Edwardsville parks perfect for athletics


In my opinion, one of the best features of the area is the parks and sports facilities around Edwardsville.

As someone who spent the majority of their college days playing many recreational sports with friends, I struggled when I moved to Edwardsville and didn’t know the area.

After nearly a year of living full time in Edwardsville after graduating from Lindenwood University in May 2021, I started discovering some of Edwardsville’s parks, including the Watershed Nature Center.

Once the weather started to warm up last May, I started jogging outdoors. One day I happened to jog near the watershed and was pleasantly surprised.

At the Watershed Nature Center there are basketball and volleyball courts, baseball diamonds and of course nature trails.

Double-rim outdoor basketball courts have a certain nostalgia for me. In my hometown of Hillsboro, my group of friends spent much of our time playing basketball on courts like this. These were long basketball sessions that involved turning on the court lights.

And that’s what I get at Watershed.

I moved to Edwardsville without having any friends here, and now I have an area where there are constantly people playing pickup games. Now I can extend my social and competitive life at the same time.

As a sports journalist, it’s hilarious when I show up and play against and with some of the athletes I cover.

When it comes to training, I can be very strange. I hate treadmills. They just don’t give me that extra motivation. With the watershed having several baseball diamonds, I now have an area where I can go and enjoy a not so boring run.

After a nice run or hours of basketball, the natural trails of the watershed are perfect for cooling off. Nothing beats a scenic ride through the trails after hours of competition.

Edwardsville Township Park is another place I visit often.

The tennis courts there, although not as nice as the EHS tennis center, are still a great place to go with others and practice.

Township Park also offers a smaller sized football pitch which is actually perfect for a 26 year old as it is almost impossible to get other people to and fro on a normal sized football pitch.

I don’t have children, but I already know that when I have some, I will often bring them to this park. Township Park’s playgrounds are some of the best I have ever seen. It’s like a childhood dream there.

If you’re a sports fan and keep active, I recommend these areas around Edwardsville. If you see me there, don’t be shy and say hello. If you happen to play against me, I apologize in advance because I can be very competitive.

It can be strange moving to a new area. You don’t know anyone. You don’t know the best places to eat. And you don’t know what to do in your free time. Luckily for journalist Billy Woods, the Metro East offers plenty to discover. Whether you’re new to the area or have spent most of your life here, I hope you can follow along and experience more of Metro East with me.


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