Ever since we moved up to Seattle I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the great parks around this city. It seems like there’s great ones around every block, from Saint Edward to Gas Works Park. On this occasion, I visited Carkeek Park which is located in the north-west section of the city on the Puget Sound. It boasts salmon running in Pipers Creek, to eagle colonies feeding on the beach. It’s a regular animal haven!
The first thing I noticed was the fantastic view of the Olympic Mountains just across the bay. It was pretty early in the morning when I first visited and the snowcapped peaks were just majestic.
Much of the Park is wooded and has trails around the property, but it also has great beach access over this fenced in bridge. A train track is below and you can often see commuter trains winding up the coast.
Two young bald eagles also happened to be hanging out for the morning pulling out of the water whatever storm drains bring to the bay [probably don’t want to know]. They let me get pretty close before taking off and letting the crows play cleanup.
I had such a great time I decided to bring Tanya and Lily back that evening to check things out. There were considerably more people, but Lily had a blast stomping around the water and picking up rocks.
Carkeek Park is a 216-acre park located in the Broadview neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The park contains Piper Orchard, Pipers Creek (and its tributaries Venema Creek and Mohlendorph Creek), play and picnic areas, picnic shelters, and hiking trails. A pedestrian bridge across the main lines of theBNSF Railway connects to the Carkeek Park sand beach on Puget Sound. Park program activities are largely out of the Park Environmental Learning Center.
The park and environs were still rural when the park was established; further, most of the park is in a steep little canyon, so the park was spared all but minimal rural development as well as the surrounding boom of urban development. The full old growth forest (1,000–2,000 years old) was all clearcut relatively early (around the early 20th century); the predominantly maple-alder successional stage forest is today mature. Evergreens will gradually predominate. Typical trees include deciduous maple, alder, ash, and willow, with madrona, cascere, and evergreen Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Douglas fir, pine, and spruce. Sedges, cattails, and other common indigenous flora fill out the understory and wetland areas, with particularly huge Lady Ferns along the ravine between 105th and 110th streets.
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