It's no secret that Nee and I are huge fans of Murphy Park in New Harmony, Indiana - yup, that little ol' park that has hosted countless family reunions, church picnics, and those impromptu visits on lazy afternoons when kids and grownups are in need of a change of scenery and a safe place to burn off some excess energy.
I love Murphy Park as much as an adult as I did as a kid, but the older I get, the more I appreciate the place and the special memories I have of spending some wonderful times there with friends and relatives.
Murphy is one of those places that has grown more beautiful with age.
New Harmony residents have managed to give it a face lift without taking away from its historic charm. They've installed some fantastic new playground equipment that dwarfs the equipment I grew up playing on, in both size and imagination. However, because I'm the sentimental sort, I'm happy that there are many pieces of the same stuff I used when I as a little girl, still in place and usable.
Apparently, Murphy hasn't lost it's attraction for girls and boys, be they little ones or grown up ones. There are visitors in the park nearly every day, regardless of the season. Locals ride through on golf carts, or bicycles, or on foot and walking their pets.
Mari and Mark of Mt. Vernon, Indiana spent the afternoon at Murphy with Mari's daughter, Aaliyah (pictured below). Aaliyah had an awesome place to ride her scooter on a smooth surface, with her family easily able to observe her, even from a distance, as well as not having to worry about fast traffic moving through the area.
By the way, Mark is a U.S. Marine, so I'd like to these very kind folks for allowing me to include their pictures, as well as extending a special thanks to Mark for his service!
Murphy doesn't have water spouts, or sprinklers for splash-play. What it does have is magnificent trees, that tower overhead offering loads of shade and beautiful foliage. Many of them have placards at their base, explaining what sort of tree they are.
If trees don't excite you, it's also got a smooth-surfaced track that encircles the inside of the park grounds, making an excellent place for little ones to learn to ride bikes or skate boards, or roller blade without having to worry about fast traffic getting in their way. I've roller-bladed here frequently over the years, and although there are a couple of bumpy spots along the loop, the surface is still easily skated on, and as it's relatively flat, there are no big hills for new skaters to have to navigate.
They've got a bathroom facility that's kept tidy and a pavilion, available by reservation, that comes complete with screen doors, screened windows and working kitchen.
On the grounds there are loads of picnic tables, and the park also provides areas for campers with water and electrical hookups. Last time I checked, camping is $20 a night.
Fort Murphy Senior
Murphy has two fort areas that provide loads of different places to play. One seems designed for bigger kids, and the other for smaller ones. Nearly every kid I know loves forts, be they boys or girls, and wow! Murphy didn't just put in some forts, they put in some FORTS!
I call them Murphy Fort Junior and Murphy Fort Senior because of the differences in size and style of the equipment.
Murphy Fort Senior is massive, and for a kid, it's liking being encamped in a real fort in a forest clearing. It's a spectacular area for loads of kids to play and make friends and build creative adventures in the land of pretend.
There are things other than the forts provided for visitors to make use of and enjoy as well. There's a two-sided basketball court in the center, and a work-out section, complete with a variety of exercise equipment at one end of the loop.
There is no charge to visit Murphy Park, so saving money here, will allow to spend it elsewhere, like on picnic items, or a visit to the village ice cream shop after all the dragons have been slain and the bad guys have been defeated!
Warriors and explorers can work up quite an appetite, and thankfully village of New Harmony houses some awesome places to eat after epic adventures conclude in Murphy Park.
Fort Murphy Junior
While Fort Murphy Senior is endowed with earth-tones and sports the natural timber-look, Fort Murphy Junior has a similar concept, but is decked out in brighter colors and it's surfaces are a complimentary blend of a plastique-metallic look. Little children can be easily observed, interacted with and reached in this smaller play area, giving them a beautiful and safe environment to explore and challenge themselves.
Unlike Fort Murphy Senior, which has a carpet of soft wood chips for its flooring, Fort Murphy Junior is built inside a sandbox. Both provide relatively soft landing for kids that might take a spill.
Of course, you can buy the big toys and build big forts, but there's still something spectacular about climbing a tree that keeps kids doing it generation after generation. Kids who visit Murphy park are not immune to the allure of tree climbing as exhibited here by my little friend Kassie, who shinnied right up this one and was kind enough to let me get a pic of her while she rested on a lower branch.
The neighborhood ...
One of the things I love most about New Harmony is that the village has so beautifully maintained many old structures. It's small enough to explore on foot, and it's one of those rare places where country life is still observed within a multi-home and multi-facility community.
I took this picture of the barn while standing on the loop inside Murphy Park. It sits in a yard of one of the neighbors, whose property borders with the park property. This is one of many beautiful structures in the village that bring the past together with the present in stunning fashion.
There are generations of reasons to either make Murphy Park a part of your family outings, or even a place to enjoy spending time alone. So, I hope if you're not acquainted with it, maybe now you'll feel inspired to pay it a visit and get familiar with the place.
If you're looking for a safe place to jog on a firm surface that's not as apt to give you stress fractures, Murphy's the perfect place to go. The park is open all hours and regularly patrolled, so even if you're like me, and often have to go jogging or walking after dark, Murphy looks beautiful in lamplight!
The park is easy to locate and easy to get to, so if you've not come up with plans yet for an upcoming holiday weekend, Murphy is a great option that offers plenty of room for large families and groups of friends.
Bring along a grill and some lawn chairs and count on having some fun!
If you'd rather not cook, you can pick up some local fare on your way through the village for an easy no-fuss picnic.
That's it for this one!
We at Sibling Synergy wish you a safe and wonderful holiday weekend.
God bless you, thank you for visiting, and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
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