Carkeek Park & Playground
950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA 98177
Dawn to Dusk
playground, outdoor-adventures, hike
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A local park with hikes, wildlife spotting, tide pools and salmon slide!
Carkeek Park is a local favorite for all seasons. Kids can hike along a stroller-friendly boardwalk and check out salmon spawning in the fall. The boardwalk feeds into the Piper’s Creek trail that is mostly flat and leads past a community-maintained orchard (perfect in spring when the apple trees bloom). For a longer hike, choose the South Ridge or North Meadow Hillclimb trails. Hikes range from 1/4 to 2 miles depending on how many additions you tack on.
Be sure to check out the fun salmon-shaped slide and climbing structures at the playground, which has adjacent bathrooms (no changing table, but there are several stalls) and a large field for kicking around a ball. Adults will appreciate views over the sound.
If throwing rocks in the water is more your speed, walk across the railroad tracks via a tall bridge (fun for watching the freight trains that pass regularly) and head out to the rocky beach. Harbor seals frequent the water here. Summer months feature the lowest tides for spotting purple sea stars and sea cucumbers, but heading to the beach at low tide in other seasons will typically yield some anemones for fans of sea life.
Prepare for a Pacific Northwest outing by packing water-friendly clothing. You’ll want a light layer almost any time of the year, water shoes to brave the rocky beach in the summer, and rain boots for possible mud on the trails.
Free parking is available in an upper lot (near the playground and entrance to the beach area) and a lower lot (near Piper' creek) as well as some street parking in adjacent neighborhoods.