About a week ago a friend sent me a screenshot of a map and asked if I’d ever been to this park—Bee Camp Creek Trailhead. I said ‘we had not,’. But the map showed it was about five minutes from our house so we absolutely had to check it out.
The next day, a hot 90 degree, summer swelter of a day I packed up some water and took my three year old to explore this new-to-us park only five minutes away.
The playground was deserted. It was small. There was an informational sign stating the playground is designed for 5-12 year olds. My 3 year old found ways to enjoy herself. She climbed the structures the best she could. There are no swings. With my assistance, she climbed up the most interesting slide ladder I have ever seen. She liked sitting up high on the slide. There is no shade but the structures were not hot to the touch.
Another child came to play with his adult. He had definitely been there before. He was much more agile on the structures. His adult (who was his grandmother) told me there are rarely ever many kids around. Most people use the trails for running and biking. When my 3 year old tired of the slide and climbing wall, we decided to hit the trail. We were not sure what to expect. We were walking along a well-maintained, paved trail passing the back end of a beautiful neighborhood. I was taking mental notes for all my landscaping dreams.
Shortly after we had started, we came upon a small retention pond. A gaggle of geese sat in the grass on the far end. A runner breezed past us with a polite wave. There was a bench overlooking the peaceful pond. It was very quiet and calming. Had I been with a book instead of a 3 year old I may have sat upon said bench and immersed myself in a story. Maybe another time. We didn’t get too far before her little legs got tired so we headed back to the playground. She magically regained enough strength to climb and play a bit longer.
Since the playground was designed for older children I enlisted my best friend, Audrey, to bring her troop (18 months, 9 and 12 year old) the next day. We (me and my 3 and 6 year old ) met up with them after school let out. The older kids made an obstacle course of the equipment. My 6 year old LOVED the curved monkey bars. The 18 month old had fun watching the big kids run around. The surface was flat and spongy so if anyone happened to fall they’d be nicely cushioned.
The big kids were ready to explore the trail so Audrey and I loaded our youngsters into their strollers and our group set out. We passed the same beautiful houses and while Audrey and I marveled at the landscaping and decorated yards, the kids ran ahead. Just behind the bench at the second pond they found a trail leading into the woods. We let them investigate. Not a minute later my 6 year old squealed with delight and insisted we follow them. Audrey and I parked the strollers and grabbed our things. My 3 year old took off into the woods while the toddler was carried down the gradual decline. Just at the bottom of the access trail was a creek. To cross the creek was a wooden bridge. Had we worn appropriate creek stomping footwear it would have been the perfect spot to splash and play. Since we did not have on the right shoes we continued down the trail instead.
The terrain was not too challenging. The 3 year old used logs and trunks to help her maneuver a few times. The older kids were fine jogging ahead. Audrey was able to comfortably hip carry the 18 month old. She said next time she’ll bring the baby carrier though. There were some steeper inclines and a few of the paths didn’t seem as used as others. We tried to stay on what looked like the main trail. I imagine after a good rain much of the low terrain will be covered in mud and the inclines will be slick. Depending on the season, the creek may be fairly high as well.
We found our way out of the woods the same way we came in. We corralled everyone and continued down the paved path.
The paved trail starts in the Ambria neighborhood and it should take about 30 minutes to walk to Belmont Place. At least that is where we turned around.
There is not a lot of info on the Fishers Parks and Rec website. The actual creek starts in Hancock County south of 96th Street and East of N 400 W, then flows west to the Geist Reservoir.
I would recommend bringing water and snacks, along with sunscreen for the playground/paved trail and bug repellent if you venture into the woods. There is ample parking next to the playground. The playground has a couple benches and a trash can. There is no shade along the paved path or at the playground. There are no water fountains or bathrooms. The closest public bathroom is the McDonald’s just South on Olio. Google Maps says that is about a 3 minute drive or an 8 minute walk. Prepare accordingly.
The address for Bee Camp Creek Trailhead is 13870 Ambria Dr. Fishers, IN 46037.
I have lived 5 minutes from this cute little playground and awesome trail with a creek and never knew it existed. I have driven past it hundreds of times. I’m guessing if I did notice a sign I assumed it was a private, resident only park. I’m thrilled that we have another outdoor play area option in our area. We will be back. Hope to see you there too!
13870 Ambria Drive