Judging the book by its cover…
Does the entrance or outside appearance shape your impression of the park within? How inviting is the park that greets you with barricades, confusing directions, or worn signs? Personally, if I were unfamiliar with sites and did not have to complete a field survey, I probably would not have explored further past such unwelcoming borders. But the interior of these parks are far more exciting (and inviting!) than their exteriors suggest.
Here are a few examples:
Fort Totten – Who wants to hike up a hill with no idea of what they will find when the entrances at the foot of the hill are all barricaded? Totten’s interior is worth the walk, but the entrance gives little hope for passersby.
Fort Foote – Once past the parking lot, the trail leads to a confusing clearing with trails leading in two directions. The less inviting one, a natural bridge over a fly-ridden swamp, actually yields the best park results…
Fort Willard – What you see is what you get. A small neighborhood park parcel buried in the suburbs, the fake cannons and manicured lawns on the outside do not conceal any hidden treasures.