There’s no better way to take advantage of the 70 degree weather than to go to a local park. Harrisonburg has quite a few locations that are ideal for JMU student cookouts, sports, organization retreats, and great places to hangout with your pets. All of these parks are also within a very short driving distance from campus. Here’s a quick list of Harrisonburg parks YOU should check out:

Purcell Park

Purcell Park is located on Monument Avenue, the street right before the Wendy’s on South Main. My favorite part about Purcell is the wide open space, basketball courts, sports field and also the pavilions with grills. In my opinion, Purcell Park is the best place for a group gathering, whether with your family, organization or just friends.

purcell park

The White Oak Lavender Farm

Although not a park, the lavender farm is one of the best ways to soak up the beautiful Harrisonburg scenery while relaxing by some of the most amazing aromas in Virginia. The lavender farm is located about 15 minutes outside of JMU and they have great food, free grass space and even some farm animals to hang out with.



Explore sports fields and the ropes course at University Park located just several minutes from campus on the corner of Port Republic and Neff. U-Park is the perfect place to host a pick-up game of any sort or just play a sport under the lights.


Hillandale Park

Hillandale is the ideal space for a detox from school and the busyness of our college lives. With 74 acres of serene woods,  picnic shelters, playground equipment and walking trails, Hillandale is a great place to bring your family or
friends to get away. Hillandale also has two basketball courts, a sand volleyball court and horseshoe pitching areas.hillandale park

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

The arboretum here at JMU is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Harrisonburg (and arguably in Virginia). Located on the JMU campus, the arboretum is the closest thing you’ll get to complete nature right in your back yard. The arboretum has a calming walk-through with blossoming plant life of all colors. You can even host an event on the patio, which is great for formals or other celebrations!arboretum

Ralph Sampson Park

Right behind the Simms Boys and Girls club, the Ralph Sampson Park is widely spread area that has several basketball courts, a playground, a soccer field and a baseball diamond. This place is a great area to go with your friends or family for a picnic and some sports.ralph samson.jpg

A Dream Come True Playground

Although not the most ideal place to hang out as college students, this playground would however be the perfect place to go when the family visits. As a child I’m sure this would have been a literal dream come true place to be, so I’d suggest visiting this park with your little siblings when they visit!a dream come true


Get some fresh air and go outside, there’s so much to do here in Harrisonburg!

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