July 11, 2016
McAlpine Park's defining feature is a huge greenway.
It runs the from the Idlewild neighborhood down past Sardis Road, and possibly as far southwest as Providence if you're willing ride the beaten but unmaintained trail following the titular creek. That's many miles of flat, easy trails, some of which are paved. There's some cool stuff to see along the way, lots of pedestrian bridges and roads to ride under. The paths are well-traveled but they're wide enough and the visibility is good enough (except for the inevitable blind corner here and there) that you can blow through at full speed without too much concern that you'll inadvertently torpedo someone. There's a loop around the lake that's intended for cross-country running, complete with a starting gate. It's an easy hard-packed gravel run, and is a nice book-end to a long ride up and down the main drag.
There is also a more proper trail running alongside the western segment of the paved greenway called the Cottonwood trail. It's a straight shot with a few good hills that might be charitably described as 'gnarly'. To find Cottonwood, hit the paved greenway between Monroe and Sardis, then take one of the northern footbridges into the woods. If you ride the whole way it'll run you through James Boyce park which is almost directly west of McAlpine Creek park, and then dump you back out onto the greenway. I don't think Cottonwood is a tough ride at all, but it is NOT greenway. This is an actual trail.
I like this park and I go there a lot, especially with friends who don't own mountain bikes. It's a great place to spend an afternoon.