There are a lot of things I never considered entertaining until I was a parent. Like construction trucks, garbage trucks, sticks, a ride on any kind of public transportation, the guy making pizza at Costco.
Add pedestrian bridges over highways to the list.
The pedestrian bridge over Interstate 40 near The Streets at Southpoint in Durham is actually a popular destination for some parents in the know. When I took my five-year-old there on an overcast, rainy morning, there were two families that we ran into who are semi-regulars to the location. In fact, one little boy came prepared with a little toy truck in hand.
Here's the allure for kids: They get to stand high above the busy highway, watching the cars and trucks whir past beneath them. If they get really lucky, somebody might honk a horn. My daughter and I actually got a friendly little whoop out of a window, which absolutely thrilled her.
The bridge is just a short walk from either The Streets at Southpoint or Homestead Market shopping center in Durham. My daughter and I walked from Southpoint, stopped on the bridge, and then walked over to Homestead where we visited Bean Traders and The Mad Popper. Then, we walked back to Southpoint. The entire trip was just about a mile.
To get to the paved trail, which is part of the American Tobacco Trail, you can find an access at Southpoint across the street from the parking lot near the movie theater. You'll see a sign for the trail and want to stay to the right. At Homestead, the entrance is right around the corner from Roses.
It's, of course, free. There was plenty of parking at either of the shopping areas. There are no bathrooms along the trail, but there are plenty in the malls.