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 for the month of June, 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.
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.
Each fairy house was marked with a helpful red flag, so my two kids flitted through the forest hunting for the flags. The “Magic Fairy House” was my kids’ favorite and the attention to detail was certainly impressive. We saw a tiny rope ladder made from twigs and moss, miniature bottles of glitter, old keys and a teapot complete with dinky-sized teacups.
My kids also adored the “Sea Fairy House,” which is made from a large white shell and green sea glass. According to my youngest, this is definitely where the Tooth Fairy lives.
One fairy house looked just like a red toadstool from a classic 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, peach stones and even a coconut. Those fairies really are ingenious builders!
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.
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.
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 June.
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, 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Parking: Free parking is available in the lot at the park.
Tips for families:
More magical fun for kids: