When Ailsa (Where’s My Backpack?) posted her theme for the week, I immediately thought of my favorite park in Denver: Sloan’s Lake. I have lived in the general vicinity for over 10 years and have watched the park grow in its offerings and improvements since.
Sloan’s Lake, legend has it, was made quite accidentally when homesteader Thomas F. Sloan was digging and hit an acquifer, flooding his land. He changed his occupation from farmer/rancher to ice-maker, cutting blocks from the lake in winter and selling them in the summer.
The lake also became kn0wn as the place to get away from the city (Denver) and the current town of Edgewater, in fact, was a summer colony of sorts, and provided all types of entertainment. There was an amusement park built on the lake, the first one west of the Mississippi, called Manhattan Beach. This burned and was rebuilt as Luna Park, then closed again because of competition from Elitch Gardens and what is now Lakeside Amusement Park.
After spending some years in disrepair, the neighborhoods around Sloan’s Lake slowly began to improve, and of course improvements to the lake were made as well. Today Sloan’s Lake is enjoyed by a diverse group of athletes (soccer, water sports, jogging, etc), picnickers, young families and young professionals. The walking/jogging trail is much improved since I first moved to the area. There are also two new and improved playgrounds, one on the south side and one on the northeast side, and numerous picnic areas. There are a couple of festivals held here, the largest now being the Dragonboat Festival every July. It has become a very big draw for the Pan-Asian community as well as others who want to try their luck at competing in the races. The festival has become so popular that shuttles now run from Invesco Field to the park to free up neighborhood parking.
Here are some photos from my regular walks around the park, taken at various times of the day and year. Almost any time is a good time to walk the park – I love the fact that I can find water and an oasis in the city! Thanks, Ailsa, for the inspiration to post this…