Tuesday, February 23, 2010

North Creek Park Exploration

Annika on the boardwalk at North Creek Park

We've had a run of sunny weather, which is normal for this time of year, and I always need the sunshine to combat the cabin fever that sets in this month. I looked through one of my hiking books yesterday to see if there was anywhere new I could go with the kids. We've been wanting to see birds, and I had a wetland in mind, so I found a park just 20 minutes from my home that I hadn't explored yet. We arrived at North Creek Park in the mid-afternoon, so the birds were quiet except for a few red-winged blackbirds and marsh wrens. We read a bit about the history of the park on an interpretive sign at the overlook at the beginning of the trail. Then we headed down the gentle hill. A duck squawked at us from a cattail-hidden pond. Otherwise the only sounds were the wind in the dry canary reed grasses.

Shaggy cattails from last summer look a little worse for wear.

The trail through the wetland at North Creek Park is entirely on boardwalk. The walk floats on the water for parts of it, and during the wet season the water seeps through the cracks between the boards. Expect to get your sneakers wet if you go, or wear waterproof footwear. The trail is only about a half-mile long to the end, so even young children can make this trek. My kids' favorite part was finding clumps of frog eggs in the water.

Frog eggs attached to a stem under water.

They delighted in touching their fingers gently to the blobs of jelly, and keeping their eyes open to try to find more hiding under the vibrant green duckweed.

Annika got brave and touched the egg clumps.

We didn't walk the entire length of the trail, since we came upon more water than we were prepared for.

Water covers parts of the boardwalk, making it all more interesting.

We made our way back to the start, and the kids spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the fun and innovative playground equipment. There are also picnic tables and a porta-potty onsite. I recommend this park for an interesting walk. I know we'll definitely be back!

My two happy munchkins.


amberlee said...

Beautiful! I am starring this to remember this park for the next time we are up north. Our sunny streak came to an end yesterday with buckets of rain so no walking for us... Not that I mind that mcuh, but it was a good excuse to be crafty!

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