For those looking to stay active or perhaps find a new hobby in Las Cruces, it is good to know where the best places are to go out and play. There are plenty of great parks in Las Cruces that offer people big open grass fields, but this list focuses on highlighting the particular activities and sports for which these parks were designed. All these parks are open to the public and free to use for everyone, although some activities at the Meerscheidt Center are fee-based.
Sunrise Terrace Disc Golf Course – Disc Golf
1910 Craig Ave.
This green and hilly park is the hub of Las Cruces’ disc golf community as its four baskets are the only place to play in the city. The park is perfect for disc golf due to its extremely hilly terrain which makes for difficult shots as players often cannot see the basket on the first throw. However, painted markers around the park direct players on where to shoot and how far the next basket is, making it easy for newcomers to get the hang of the game. The park is busiest on Sundays a couple hours before sunset as it fills with community members who grew up playing disc golf here and continue to play to this day.
Las Cruces Skate Park – Skating
151 N. Walnut St.
The open surfaces and shallow slopes make this a good skate park for beginners and intermediates. It has a supportive community of skaters that is welcoming and encouraging to those trying to perfect their latest trick. And for the more experienced skaters, the park’s bowl has a steep drop that’s challenging to ride, in addition to multiple rails and ledges scattered around for grinding.
La Llorona Park – Swimming and Cycling
3440 W. Picacho Ave.
For those looking to recreate with the Rio Grande, La Llorona Park is the perfect destination. During irrigation season when there’s water in the river, the park constantly fills with families picnicking and swimming in the late afternoon. The water level is normally only a few feet high, and the current is tame enough for leisurely swimming. There is also a multi-use trail that runs through the park and along the rio for a few miles that is perfect for walking and cycling.
Jason Jiron Park – Basketball
355 Three Crosses Ave.
Jason Jiron Park has a full basketball court in good shape with additional hoops on the side that allow for people to play half-court instead. The multiple hoops are ideal for hosting different groups of people at the same time as they can share the court and still have their own hoop. There are also swings, a playground, picnic benches, and a large grass field at the park.
Apodaca Park – Pickleball and Tennis
801 E. Madrid Ave.
The biggest features of this park are the pickleball courts. Pickleball, a sport which combines elements of tennis with badminton and table tennis, is played on a small court and only requires a paddle and a hollow plastic ball to play. Apodaca’s pickleball courts are double gated to ensure no balls get out. The rest of the park is full of trees which provide ample shade, making it a perfect park for outdoor gatherings.
Meerscheidt Center – Basketball, Billiards, Cornhole, Etc.
1600 E. Hadley Ave.
From table-top games to weights, this recreation center is a popular spot for those looking to stay active. Meerscheidt offers a variety of games including foosball, table tennis, billiards, and board games. For a more physically demanding activity, it has indoor basketball open gyms available everyday for multiple hours, depending on reservations made by organized leagues. For outside activities, it has a colorful children’s playground and cornhole, along with two sand pits for volleyball (users can bring their own net or rent one out for a fee). The center offers additional activities for a small fee, including pickleball, zumba, and access to the weight and cardio room for $1. Racquetball costs $4 but gets you a whole court to yourself for an hour.
Lions Park – Tennis and Handball
701 W. Picacho Ave.
Twelve connecting hard tennis courts make Lions Park the go-to spot for tennis players. The courts are separated by waist-high fences and the nets and courts themselves are well maintained and clean. Stadium lights enable the park to stay open well after sunset. Additionally, there are four handball courts directly next to the tennis courts.
Soldado Park – Baseball, Softball, and Kickball
Walnut St. & E. Hadley Ave.
Though Soldado Park is often used for recreation of all kinds due to its wide-open grass field, it makes this list for its quaint baseball field. The park is often painted with the traditional markings of a baseball field and has diagonal fences that lie behind home plate which make it ideal for pickup games of baseball, softball, and kickball. The lack of a pitcher’s mound may be discouraging to some but its well maintained short grass is great for running from base to base.
Written and photography by Javier Gallegos for LasCruces.com
Posted by LasCruces.com