Above is what the drive to Essex Park looks like. I love this park because it felt like we were deep in the woods and totally secluded. Plus, obviously, there is a ton of shade. Essex park covers 160 acres. So, in addition to the playground, an old barn, and sheltered picnic area, there are a bunch of walking trails among the forested area. My only advice would be to go in a group, as my husband just informed me of a recent mugging there- hmm.
Essex Park is located along 55th St. and West River Road NW.