Marin Playgrounds: South Hamilton Park in Novato
South Hamilton Park, also known as Airport Park and Palmisano Community Play Park, is nestled in a quiet corner of Novato's Hamilton Neighborhood. In a nod to the area's former role as an air force base, the playground here features some aviation-themed equipment. Adjacent to sports fields and with an expansive play area, this was one of my kids' favorite hangouts when they were little and we lived close by.
This playground gets bonus points for being close to the Bay Trail segment that skirts the old runway area of the base, now converted back to wetlands. With some great panoramic views of San Pablo Bay and wonderful wildlife watching opportunities, it's great for a family walk or bike ride. Also nearby is the Hamilton Community Pool, the perfect place to cool off on a hot day with a slide and water features for the little ones.
This seven-acre park features baseball and soccer fields adjacent to a spacious, community-built playground area. For older kids, there's a big central play structure with a swinging bridge, slides, and things to climb, as well as swings and a small tire swing. The toddler area is in a separate section and has its own smaller play structure and a helicopter, plane, and boat play equipment.
There's a picnic area here that can be reserved for birthday parties and other gatherings. You'll find plenty of trees to provide shade on warm days, too. Many of the fixtures here are adorned with coloful mosaics and ceramic decorations.
Amenities at South Hamilton Park include:
- Two picnic table areas with shade structures
- Drinking fountains
- Lawn area
- Port-a-potty restroom
To reserve picnic areas and other facilities, visit www.novato.org.
If You Go
South Hamilton Park is located at 251 Hangar Drive in Novato 94949. To get there, take Highway 101 to the Bel Marin Keys Boulevard exit. Head south on Nave Drive and then turn left on Main Gate Road. Follow Main Gate over the bridge where it become Palm Drive. Bear right onto South Palm Drive, then turn left on Hangar Drive and follow it to the park. Plenty of parking is available in the lot next to the soccer fields.
Pictured above is the Bay Trail which is adjacent to the South Hamiton Park, one of our favorite Marin spots for short hike or bike ride with the kids. With easy access from several points in Hamilton and stunning views, the Bay Trail is a great place for families to head outdoors for an active outing.
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