Sunday, December 29, 2013

Carkeek Park

 Carkeek beach Looking north from the overpass

We took a walk in Carkeek Park a few days ago.  It is amazing how much wooded areas and wetlands still exist in these city parks. 

We parked in the main lot and started off through the Bog on this boardwalk shown in the photo below.  Even though it is winter there were a couple of Mallard ducks swimming in the bog pool.  The water comes from Piper’s Creek that winds through the park and crosses the path in several places.

 Boardwalk over the Bog

Two Mallard ducks swimming

The trail winds through the bog area on boardwalks, small grated bridges and dirt paths and then crosses a picnic meadow before climbing slightly through woods up to the Piper’s orchard.  The orchard still has trees, some over 100 years old that are producing apples, pears, quince and nuts.  Most bear fruit varieties that are no longer grown.   The Pipers homesteaded the property following the 1889 fire in Seattle.  Later the land was purchased by Carkeek and still later donated to the city for use as a park.  The orchard lay dormant for years then was cleared and restored by volunteers.  Today the fruit from the orchard is sold to help maintain it.

Piper's Orchard

From the orchard we dipped back down the hill a little bit and then up again to the forest.  It was foggy and a little chilly but the light was great for picture taking.

Douglas Fir trees, a deep forest in a city

 Some of the trees had ferns growing right out of their trunks.

Old tree with many holes in the trunk

We eventually reached the top viewpoint but it was too foggy to get a good look at the mountains or the water.  On the way back down to the parking area we did have one place where we could look out and see the water and the gulls through the trees.

Looking through the trees at the gulls on the beach

The circular route we took through the Bog was less steep than if we had gone up to the viewpoint first.  The entire route was about 2 ½ miles of mostly level or slightly inclined trail.  Although we did have a small amount of snow in the city a week ago it has been mostly dry so the dirt trail was free of mud and easy to walk. 

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