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Apollo Park – Oasis in the Antelope Valley

Day Trippin' with Mel

I love day trips, getting away for a few hours and experiencing something different than the ol' home front. Sometimes I go for a learning experience, like when I visit museums or other places of historical interest; sometimes I go for the entertainment, like to ball games or casinos or concerts. Sometimes I go for exercise, like hiking in a pretty place; sometimes I like to go somewhere different just to be in nature and relax.

A few people have suggested a great natural relaxing place to me, and that place is Apollo Park, just this side of Lancaster. And it is a great little getaway for relaxing and/or picnicking; a little oasis in the Antelope Valley. I love getting suggestions like that but I must admit, I've been a fan – and frequent visitor – of that park for years!

The Apollo Community Regional Park is a 54-acre park that features three man-made lakes, lots of trees and shady and covered picnic areas, playground equipment for the young ones, paved and hard-packed walking paths, clean restrooms, barbecue set-ups and horseshoe pits.

A wide variety of waterfowl find a home in the lakes at Apollo, which serve as a great source of entertainment, and fishing is also part of the park's offerings. I'm not really much for fishing myself but I always see people with lines in the water when I'm there. And I love watching the ducks and geese and other birds go about their daily activities.

The park was dedicated in 1972 and named to honor the Apollo 11 astronauts. Some of the artwork on the privacy walls around the park reflect the influence of NASA and the astronauts in the area. (The park is also located right by Fox Airfield).

Sometimes I like to just stop by the park for a little relaxation after business in Lancaster, sometimes I like to go for a walk there. I've taken picnic lunches occasionally, and sometimes I head out from home with a good book and a jug of water and just go to the park to sit and read. It is especially relaxing for me to be around trees and water, which makes Apollo Park a perfect spot for that sort of thing.

If you go, I suggest taking the freeways to get there. Normally I prefer backroads (in this case it would be Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road) but when I go to Apollo Park I like to take the 58 East to the 14 South, and then take the Avenue G Exit (turn right/east on the avenue).

By taking Avenue G, you'll get the added experience of going over the Musical Road (3187 W Avenue G), a road with grooves that make a tune when you drive over them. The first of its kind in the U.S., the road was originally part of a commercial for Honda vehicles and now is just a fun part of Avenue G. Get in the left lane and listen to the music as you pass through the short section of road. Depending on your speed, you'll hear different musical patterns (some say 55 MPH is best); whatever I hear, it always puts a smile on my face.

To get to Apollo Park, shortly after the Musical Road turn right onto Barnes Avenue (4725 William J Barnes Ave) toward the airfield and follow that road past the airfield to where it ends in the park's parking lot.

Apollo Park is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. this summer (winter hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.). There is no admission fee and the park is fully accessible. Fishing requires a State of California license; rainbow trout, common carp and green sunfish are the most abundant fish in the lakes.

By the way, if you don't want to take a picnic lunch but you get hungry, Foxy's restaurant in the airport terminal serves up some mighty fine food, and it's located right by the main runway. You pass it on the way to and from Apollo Park.

© 2022 Mel White/Mel Makaw. Mel White, local writer, photographer and avid day-tripper, welcomes your comments, questions and suggestions at [email protected].