When a city’s trademark is a turtle, it’s a sure sign that the natural world matters. I became aware of Albany’s love of nature when I noticed the cement in center city giving way to parkland. The city gives the Albanians (residents of Albany, not Albania) RiverFront Park, located on the shores of the scenic Flint River: six acres of manicured outdoor recreational space with pavilions and picnic groves, and one and one-half miles of natural trails.
I strolled along the paved Riverwalk that runs three miles – it’s a wonderfully safe and easy way to see the river. Kids find fun at the park in a play fountain and Turtle Grove Play Park that features recreational areas for children ages one to 14. Activities range from a Tot Lot to a Rock Climbing Wall.
You can climb to the Horace King Overlook near the historic bridge built in 1858 by the former slave and master bridge builder, Horace King. I had learned about King when I started my day at the Albany Welcome Center. It’s housed in the 19th century Bridge House, and sits at the end of the famous bridge. At the entrance to the ancient span are detailed markers that tell the history of the bridge.