Journeys Around Seattle, #61: Ravenna Park

June 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Despite having lived in Seattle for almost five years now, I hadn't ever walked through Ravenna Park, a large forested park not far from Greenlake. Its most prominent geographic feature of the park is a large ravine, at the bottom of which is Ravenna Creek, and a surprisingly large network of trails.

The park itself has an interesting story. For much of Seattle's history, the ravine had been ignored by farmers and loggers, so that even by the early twentieth century it was a haven of old-growth trees and forests. That had unfortunately come to an end by the 1920's, when most of the trees disappeared under mysterious circumstances, although you can still see a few remnants of that old growth forest today.

For much of the twentieth century, the ravine and its surroundings were neglected and unprotected, and in the 1960s, the ravine in adjacent Cowen Park was filled with leftover dirt from freeway construction. However, in the 80s and 90s, the community banded together to preserve Ravenna Park and its creek. Today it's a beautiful little oasis of nature, isolated by the ravine's geography from the surrounding city-- you can almost imagine you're walking through remote forest sometimes, except for the steady stream of joggers and the street-level bridges that frequently loom overhead as you walk the length of the ravine.

Today, Ravenna Park is a surprisingly lush little oasis, and a good place to go if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of north Seattle a hundred feet or so overhead. The creek is picturesque, and there are a few little ponds, with a lot of interesting plant and insect life if you look close. Ferns and horsetails line the path, and the trees overhead provide a shady, cool canopy from the heat of a summer's day.

(On another note, if anyone is curious what the yellow marble-looking things are in the third and fourth pictures, those are from the side of a light pole on the park's perimeter.)

 


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