Burst Your Bubble: Peabody Park

The view of the Fox River from Peabody Park.

Photo by Julia Balestri.

As many Lawrence students are aware, there is a social and infrastructural construct that compels most students to stay on campus and live oblivious to the outside world. Many students stay on campus for everything: food, activities, exercise, musical events, social gatherings and more. This behavior allows students to be easily persuaded that Appleton is a crummy town, which is a negative and sad outlook to have of the town they spend at least nine months of the year living in. In order to get a well-rounded education in all aspects of life, it is important to leave campus and grow an appreciation for the city that our school is situated in. My intention with this column is to help people recognize that there is an abundance of places to travel to within Appleton that, by visiting, one can start to pop their personal “Lawrence Bubble.”

Distance from Lawrence: Roughly one mile

Walking time: 17 minutes

Bike time: 5 minutes

Skateboard time: 12 minutes

The walk to Peabody Park is relatively short and simple. You take College Ave. east until you get to the bridge, then take a left onto N Green Bay Road. This walk is made interesting by the Fox River on your right, along with some huge mansions. 

One thing that makes walks in Appleton so interesting is the diversity of architecture. A lot of the houses are pretty old and have a lot of character. Some are made of brick while others have wooden shingles. It is fun to walk in the neighborhoods and imagine what people living in all the different houses do with their lives.

Peabody Park has so many features that you might want to go wearing a helmet or hat to keep your brain particles all in one place after your mind is blown to smithereens. One of the most obvious perks of this park is that it has a waterfront section of green grass to relax on by the river. 

The park comes in clutch with many different seating options to chill out by the water. There are picnic tables and barbecues so you could have a nice picnic with fruit kabobs. The best seating options, however, are the swing benches. These are like the adult version of the playground staple and are hard to pass up. This might be hard for some of you lonely Lawrentians to hear, but these benches would be a highkey romantic move to take someone to, especially since they look out over such a beautiful scene. 

The Fox River is actually not as polluted as many Lawrentians believe, and seeing it from an angle without a paper mill is actually quite charming. You are even allowed to fish on the shoreline, but it isn’t recommended to eat the fish due to potential PCB contaminants that could be in their cells. Eating fish from the Fox River is one of the only ways that a person could feel the effects of the river’s pollution.

Peabody Park is great for anyone who wishes to stay active or chill out, and you can absolutely do both there. There’s a basketball court, so you and your friend could hoop out in the sun. 

There are trails stretching into the woods of the park which you could wander around on. Due to the fact that Peabody is situated near the river, you could also follow the Fox River Trail north along the river for miles. You might want to do this early in the spring or at least pack along some bug spray, as we all know how bad the bugs near the river get as soon as it gets hot out. 

Peabody is a great park to spend an entire day at. There are restrooms and water fountains so you can relieve yourself and quench your thirst with clean water. Like Telulah Park, Peabody is close enough to Lawrence that you can easily walk there with no complications. 

It is also far enough that you can’t see the Main Hall nipple. You might see Lawrence students there, but you are far more likely to see local Appleton residents out enjoying nature with their family and friends. 

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