Impromptu picnicking or full on planned picnics get us out in the fine weather perched on a rock seat, lounging on a blanket or belly up to a picnic table with the red checkered table cloth. What to pack is a matter of personal diet and tastes. Where to picnic? At home, out on the patio. On the road, a rest stop is handy. At a destination? Public parks have two roles. Larger nationally known parks are mapped to indicate picnic areas, like for instance, at Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point (a Utah) State Park accessed from Moab, Utah. Smaller community parks, remember, are an oasis for locals too.
Swanny City Park of Moab Utah is bordered with mature shade trees and picnic tables. A few of the spots have elevated grills for charcoal grilling. Drinking fountain and restrooms can be found on the grounds along with playground equipment. Pets are NOT allowed. However, bring along your swimming suits! The Moab Aquatic Center is also located at this park for cooling off using the indoor pool with slide and diving board or outside enjoy the lap pool or the circular current channel pool and kids will holler about the toddler wading pool jubilant with fun structures. It is important to rinse off in the shower before using the pools to prevent salts, sweat, sunscreen, and dust from tangling with the PH balance of the pools. Families with up to six members get in for $20.
Rotary Park has tight parking. It is located along the Millcreek Pathway, a nice leisurely bike ride or hike from downtown Moab. The pathway parallels Mill Creek and is sheltered by tree shade most of the way. Rotary Park has a half basketball court and a volley ball net is set up. Bring along balls! This park can be reserved. Watch for the reservation sign and be respectful of private use. A few picnic tables have the elevated grills for charcoal grilling. Besides playground equipment, wading in the creek is fun. There is a flushing toilet, spigot and drinking fountain at the park. Get a free Chamber of Commerce map from several places around town to get oriented. (Moab Information Center, foyer of City Market and Village Market will have the maps).
Old City Park is nestled among the homes of local residents in Spanish Valley. It has a water feature flowing into a fenced pond with ducks and geese. Bring horse shoes or volley ball to use the horse shoe lanes or volley ball net available there. This park is also adjacent to the Disc Golf Course. Discs are for rent or purchase from Pagan Mountaineering or for purchase from GearHeads. These shops are in town along Main Street. Old City Park can be reserved, watch for the reservation sign and please be respectful of private use of this area. Dogs are NOT allowed. There are restrooms and drinking fountain and spigot. Unlike the other parks, the picnic tables are concentrated under an awning. Plan to bring a picnic blanket to spread out under the shady canopy of Old City Park.
Moab recently upgraded the Lion’s Park. It is a crossroads of activity. Presiding at the Colorado River with access to the bicycle/pedestrian bridge and paved path north to Hwy 313, it has ample bike parking for a rest after a jaunt up the Colorado River on the Colorado Riverway Non-Motorized Path paralleling Hwy 128, see the Boulder Park which had the Grand Opening May 13th 2016, or picnic at one of the many tables. Lions Park is across the street from the Trail Hub parking lot. Please use the tunnel under Hwy 128 to reach Lions Park if parking in the Trail Hub.
Picnics on the trail: Choose a trail. Take along food in a cooler or a backpack for a food break. Always determine durable surfaces for convening for a picnic break in the backcountry. There is sturdy slickrock, a wash if no threat of flash flooding, a wide spot or the middle of the trail. Be aware of your surroundings. Caution about scraping off lichen on rock surfaces, avoiding busting the biotic soil or crushing botanicals, and how much traffic does the trail receive or does the stop get in the way of other users? No matter where the picnic is held in Moab, be sure to have ample water along to quench thirst and stave off dehydration.