By Cindy Johnson
Summer is upon us and that means it’s a great day to get outside and play in your local parks. Did you know that the City of Redmond has 23 developed parks and over 30 miles of trails? While you’re probably already familiar with popular parks like Farrel-McWhirter, Grass Lawn and Hartman, there are many other hidden gems tucked away that might be just a short distance from where you live.
Cascade View Park
16202 NE 40th Street
Just a stone’s throw away from the Microsoft campus, this park makes a great place to meet a working parent or friend for lunch with the kids. Pack the picnic basket and bring a ball to kick or throw on the nice grassy area.
Redmond West Wetlands
Ne 60th Street & 152nd Avenue NE
A quite oasis of woods and water tucked just off the beaten path, this is a perfect place to escape the heat on a hot summer day. Shady trails offer interpretive signage and plant identification information.
Willows Creek Park
8915 142nd Avenue NE
New playground equipment, close parking, open space and picnic tables make this a great place to meet friends for play dates or an afternoon of fun in the sun in this quiet, neighborhood park.
21760 Novelty Hill Road
Who says you need to drive a long ways to discover nature? There are over 800 acres of forest at this amazing park that’s less than a 15 minute drive from Redmond Town Center. Grab your backpack and plenty of water and snacks and spend a day wandering the trails of this incredible piece of public property that could be just minutes away from your very own backyard.
Concerts and Entertainment
If you’re craving community and entertainment don’t forget about the Arts in the Parks series that will be held at the City Hall campus in July and August. Tuesdays at noon will feature performances for children and Fridays at 7pm will offer family friendly but more adult oriented performances. Visit www.redmond.gov/arts for a complete listing of events.
There’s also the 69th Annual Derby Days Summer Festival in July. The fun starts on Thursday, July 9 with the carnival, which runs through Sunday, and then the Beatniks will really get the festivities rolling with an evening concert on Friday, July 10 at the City Hall campus. Saturday, July 11 activities peak with the bicycle criterium, parades, entertainment throughout the day, food booths and a beer & wine garden. With the exception of the carnival, all activities are free and open to the public.
If you want to venture a bit further afield, the Parks & Recreation Department offers kayak and rafting trips to the Nisqually Delta, Anderson and Eagle Islands, as well as on the Wenatchee, Skagit and Nisqually Rivers. No experience necessary, as basic skills will be covered. All equipment provided. Trip prices start at $81 per person.
Want the water experience but prefer to stay local? Head down to Idylwood Beach, 3650 West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE. Bring a canoe or kayak to launch at the north end of the park, or go for a swim in the designated swimming area. Lifeguards are on duty daily from noon to 7pm starting June 19 through Labor Day. Hint: If you want to have a quiet, relaxing experience at the beach head down on an overcast day or in late August. The crowds are usually gone, but the water is still plenty warm!
Regardless of whether you seek solitude or entertainment, active recreation or quiet contemplation, the City of Redmond Parks Department has something to offer. More details on all parks and services can be found at www.redmond.gov or by calling