Now that summer has finally arrived, those seeking refuge from the heat are flocking to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. And why not? Turkey Creek offers some of the cleanest, coolest waters in town, not to mention breath-taking beauty. Everyone seems to have their favorite shady spot for picnicking or reflecting as they watch the water flow by.
Since the crowds are growing thicker, it seems like a good time to discuss a few tips for how you and your family can make the most of your visit.
TCNP TIP #1: Always follow the rules!
No one wants to have their time or worse yet, their family’s time cut short because they could not follow the rules. This happens more often than it should, so please, make a point to review all Preserve’s regulations prior to your visit, which can be found HERE or on any of the Preserve’s kiosks. Please note that anyone found not adhering to these rules, will be asked to leave immediately. There is no excuse for not knowing.
TCNP TIP #2: Know the Hours of Operation and plan accordingly
It is easily the most common question by visitors to TCNP: “What are the operational hours?”. Well, this is a very easy one: Wednesday through Sunday we close at 5:30pm. We are closed all day on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Friday and Saturday morning we have special “Pedestrian Only” hours from 7am-9am. At 9am regular motor traffic is allowed in. On all the other days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday) we open at 8am.
TCNP TIP #3: Come early or on a slow day
Anyone that has visited TCNP on a weekend knows how busy it can become and how difficult it can be at times to find a parking or picnic spot. The simplest way to avoid this headache is to visit during off-peak hours. I have spent over a year and a half watching the traffic and I am more than happy to share what I have observed. Come Early: traffic at TCNP (even on weekends) tends to be at it’s height in the hotter parts of the day. Visitors that come out early get the best parking/picnic spots. Thursdays: If you can swing it, a Thursday is the best time to come out and find a spot to yourself. Wednesdays and Fridays can be just as busy as a weekend, but for some reason, Thursdays are usually quite slow.
TCNP TIP #4: Stay Hydrated
On a hot summer’s day, there is nothing better than cooling off in the refreshing waters of Turkey Creek. However, even in that cool water, you can quickly become dehydrated. This happens quickly, and without a lot of warning at times. So, please drink a lot of water during your visit. It could save your life. Plus, it is never ends well if you are dizzy on slippery rocks!
TCNP TIP #5: There is more to TCNP than just “The Falls”
There is no doubt, The Falls offer some of the most majestic beauty TCNP has to offer. Their unique features bring many visitors to Turkey Creek, but they are often times quite crowded. For those of you that wish to enjoy the waters of TCNP or avoid the crowds, seek spots upstream of The Falls. These upper reaches offer some equally stunning views of Turkey Creek, as well as some great spots to lounge in the shade. Furthermore, TCNP has recently added a mile and a half of beautiful new trail along the ridge above Turkey Creek. This offers visitors the opportunity park in the Highlands picnic area and hike to The Falls area.
Thank you for reading, I hope that these tips help you to better enjoy your next visit to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.
Please remember, that we do not charge admission, and it is very difficult and expensive to keep the Preserve clean. On your next visit, take a look around you before you leave and pick up any trash (even if it is not yours). It will go a long way to making sure that others are able to enjoy TCNP as you have, and will help keep operational costs down.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week, contributing author Lyn DiClementel, will provide readers with some insight into the importance of controlling stormwater runoff in her column “JeffCo H2O.”
Until then, we’ll see ya downstream!
Manager, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve