September 17, 2015
Liberty Park, an 80-acre oasis located just outside of downtown Salt Lake City, offers a reprieve from its urban surroundings.
Often labelled Salt Lake’s “Central Park,” Liberty Park features jogging paths, an aviary, a folk museum and an amusement park, among other amenities. It’s an ideal place to spend an afternoon, whether you want to pursue a sporty activity or simply soak up some Salt Lake City history.
The plot of land where Liberty Park now sits is a storied piece of property, now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. During the era of Mormon pioneers, Isaac Chase (the man for whom the park’s Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art is named) owned the land and started a mill there in 1847. Brigham Young, founder of Salt Lake City and Utah’s first governor, purchased the land from Chase in 1860, but it didn’t become Liberty Park until 1881, when Salt Lake City bought it and converted the property into a public park.
Today, the park is teeming with visitors at any given hour. In the spring and summertime, the swimming pool sees a surge of people looking for relief from the heat. Runners and cyclists, however, enjoy the 1.5-mile path that loops around Liberty Park all year long.
Tracy Aviary, which has called Liberty Park home since 1931, is another perennial attraction. The aviary houses birds from around the globe, including pelicans, flamingos, cranes, owls and eagles, to name just a few. There are often deals for admission such as $5 tickets after 5 p.m.
But you don’t have to pay to see birdlife at Liberty Park. The park’s pond is just around the corner from the aviary, and home to geese and ducks that are used to receiving the odd crust of bread from visitors.
Not one for bird watching? How about people watching?
Depending on the day of the week, there can be anyone from teams of amateur football players taking to the open fields to groups of people participating in a drum circle to the local car club that meets on south side of the park. You’re even likely to see people dressed up in medieval garb, duelling it out with prop swords during historic re-enactments.
An open public space, Liberty Park is the perfect spot to pass the time and take in some of the local colour of Salt Lake City.
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Have you visited Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park? How would you spend an afternoon here? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Billy Yang