Monday, October 10, 2016

W.C. Johnson Park

I felt sort of like Memphis riff raff this morning as I drove a little too close to the SUV in front of me on Houston Levee in Collierville. The speed limit was 40 mph and I could not figure out why on a Sunday morning with little to no traffic we were not doing 50. Eye roll.

I was on my way home, eager to sit down and check out the photos I had just taken. Today was my first visit to W.C. Johnson Park. I saw a few pictures online and I knew there was supposed to be a pretty scenic boardwalk through a dense wooded area, but I didn't know what to expect.

I was blissfully surprised!

It's a little more than two miles out and back on the boardwalk, the entrance near the back of the park. Right away I noticed how peaceful it was at 7am on a Sunday. Only a couple of walkers were up early with me, strolling to the sounds of robins, cardinals and red-bellied woodpeckers. The sun wasn't fully risen, and the trees still hung on to their summer foliage, though a few were looking bare under the canopy.

Under the shade, the first thing I encountered was a short bridge taking me deeper into the woods. 

The boardwalk was well-maintained with benches here and there. I ran into everyone from runners to dog walkers to nature enthusiasts like me. One man pushing a little girl in a stroller stopped to chat and asked about the coolest thing I'd seen so far. I told him I was intrigued by the "poka-dotted tree."

Onward I walked, taking it all in. The views were stunning, the sounds relaxing, even the smells were fresh like wet grass. 

The path winds from the park toward the Wolf River where I stopped and sat for a few minutes.

I finally found a place to get off the boardwalk where a dirt path cuts through the woods. But venturing out does not come without warning! And there were a couple of moments when I realized they weren't kidding...

Once I made my way back to the beginning, I realized I'd missed something. A gorgeous gazebo sits right on the banks of the swampy area in the park, another perfect place to sit and take it all in. From there I could hear the calls of a pair of hawks nearby.

I can't say enough good things about this short walk in the woods! Everyone I encountered was friendly, the surroundings serene. I can't wait to visit again!

W.C. Johnson Park


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