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10 In-City Forest Walks for Seattle and Eastside Families

Skip the drive and walk in nature with kids, right in town

Published on: October 11, 2023

10 In-City Forest Walks for Seattle and Eastside Families

A tween boy walks on the boardwalk trails of Seattle's Carkeek Park during a fall family hike in town, without a long drive
Carkeek Park boardwalk trails. Credit: Nancy Chaney

Carkeek Park

Expansive Carkeek Park in North Seattle offers many options for families to explore. Hiking along Piper’s Creek affords the chance to see spawning salmon in the fall. Trails also traverse hillsides and ravines, traveling through wetlands, forests and even a historic orchard. Walk over the bridge to the beach for even more discovery.

Kids will love: Looking for salmon, swishing through leaves on the lawn, playing in the nature-inspired playground (with salmon slide!) and visiting the beach. Bonus: Waving at passing trains.

Find it: 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd., Seattle. Drive (carefully) down the narrow, winding road into the ravine and park in the upper parking lot by the playground for the quickest access to the beach. Continue around the bend and down a bit more to park by the large lawn bordering Piper’s Creek. Flush toilets are located next to the playground.

Distance: Make a 1-mile loop by walking along Piper’s Creek, west into the wetland areas, and then coming back on the Brick Road and Hillside Trail. More adventurous families can trek on the other hillside trails on the north and south sections of the park. Download or print out a trails map.

Next up: In-town old growth

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