It’s a RUNderful Life: Tanzanite Community Park

Tanzanite Park / Photos by Mariah Talso

FOR THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Today’s run is a 4.75-mile run on Jackrabbit Trail and ending at Tanzanite Community Park. The loop begins at North Bend Drive by Kohls. You can follow the path all the way to Airport Boulevard, behind the Walmart Shopping Center, to today’s destination: Tanzanite Community Park.

Jackrabbit Trail is mostly flat and straight. There are three road crossings and a loop around Tanzanite Pond. This trail is never overrun with visitors (human ones anyway) and always helps me feel more in tune with nature. One of the reasons I love this trail is because you have the option to travel on the paved bike/foot path or on the top of the irrigation ditch on a clean rock path.

Travelling along the trail you will likely see jackrabbits galore! There are so many — some are curious and stop and stare at you to see what you are doing; most are skittish and run or hop away as fast as they can. If you are on the trail during the early morning or in the early evening, you are likely to be one of just a handful of people around. If you hold still for just a moment, you may hear and see the jackrabbits taking flight. If you go in early spring, you might be lucky enough to see baby jackrabbits hopping along.

At about mile 2.4, you will arrive at Tanzanite Community Park. The park has a loop around the pond, which I enjoy. One fun neighbor to see on this portion of the trail are river otters. I have seen families of otters here seeming to play with each other. One day I sat and watched them for an hour. They were so agile swimming through the pond, scampering over the rocks and trees, and looked happy as they played.

If you stop and take a moment and sit along the pond at Tanzanite Community Park, you may hear children playing on the nearby playground intermixed with dogs’ play-barking in the dog park. If you sit long enough, you may hear geese on the water or see an occasional hawk soaring through the air overhead. You may even hear, ever so quietly, the leaves as they fall and someone — or something —walking over a crisp, yellow autumn leaf.

Tanzanite Community Park seems to have something for everyone. For me, it has a clean path on which I feel safe jogging. For my kiddos, there’s a fun playground to explore and when they’re older a skate park. For those lucky enough to be parents of four-legged friends, there is a dog park located between the soccer field and the pond. Lastly, the pond seems to provide adequate fishing, as there has never been a time I have run by without seeing someone there with a fishing pole in hand.

If you have some extra time and want to explore a little bit of Natomas, jog, walk or bike the Jackrabbit Trail to Tanzanite Park and see the wildlife, enjoy the crisp autumn air, and take a moment to relax and appreciate the fall beauty we find ourselves in this week.

Mariah Talso

Mariah Talso moved to North Natomas in 2012. She has two young children who enjoy the trails, parks, and playgrounds in the area. In 2018, Mariah decided to run a marathon, took up running and hasn’t stopped. She loves running outdoors, traversing the trails and levees throughout Natomas. Click here to read her other columns.

Jackrabbit Trail / Google Maps

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