Two new guidebooks encourage Seattleites to get outside and explore, including many places in our neighborhood. The fourth edition of “Take a Walk: Seattle,” published by Sasquatch Books, features walks through Carkeek Park, Green Lake Park and Ballard’s Golden Gardens Park.
An excerpt from the Carkeek Park section: ((c)2017 by Sue Muller Hacking. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Take a Walk: Seattle by permission of Sasquatch Books.)
Leave commercial Seattle behind as you wind down either a road or a footpath into this verdant ravine, where moss clings to the big-leaf maples and old logs straddle Piper’s Creek. Like other ravines along Puget Sound, this one enchants with the steady downward flow of several small streams, the surprising gurgles of miniature waterfalls, and the profuse undergrowth of the forest. Salmon still spawn in this urban stream.
In spring the trailside is lush with salmonberry bushes, the fruit still yellow and orange, awaiting the summer sun. Incredibly large stumps, too big to hug, provide nutrients for young salal bushes and Douglas firs. But all is not wild here. The old orchard remains as testimony to the early settlers, A. W. Piper and his wife, Minna, who supplied produce to downtown Seattle from this homestead in the late 1800s.
A beautiful demonstration garden is now flourishing thanks to the ministrations of a score of volunteers. Look for this horticultural gem near the upper entrance to the park.
In the lower parking area, look for the stairs leading up to the footbridge that crosses over the train tracks to the watery world of Puget Sound. The sound of whinnying robins is replaced by the call of gulls, and your eyes are no longer drawn to branches overhead but farther away to the lofty Olympics in the west, or to your feet, where the sand ripples under the retreating tide.
Another guidebook, also published by Sasquatch Books, “Seattle Family Adventures: City Escapades, Day Trips, Weekend Getaways, and Itineraries for Fun-Loving Families” by Kate Calamusa provides families with kid-tested activities. It includes many Greenwood and Phinney Ridge places and businesses in different categories, such as Kid-Friendly Activities (Seattle ReCreative, Woodland Park Zoo, Woodland Park Playground), Fun Shops (Top Ten Toys, Greenwood Sip & Ship), and Greenwood Eats and Treats (Gorditos, Coyle’s Bakeshop, Green Bean Coffeehouse).