The creek running through Kingfisher Natural Area. Credit: Bryony Angell
Kingfisher Natural Area, Seattle
Kingfisher Natural Area is a wooded ravine between Lake City Way and 15th Avenue Northeast, where partially restored Thornton Creek runs. Primitive trails meander throughout the ravine, bringing you onto abandoned home sites taken over by the City of Seattle as part of a flood management and urban creek restoration project. Tributary trails link the neighborhood where dead-end streets line the ravine. This is ideal territory for the pint-sized explorer to climb in wooded terrain, listen for birds and the sound of the creek, and discover former streets now reclaimed by nature.
Find it: Kingfisher Natural Area does not have an exact address. It is accessible at the corner of Northeast 104th and Street 17th Avenue Northeast in Seattle. From Northgate Way (Northeast 110th Street), drive south on 17th Avenue Northeast until the corner of 104th. The entrance is shared with a driveway; just keep to the right as you walk in. Park on either 104th or 17th, well above the entry and out of the way of any driveways.
Length of trail: From an eighth of a mile up to half a mile, depending on the trails you explore.
Tips: It can be muddy, especially in the spring. There is a primitive rock bridge to traverse in order to cross the creek.