The Pacific Northwest has some breathtaking scenery; there are many nature reserves and recreational parks to choose from. Here are some of Team Sno-King’s favorite favorite parks in Seattle and surrounding areas for you and your family. Enjoy!
Cottage Lake Park
Cottage Lake Park is one of the more popular parks in Seattle; located in the Woodinville area, it offers lots of outdoor activities. Formerly a vacation resort, this park gets pretty busy during the warmer months
You’ll find lake access for boating and fishing, and there are walking paths, picnic tables, barbecues, a covered shelter, play area and restroom. The children’s area was recently restored a few years ago. Kids will love the obstacle course. There aren’t too many trails available but you can get a walk in with the paths, boardwalks and floating dock. The park also hosts many concert events during “Music in the Park“; a free outdoor concert show sponsored by the Upper Bear Creek Community Council.
- Votes on their Facebook page, give them a 4.4 out of 5 stars making this one of the top parks in Seattle.
- The Northshore YMCA also operates the pool, high ropes course, and summer camps at this park.
You can reserve a picnic shelter by contacting the Regional Scheduling Office:
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is another must-visit destination if you’re searching for majestic parks in Seattle and surrounding areas. This 3000+ acre location is joined with Squak Mountain State Park by Cougar-Squak Corridor Park, which combined is around 5,000 acres of protected area. This combined area is sometimes referred to as “Issaquah Alps.” The elevation runs from 1,000 and 1,600 feet above sea level. It’s a very close shot from Seattle near the intersection of I90 and 405.
Most reviews say that it’s extremely well maintained and the rangers and staff are very polite and inviting.
Cougar Mountain Park has over 35 miles of trails and paths snaking through diverse environments such as ancient second growth woods, mountain streams, swamp areas, cliffs, and even caves for you spelunkers out there. There are a lot of trail options with varying difficulties. You’ll find hidden pockets that isolate you from the noises and views of urban areas but this park also offers stunning views of the Cascades, Seattle, the east-side and Lake Sammamish.
There are some trails available by horseback but most of the paths at this Cougar Mountain are for hikers. This site even gets used by a lot of the local cross country running teams.
Trailheads: The park is accessible from four trailheads.
- Red Town Trailhead: off Lakemont Blvd SE
- Sky Country Trailhead: off Clay Pit Rd
- Harvey Manning Trailhead: off SE Cougar Mountain Rd
- Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trailhead: off SR-900/Renton-Issaquah Rd
Votes on their Facebook page, give them a 4.9 out of 5 stars making this another one of the best parks in Seattle.
Marymoor Park lies at the north end of Lake Sammamish in Redmond WA. It’s one of the largest, oldest, and most popular parks in Seattle. It’s a whopping 640 acres and brings in over 3 million people a year.
There are tons of recreational activities: rock climbing areas, sports facilities and even a velodrom for track cycling. Pet owners rejoice, there is a massive 40 acre dog park. It’s also one of our favorite concert going destinations. Marymoor lies at one end of the Sammamish River Trail; great for biking, running, walking, rollerblading and longboarding. It even contains a remote control aircraft/drone flying field.
As you can imagine this park gets a lot of traffic; be prepared to pay 1$ for parking when you first enter.
This park also hosts concerts, movies and Cirque Du Soleil! It’s pretty much a one stop destination for a cornucopia of activities; not many parks in Seattle can compare to it’s list of things to do.
- Cirque Du Sulei Marymoor – https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta
- Movies Marymoor – https://www.epiceap.com/movies-at-marymoor/
- Concerts Marymoor – https://www.marymoorconcerts.com
Check out their facebook page for more information.
Steve Cox Memorial Park
Located in White Center, Steve Cox Memorial Park was renamed back in 2007 in honor of a fallen King County Sheriff’s Deputy who was a dedicated community leader. This 11.5 acre park in Seattle is a favorite destination for baseball fans and local families.
The park offers Mel Olson Stadium, baseball fields (recently upgraded with synthetic turf), basketball courts, tennis courts, play and picnic areas, and a foot reflexology walking path. The childrens play area has options for both younger and older kids. They even have toys available for the younger kids. Adjacent to the kids area, you’ll find a decent sized grassy field to throw or kick a ball.
The White Center Community Center is a historical building that is also called the “Log Cabin.” It’s used for community events like clothing repair, teen programs and other recreational activities for youth aged 12 to 19.
Their Facebook page is rated at 4.3 out of 5 making this another great park option.
To reserve fields or other park amenities, you can contact the Regional Scheduling Office:
Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground
The almost 600 acre Tolt-MacDonald Park and Campground is located in Carnation WA. It sits at the convergence of the Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers in the breathtaking Snoqualmie Valley. This is one of our personal favorite parks in the Seattle area.
The 500 foot suspension bridge over the Snoqualmie river makes for some absolutely picturesque scenery. During the fall after the rains start moving back in, visitors can observe chinook salmon journeying to spawn in the river below.
Tolt MacDonald contains over 12 miles of wooded trails and riverside paths connecting to the adjacent Ames Lake Forest; a desirable mountain biking destination. If you head in the opposite direction, there’s access to the 27-mile-long gravel Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
A favorite for Tuya, one of our Mongolian team members, you’ll also find 6 Mongolian style ger’ (yurt) homes looking over the riverbank as well as RV parking spots with turn-around. There are also two good size camping areas with fire pits available.
The yurts, covered structures and a renovated barn are available for community or special events. Contact the parks regional scheduling office to reserve a camping spot, the barn, or one of the shelters.
Tolt-MacDonald Park hosts two popular annual events:
Check out their Facebook page for more info.
Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy
Further north than the above mentioned parks in Seattle, the 429 acre Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy. It’s an amazing destination for observing local flora and fauna, hiking, picnicking, fishing, and generally immersing yourself deep in Washington nature.
This nature reserve contains within its boundaries wide open spaces, lakes, wetlands, and an extensive river environment along the Snohomish with multiple convenient fishing locations. No pets at this location, sorry dog lovers!
The walk down into the park is an easy, mostly flat, three-mile trek that protects undeveloped riverfront and important floodplain along the Snohomish River. As you are hiking, keep an eye out for ducks and swans as they are numerous at this destination.
History lesson time! Courtesy of Snohomish County Parks and Recreation:
- Dave Beck, Jr., a former Teamsters Union president, operated a gravel mining operation along the Snohomish river. The site was purchased by the Palzer family and used for raising livestock and agriculture.
- When the site was to be subdivided and sold for housing, the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Association, led by Bob Heirman, led a campaign to preserve public access to one of the most popular steelhead fishing spots on the river. The Parks Department worked with the association to acquire the property.
Open from dawn until dusk this park is family friendly and easy to navigate.
Thanks for reading! Where are your favorite parks in Seattle located? Tell us below in the comments.
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