From Hobbit Forest to Rocky Beach at Carkeek Park

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Having to spend several days in Seattle for work, I discovered a wonderful AirBnB rental (highly recommended!) that is economical and perfectly situated for gorgeous, scenic runs. If you're headed to Seattle, I encourage you to stay there (and tell Laura I sent you). While you're in the neighborhood, definitely check out nearby Carkeek Park, whose mixture of forested, hilly trails and breathtaking seaside offers the best of the Pacific Northwest.

From the AirBnB, you first take a loooooong run downhill on NW 116th Street, where you get this awesome view:

 You'll also (apparently) be well advised to pay attention to local warning signs!

You'll also (apparently) be well advised to pay attention to local warning signs!

As you run down 116th, keep an eye out on the right for a forested path that leads to Carkeek Park (this spares pedestrians from having to share a narrow road with cars). From there, miles and miles of trails follow!

 I followed a path along the creek, toward the shore. At this spot, the trail ahead leads to the pedestrian bridge over the train tracks, toward the beach.

I followed a path along the creek, toward the shore. At this spot, the trail ahead leads to the pedestrian bridge over the train tracks, toward the beach.

 Awesome views from the shore!

Awesome views from the shore!

 Many tiny creatures live in the tidepools here. Watch where you step!

Many tiny creatures live in the tidepools here. Watch where you step!

 Those tracks the pedestrian bridge crosses? A very active line!

Those tracks the pedestrian bridge crosses? A very active line!

 Corvids were splashing and playing with each other in the tidal stream.

Corvids were splashing and playing with each other in the tidal stream.

 I didn't see any but evidently baby seals rest on this beach!  Another reason to visit again.

I didn't see any but evidently baby seals rest on this beach!  Another reason to visit again.

 After the beach, I turned uphill and explored the forest trails.

After the beach, I turned uphill and explored the forest trails.

 We are definitely a long way from Colorado. Check out those 'shrooms!

We are definitely a long way from Colorado. Check out those 'shrooms!

 Local schoolchildren raise tiny salmon, who are later released into the streams of Carkeek Park, from which they'll journey to the Pacific Ocean... and then in the fall, return to spawn!

Local schoolchildren raise tiny salmon, who are later released into the streams of Carkeek Park, from which they'll journey to the Pacific Ocean... and then in the fall, return to spawn!

 Nearing their release time, these baby fish are kept in a tank irrigated with diverted Carkeek Park stream water, so that they'll imprint on the tastes and smells of their home water.

Nearing their release time, these baby fish are kept in a tank irrigated with diverted Carkeek Park stream water, so that they'll imprint on the tastes and smells of their home water.

I'd planned to explore more of the trails around Seattle, and on future trips, perhaps I will. But for this busy traveler with little time to drive to some other trailhead, running down the hill each morning I was in town was a fun adventure, and a wonderful way to start the day.