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The Swamp Rabbit Station, located south of Furman in Berea, is aptly called a “pocket park” because it really feels like it could fit in your pocket. A friend raved that her sons loved this park because of the train. I was surprised at how sparse the facilities appeared – a train car, mural, flowers and a bench. The mural is a nice aesthetic touch, but I didn’t imagine it substituted play equipment.

From a child’s perspective, however, this park offers plenty. My 8-year-old was thrilled with the train car. She didn’t mind that she couldn’t go inside. She loved hopping upon the ladders and pulling herself onto the access points. The engine door was locked, but peeking through the windows was enough to satisfy. She was happy to help a 4-year-old reach the train car. (Parents of preschoolers should note this adventure will require a lot of lifting.)

Something I didn’t love about this park was that the grass was overdue for a cut. I had to stand in the tall grass for the “watch me” and “will you take my picture?” moments. Reflexively, I kept backing out of the uncomfortable grass onto the paved trail, which dangerously put me in the way of speeding bikes. Although I caught myself, I wouldn’t expect a child to have this awareness. Trail-riders wisely don’t linger crossing the busy road to the park, but they would find stopping for a person tricky.

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