It’s a park that is off the beaten path, but more and more, Washington Township Parks in Avon, Indiana, are offering programs and other events out at Pecar Park, making it a go-to for a variety of reasons.

My kiddos love to visit with the live animals in the Nature Center (Jack and Diane, the Nature Center’s African Spurred Tortoises are very popular), and the entire family enjoys the natural landscape from the only campsite inside a park offered in Hendricks County to taking a walk along the wooded trails in the attached Pock Park.

The park is unique to say the least and worth the trip to Avon whether you’re just going for a walk with a friend or significant other or you want to stay overnight with a group.

Pock Park Addition Pock Park (Photo Courtesy of Washington Township Parks Pock Park)

After creating Pecar Park, the parks department recognized the need for trails and access to the wooded area attached to Pecar.

They established the Bob and Grace Pock Park in the fall of 2021, offering natural hiking trails: Pock Pass, Morel March and Creeping Cricket as well as a Civil War-era cabin.

To access Pock Park, all vehicles should be left at the entrance to Pecar. Follow the gravel campground and walk to the entrance marked with a handmade sign that says Pock Woods.

Nature Center Fun Pecar Park (Photo Courtesy of Washington Township Parks Pecar Park)

The indoor Nature Center is a beautiful space; home to a variety of animals, including Jack and Diane of course, but also a friendly corn snake, an iguana, a Cuban tree frog and others.

They host critter feeding times if you want to get up close and personal but it’s in the Nature Center that the community can enjoy many other activities as well.

Visit the Washington Township Parks program site to sign up for candle making, pottery, painting and other classes.

In addition, the center is available to rent for small parties or events.

 

Splash Island Family Waterpark tube slide

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Primitive Camp Sites Pecar Park Camping (Photo Courtesy Washington Township Park, Pecar Park)

Pecar Park is the only park in the county to offer camp sites for a small rental fee. Each of the 10 locations offer a fire ring, picnic table and trash can. They are within walking distance of an indoor bathroom and shower facility.

What I love about this is giving my family the opportunity to try out camping without being an hour away. An evening under the stars is fun and gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and ‘new’ campers like my group haven’t bitten off more than they can chew.

Eight of the sites are in the full sun and there are two sites located in Pock Woods that provide shade. Be sure to register ahead of time and you can also purchase firewood at that time if needed.

Outdoor Classroom Pecar Park (Photo Courtesy Washington Township Park, Pecar Park)

There is an actual outdoor classroom space available for programs, however, the entire property is a ‘classroom’.

Visit the wetland and pond area and search for a variety of animals who live in the water like tadpoles, fish and ducks. If you happen to have a kayak, take it out on the water for a small fee.

The prairie, just beyond the pond, is also a fun spot to search for small creatures, and there are several geocache locations on the property if your group is a fan of scavenger hunts. There are regularly scheduled exploration programs, too, if you’d like to sign up for a guided tour/education.

Play Time Pecar Park, Nature Park, bird observatory, playground, Washington Township parks

Right outside the Nature Center and past the large patio is another of my kids’ favorite spots – the playground. A rock-climbing apparatus and short zipline gives them a challenge, and the variety of swings and slides keep them busy for hours.

Fair warning, there’s not a lot of shade in the playground area, so be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and water but that hasn’t ever stopped my group.

Some natural or nature-based playground equipment also gives the kids a sensory experience as they are climbing, balancing and jumping from one thing to the next. When they get tired of the playground, try out the low rope’s ninja course full of challenging obstacles.

Pecar Park is located at 5203 E. County Road 150 North, Avon. For more information, visit the Washington Township Parks and Recreation website.