March is going out like a lamb—well, sort of—and the longer days and splashes of sun remind us of what we’ve been missing all winter: walks in the park, communing with nature, and enjoying the new buds springing up on bushes and trees filled with chirping birds.
The coastal Northwest has exceptional springs with flowers and foliage that invite us outdoors. We think this is a great week to get out and have a walk at one of the many beautiful parks and natural areas in Bellevue, so we’ve highlighted just a few to help you get in the spirit.
Phantom Lake Loop
Take a stroll at along the , 2050 156th Ave. SE, at the Lake Hills Green Belt. The loop is a 10- to 12-foot wide paved pathway that circumnavigates the lake. Access to the park is on 156th Avenue Southeast. There is a small parking lot and parking on the street. The large grassy area leads right up to Phantom Lake and there is a wooden dock out over the water. There is a non-motorized boat launch at the park. Permits are free and can be obtained at the office at the nearby Greenbelt Ranger Station.
Lake Hills Community Park
With longer evenings, it’s a great time to take the little ones out to, at 1200 164th Ave. SE, which has two softball fields, a basketball court, a lawn area and play structures. There is a small bridge near one of the play structures. One of the softball fields backs up onto a large grass covered hill covered with towering trees.
Lewis Creek Park
One of my favorite places for a peaceful walk is , 5808 Lakemont Blvd. SE. Just the other day I gazed at a beautiful heron at the picturesque park, where the local community comes for environmental education and recreation. More than 80 percent of the 55-acre park is preserved in its natural condition, making its paths rich with scenery. It also has a visitors center open Wednesdays through Sundays, a play area, basketball court, and dual-use soccer and baseball fields. The visitors center is a 2,500-square-foot, multipurpose interpretive center. You can check out a pair of binoculars, grab a book from the library and relax in the seating area, or take the ranger tour of the park. Interpretive programs are offered on a wide variety of topics, including birds of prey, local animals, amphibians and native plants.
Kelsey Creek Park
Another great place for a family outing is , 410 130th Place SE, made up of 160 acres of forest, meadows and wetlands, including a farm with historic barns. Its grounds are woven with hiking and jogging trails. Picnickers may enjoy beautiful grassy areas and families with young children often make use of the playground. The creeks, wetlands and forests round out the park's natural habitat. Farm programs include children's recreational programs, seasonal camps, pony care and farm experience classes, and farm-themed tours.
Bellevue Botanical Garden
Don’t forget Bellevue’s own botanical gardens, at 12001 Main St. Opened in 1992, 53-acre grounds are a captivating display of nature. Visitors can trade in the hectic bustle of life for cultivated display gardens, natural wetlands and a woodland trail. Several water features run through the park adding an additional therapeutic sound. Whether exploring with a group, strolling with a friend or meandering on one's own, the park offers beautiful settings and stunning flowers. For the detail-oriented, there are signs through the park about the different displays. A visitors center is also available.
ABOUT THIS FEATURE
Patch's weekly feature, Patch Picks, highlights editor and reader picks of great local businesses, destinations, services, organizations, ways to spend a day off, and more.
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