Hidden in Greenlake’s backyard & mere blocks away from bustling highway 99, Carcreek Park is as quintessentially Seattle as a park can get. From Puget Sound beach access, to hiking trails and a plethora of picturesque picnic spots, there literally is something for everyone in this park.
Named after Morgan J. Carkeek, an English building contractor who was also an accomplished stone mason who built many of Seattle’s early stone buildings, the park is 220 acres of green space with over 6 miles of hiking trails. There are plenty of climbable trees and salmon berries galore, so a jaunt through these moss covered woods is never a bad idea. London delighted in showing off his green ninja forest elf skills every time there was a gnarly root or stump that caught his eye. Needless to say our jaunt turned into a rather long one hour snail hike but there was plenty of time to eat those salmon berries.
Speaking of salmon, the single coolest thing about this park is that it does in fact have a salmon slide. I mean, can you get any more Northwest than that!? Kids literally climb into the salmon’s mouth, speed their way down it’s concrete belly and shoot out like a pile of roe in a stream bed! It’s fun and vaguely educational; playgrounds really don’t get better than that.
There is a nautical theme to most of the playground, including mosaic “tide pools” and sea caves. While you absent-mindedly push your kid on the swings, you’ll be rewarded with great views of Puget Sound and on a clear day, you might even spot the Olympics. There is also a historic apple orchard somewhere in the park, which was planted by the Piper family near the turn of the century and which lay forgotten under sticker bushes and brambles for years until it was rediscovered in the 1980’s. A volunteer group was put together and now it hosts a yearly Festival of Fruit celebration complete with apple pie contests and homemade cider made from apples grown in Piper’s orchard itself.
Northwest views, a salmon slide and heirloom apples? Sounds like Washington at its best and Carkeek Park has it all.
950 NW Carkeek Park Road
Seattle, WA 98177
Open Daily from 6AM-10PM