden sign saying "Boredsville" (the origin of this sign is a long story involving Anna Nikola). Turn left onto the main trail. After awhile, you will reach a split in the path; take the right fork. After crossing a couple of fallen logs, you will come to a log bridge over a swampy area with standing water; go straight across the bridge (don't take the path off to the right heading towards the school).
Not long after this, there is a spot where two paths cross; take the right fork. This eventually leads you around the back of Lakewood School. Go straight. Eventually you will wind away from the school and down a hill towards a small cement footbridge at the bottom of a street corner. Go up the right-hand street (Prince St.) At the top of the street is Anderson St.; go left until you get near the bottom of the hill. You should see a baseball diamond across the street – that is part of Wrightwood Park. The part the kids will be interested in is the playground behind the parking area over to the left.
For expeditions, we always bring a bottle of cold, filtered drinking water, because kids get cranky quickly when they get dehydrated. The filtered water is in the large container in the fridge (kids can show you how to work it), and there should be bottles in either of the drying racks next to the kitchen sink.
On the way back, keep to the left (except for the path leading off towards the school just after crossing back over the swampy area; go straight there). If you manage to miss the first left, however, you will still get back where you need to go, albeit via a somewhat longer route; there are no other exits between the school and "boredville".