Carkeek Park boardwalk trails. Credit: Seattle Parks and Recreation/Flickr CC
Expansive Carkeek Park in North Seattle offers many options for families to explore. Hiking along Pipers Creek affords the chance to see spawning salmon in the fall. Trails also traverse the hillsides and ravine, 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 and going to 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 and print out a trails map.