When my daughter was three, I enrolled her in the Mother’s Day Out (MDO) program at the Twin Lakes Family YMCA. I was not only drawn to the Y because it is affordable, I also loved the grounds: The two lakes, the hiking trail, the tiny waterfall, the pavilion, the docks. Every day after MDO ended, Maya “required” me to bring stale bread so we could sit on the dock and feed the ducks and geese.
On the weekends, the recurring appeal was “let’s go feed the ducks.” Whenever we had visitors from out of town, Maya would insist we take them to see the ducks. No amount of rain, cold, or heat could deter us. It became almost a daily outing. In summer, after gymnastics camp, we went to the dock and watched the fishermen. In fall, we visited the pumpkin patch and painted our own.
We enjoyed the lake from numerous vantage points: From the fishing dock, the amphitheater, the floating dock, the bank below the pavilion, and Brushy Creek Regional Trail, which, by the way, extends all the way from Camp Twin Lakes, past Brushy Creek Lake Park (one of our favorite parks), to Champion Park (another of our favorites), and beyond.
For me, the main attraction to the lakes was the peace and serenity I felt sitting there, listening to the honks of the geese, watching the ripples as the wind gently gusted over the water, seeing the turtles peek their heads up out of the water, and feeling the sun warm my back (most of the time). Even on cloudy days, the weather seemed temperate and the scene refreshed my spirit.
As we spent more time at the Lakes, we explored further and further down the Trail and began spending our afternoons getting some exercise and fresh air. If you were to walk, jog, or bike the Trail from Camp Twin Lakes to Champion Park, you’d get 6.75 miles of exercise, as well as some gorgeous views of the greenbelt. Because the Trail connects so many different parks, there are also opportunities for rock climbing, fishing, canoeing, and more. There were plenty of places to stop and use the restrooms and get some water from the water fountains.
Even now that Maya is in Kindergarten, and we no longer use the MDO Program at the Y, we still spend time on the grounds having picnics, sitting idly on the docks, and, of course, “feeding the ducks.”
Camp Twin Lakes
204 E Little Elm Trail
Cedar Park, TX 78613
Dawn M. Ambuehl-Sadek is a work-at-home mom of two girls: Maya, age 5 and Lila, 7 months. She has been writing in various mediums since she was in elementary school, including poetry, short stories, newsletter articles, and business writing. She currently serves as a teaching artist with Badgerdog and authors a blog focused on parenting and poetry.