Nature in the City: Kirkland’s ‘Castle Park’ at North Rose Hill Woodlands Park

 

The Eastside is filled with beautiful parks. One of the most popular, commonly known as the “Castle Park,” is North Rose Hill Woodlands Park in Kirkland. The beauty of this park is that it is really like two parks in one: a nature park plus an amazing play area.

The play area is what attracts most visitors to the park. Built to look like a castle, it is a semi-enclosed area with lots of space for climbing and exploring. There are several slides, a set of swings including a giant tire swing, and rope bridges for traversing. For kids interested in bouncy, there are two rubber bridges that act like a trampoline. A climbing wall painted with a dragon ties into the castle theme. If you have toddlers, there is even a section with a smaller structure perfect for little climbers. Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms in the park, so be prepared for this.

The second part of the park is where the hidden nature comes from. In addition to a large open playfield right next to the play structure, there is a network of paths that wind through a wetland and forested area. These paths are good for roller skating or a little bike riding (although there is a section of bumpy wooden boardwalks). The wetland area is a quiet retreat that can make you feel like you aren’t in the city, if only for a few minutes. It is not an overly long walk through the trail area, which makes it doable with small children, and tolerable for kids desparate to get to the play area, but it is a very lovely and not difficult walk. It is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers and primarily flat.

The one thing to note about this park: parking is a bit difficult. Parking is allowed at the fire station about a block away, but this will require a bit of walking to get to the play area. The other alternatives for parking are on the street. Some parking is available across the street from the park on NE 97th St, though you will need to cross the busy 124th Ave NE (there is a crosswalk available). Street parking is also available on NE 95th St on the south side of the park (there will be a short walk to the entrance of the park). The final alternative is to park on the backside of the park on either 128th Ave NE (the east side) or NE 100th St (the north side) and then enter the park using the nature trail walk. This is a very nice alternative, as you get to walk through the nature area before arriving at the play structure.

North Rose Hill Woodlands Park
Address:
  9930 124th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033
Website: http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/parks/Online_Parks_Guide/Parks_Pop-up_Main/Parks_and_Community_Services__N__Rose_Hill_Woodlands_Park.htm

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