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50 at 50 | November 10

Posted By MICHELLE WELLS, NC RECREATION & PARK ASSN, Friday, November 10, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
On a recent trip to Charlotte, I made a stop in Archdale and found Creekside Park. Not far from Interstate 85, I found a big park with amenities for most everyone. As I entered the park, there were ballfields, tennis courts and a senior center. A little farther down the road was the Randolph Community College's Archdale Center. Built in 1990 and expanded in 2006 to serve the changing needs of the northwest community of Randolph County, the center was extensively renovated in 2011. What a great partnership and nice option for students to take a study break in the park.

Along the road were picnic shelters and more fields. At the end of the road was the recreation center and playground. Periodically I saw that ‘basket on a pole’ that we know marks a disc golf course. It was great to see lots of kids enjoying the playground and several youth riding their bikes through the park.

There was one thing I was looking for and didn’t find - the Orienteering Course (this is your cue to LOL if you got that!). Based on their website, the course is 1.24 miles consisting of 12 control points, where an individual or group can test their navigation skills through diverse terrain. An alternate .57 mile course is also available which avoids the woods. Whether for leisure or competition, participants can race against the clock to locate the control points. All that is needed to complete the course is a compass, or a smartphone compass application, and the course map listing the distance and direction to each control point and showing their location relative to park features. This course was added to the park as an Eagle Scout Service Project.

When I returned to Raleigh, I realized why I didn’t find the course. I didn’t plan ahead by printing the map and packing the compass I found on the trail during my last hiking trip. Next time, I’ll be better prepared!

With about 103 acres, Creekside Park is the main recreation hub for the community and the recreation center houses all of the recreation offices. The park got started by a group called the Park Committee and became part of the city in 1979.  For more information on the park, visit

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Tags:  50at50  Archdale  parks  recreation 

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