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Explore the Sweet Fairy House Trail in Sammamish’s Pine Lake Park

Take your kids to search for enchanting fairy homes — before summer ends

Vicky McDonald

Published on: July 21, 2022

Young girl crouches next to a fairy house along the Pine Lake Fairy Trail in Sammamish, Wash., near Seattle, among fun free kids' activities for summer 2022
Inpsecting one of the fairy houses found along Pine Lake Park's temporary Fairy House Trail. Credit: Vicky McDonald

My kids love fairies, and on our regular forest walks, they love to point out all the hollowed-out tree stumps and crevices where fairies might live. When I heard that our local Pine Lake Park in Sammamish was hosting a special Fairy House Trail again this summer, I knew we couldn’t miss it.

On the way to the park, we talked about all the materials that might go into the construction of a real-life fairy house. I was hopeful that the fairy houses would live up to my kids’ expectations.

A cute fairy house constructed of sticks, leaves and other natural materials along the Pine Lake Fairy Trail in Sammamish, Wash., near Seattle
Credit: Vicky McDonald

Finding the fairies

We know this park well, so as soon as we landed the kids scrambled out of the car in search of fairy houses, looking around the dock and on the playground. There were also a few other families wandering around looking for the fairies. We then realized that the fairy house trail is right opposite the parking lot, behind a large sign that we had somehow missed. Rule No. 1: Follow the fairy sign.

Walking along the path, we encountered the first fairy house and it was just as we imagined. It was cleverly constructed with foraged materials such as moss, leaves, tree bark and stones.

Magical fairy house found along the Pine Lake Fairy House Trail in Pine Lake Park in Sammamish two kids inspecting it
Credit: Vicky McDonald

Each fairy house was marked with a helpful blue flag, so my two kids flitted through the forest hunting for the flags. The “Rosenow Resort” was my kids’ favorite and the attention to detail was certainly impressive. The barn-style structure rests on a gnarly tree trunk and the surrounding fairy garden is decorated with seed pods, shells, painted rocks and feathers.  

According to the sign outside, “all species are welcome at the resort.” I bet the chipmunks are delighted with this new vacation spot. 

My kids also adored the “Dreamy Driftwood Treehouse,” which is made from pieces of driftwood, shells, moss and pinecones. It’s the perfect summer dwelling for those beach-loving fairies.

Pine Lake Fairy House Trail toadstool house with two young kids looking on fun Eastside activities for kids June 2021
Credit: Vicky McDonald

The cleverly constructed “Hobbit House” looks like something from a fairytale, while other fairy houses were humbler and more natural in style. They were constructed from all sorts of materials, such as lichen, twigs, berries, flowers, colorful pebbles and even popsicle sticks. These fairies really are ingenious builders!

Keep hunting?

There are about a dozen fairy houses to find and inspect, and each one has its own unique charm. The kids wanted to believe there were more and chased around the trails hunting for other dwellings in the undergrowth. It certainly made our forest walk a lot more magical than usual. 

A cute fairy house along the Pine Lake Fairy Trail in Sammamish, Wash., near Seattle, among fun free kids' activities for summer 2022
Credit: Vicky McDonald

The trail is not very long, so after looking at all the fairy homes, we moved on to the playground. There are three small play areas in Pine Lake Park. The top area features two swings and two climbing walls, and the lower play area has two standard play structures with slides, monkey bars and other features.

There is nothing super fancy about the play area, but the view of the lake is a bonus for parents, and my kids are always perfectly happy to hang out and play on the playground. For older kids, there are some basketball courts and a sports field.

Pine Lake Park play structure for kids to play on before or after walking the Fairy House Trail
Credit: Vicky McDonald

If you’ve brought along a snack, there are also plenty of picnic tables nearby for an impromptu picnic. Of course, you also have beautiful Pine Lake right in front of you, so you might want to bring some swimming togs and beach shoes to make a day of it.

If you’re an Eastside family looking for a charming nature activity to fill a morning or afternoon, the Fairy House Trail at Pine Lake Park is a good bet. Just go soon, as the fairies are moving out at the end of summer.

If you go ...

Find it: Find the Fairy House Trail at Pine Lake Park, 2401 228th Ave. S.E. in Sammamish. It is located on the opposite side of the parking lot behind the football field. Follow the large sign to access the trail.

Open hours: The park is open daily, from 6:30 a.m. to dusk.

Parking: Free parking is available in the lot at the park.

Tips for families:

  • Each fairy house is marked with a blue flag.
  • The trail is stroller-friendly.
  • Restroom facilities are open during park hours.
  • Check the Sammamish Facebook page for more information about the trail, pictures and a virtual tour to watch before you go.

Fuel up nearby before or after your fairy hunt: Metropolitan Market Sammamish, Mod Pizza, Chipotle.

More magical fun for kids:

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2021, during the fairies’ first stay at Pine Lake Park, and updated for 2022.

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