Tucked into the hillside along the Puget Sound in the northern part of Seattle, this park has gorgeous views of the Sound and Olympic Mountains. In addition to the forested hiking and running trails, Carkeek Park has a playground and beach, making it a relaxing getaway for the whole family.
- Easy to get
- No charger
- Left handed use only
- Supports only Apple products
- Low storage
As we drive down the winding road to Carkeek park, light filters through the dense trees. One final curve in the road opens up into a parking area and playground to reveal a vista of the Puget Sound. On clear days, the snow-capped Olympic Mountains can be seen clearly in the distance
Wild blueberries grow on the bushes along the hiking trails in the summer, and the sunset views are unlike anywhere else in the city. The Washington Trails Association has a great summary of the history of Carkeek Park if you want to learn more about how the land came to be a city park. Calm and quiet, even with visitors hitting the trails, this park will make you forget that you are in the city.
Like all public parks in the city of Seattle, this place is free. It’s hard to beat free entertainment especially since this park has so much to offer like hiking and running trails, a playground, an environmental learning center, covered picnic areas, a beach, and views of the Olympic Mountains to boot!
Carkeek Park boasts an Environmental Learning Center, which hosts classes, info sessions, and summer camps about conservation efforts in Seattle’s parks and throughout the state of Washington. Nearly 100 species of birds have been discovered in the park, and there is a historic orchard within the park grounds. The Environmental learning center also hosts after-school programs and a preschool that molds youngs minds and focuses on learning about the outdoors and conservation.
I’m also always very impressed with the Seattle parks system, and Carkeek Park is no exception. The public bathrooms are always stocked with soap and toilet paper. And for public bathrooms they are typically pretty clean. I’ve never seen the toilets overflowed or out of order. The park itself is also clean beyond the occasional piece of paper or runaway plastic bag, and nicely maintained without over-grooming to accommodate views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
All the Feels-Good
This park is pretty much a perfect slice of nature and outdoor fun without having to leave the city. It’s not as busy as other city parks, so it’s a really peaceful retreat from the traffic and daily bustle of city life. I know I’ve mentioned the views of the Olympic Mountains multiple times already, but it’s just so breathtaking! I never get sick of seeing the mountains rising above the water.
The many different features makes the park a lot of fun for kids. In addition to the playground area, there is a big field to run around, play catch or a game of soccer. There is also a walkway over a set of railroad tracks that leads to a beautiful beach overlooking majestic mountains (and close-up views of freight trains coming through will surely entertain the kids).
The hiking trails through the wooded hills are one of my favorite things about this park. I’ve enjoyed many morning trail runs and walks in the park after dropping my kid off at school. The hills are steep, and I always get a great workout! The only caveat is that it is one of the more isolated parks so I do feel the need to have my wits about me when I go for a run alone. As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, running alone is one of the things we have to navigate. But keep this in mind before you head out or bring a running buddy, so you can both fearlessly nav. the trails!