A Guide to Mt. Pleasant Parks

Story and Photos by Isabella Trujillo


Mt. Pleasant provides various free-access parks for CMU students to enjoy. Whether you’re taking a break from homework, looking to reconnect with nature, or wanting to take advantage of the sports fields and courts, there’s a perfect park for you.

Each park listed allows bikes, but no motorized vehicles. Dogs on leashes are always welcome.

Pickens Field

This park provides a restroom, four baseball fields, and the trailhead to the GKB (Gregory K. Baderschneider) Riverwalk and Access Adventure Trail.

The GKB trail is 1.8 miles long and begins at Pickens Field, located on W. Pickard St, and ends at Chipp-A-Waters, located on W. High St. This trail gives you access to the Chippewa River at various points.

Pickens Field connects to Island Park through an accessible footbridge.

Island Park

Mt. Pleasant’s most notable park on Lincoln St. is 50 acres and includes various parking spots and pavilions, paved trails surrounding the park, and numerous restroom locations. There are three footbridges on the north, west, and south sides of the park leading to Pickens Field, Nelson Park, and City Hall respectively.

The park also features sports fields and courts including three softball fields, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, six pickleball courts, four sand volleyball nets, and a skate park. They also have outdoor fitness equipment, and plenty of fishing spots to enjoy.

Nelson Park

Located on W. Broadway St, Nelson Park is five acres, the smallest of the GKB Riverwalk Trail parks, but provides a restroom, paved trails, picnic tables, a canoe landing, and a water fountain.

Nelson Park’s northern footbridge connects you to Island Park, while its footbridge next to W. Broadway St. leads to the northern Mill Pond Park trail.

Mill Pond Park

At 90 acres, this park provides two entrances. One from S. Adams St, and the other from S. Leason St. Three paved trails throughout, connecting you to Nelson Park, Adams St., and W. High St. With five footbridges, the trails allow you to enjoy each side of the Chippewa River and various views of Mill Pond.

There are also plenty of footpaths that allow you to immerse yourself in tree cover and enjoy wildlife such as turtles and deer.


Marking the end of the GKB Riverwalk Trail, Chipp-A-Waters 30 acres provides a restroom, pavilion, paved and unpaved walking paths, canoe launch, footbridge, access to the Chippewa River, and two outlooks.

Chipp-A-Waters has two entrances, west, and east. Located by the west entrance are two unpaved footpaths. The right footpath leads you toward the Chipp-A-Waters Pond, where you can enjoy wildlife, while the left footpath leads you toward the heart of the park and the paved trails.

The trails provide tree cover both on the paved and unpaved paths, allowing you to take in nature’s views. The footbridge crosses the Chippewa River and allows you access to more paved trails and the Veits Woods unpaved trail. 

Mission Creek Woodland Park

This 60-acre park located on N. Harris St. is home to four unpaved trail loops under lush tree cover, two pavilions, and two footbridges crossing mission creek.

Located within this park is Hannah’s Bark Park, featuring 3.6 acres of fenced area for dogs big and small. Even though Mission Creek Woodland Park is free, access to the dog park requires registration and proof of vaccinations. There is also a yearly fee of $30 with an additional $20 per dog, or you can opt for the weekly membership at $5 per dog.

Indian Pines Park

Located on the corner of Valley Rd. and Summerton Road, Indian Pines Park is 80 acres and provides various footpaths under tree cover for you to enjoy an authentic nature experience. The Chippewa River also runs through the park.

This park doesn’t provide a restroom or paved trails.

Horizon Park

With 22.5 acres and located on Sweeney St., Horizon Park provides a restroom, a softball field, six soccer fields, a ¼ mile track field, a tennis court, and a basketball court, for sports fanatics to enjoy.

Just like Horizon Park, Yost Field Park, Sunnyside Park, Canal Street Park, and Potter Playground, all these parks are within the residential areas throughout Mt. Pleasant.

Each park provides various sports fields, pavilions, and plenty of open grass-covered space to picnic or enjoy playtime with your furry friends.