[First filed: Oct 10, 2010 @ 12:01]
Haig Park, for those who don’t know it, is the belt of trees just to the North of Civic. It spans the distance between the feet of Black Mountain and Mount Ainslie.
Some people don’t think much of it, but I think their problem is approaching it in the wrong direction.
If you try and cross it North-South it’s a short and disappointing experience.
But if you get to the middle of it and start tramping East-West it’s a very different beast indeed.
In the centre of the regimented rows of pine trees it becomes a magical place. It feels like it goes on forever. Periodically you might have to cross a road, but those brief re-emergences into city life only serve to highlight the otherness.
Haig Park was planted in 1921 by Charles Weston as a wind-break when the Inner North was as dusty and wind-blown as Gungahlin is now.
Field Marshall Haig has been painted by revisionist history as a reviled butcher. But he was held in such esteem immediately after the first world war that this immense park was named after him.
The TAMS page on the park has this to say:
Haig Park is a plantation of densely planted predominantly exotic trees on the northern edge of the Civic Centre. It’s strongly formal design consisting of trees planted in parallel rows renders it unique in Australian park design and this has led to classification by the National Trust. It is a very accessible forested park for a range of recreational pursuits.
In this spring weather I highly recommend going for a wander, just make sure you tackle it from the right direction.