Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Great Hikes In Bellevue


I know this may sound crazy to some of you, but, not everyone who attends Vogue Knitting Live will want to knit all day long.  Some of you, weather permitting ... or not, might want to get out and stretch your legs a bit over the 3 days of the event.

"f1bercat,"  you might ask, "Where are the best hikes in Bellevue?"

 I will give you 4 hiking places, and a downtown walk.

Downtown Walk

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Walk from the Hyatt Regency South down Bellevue Way along or through Downtown Park towards Old Main.  The street that runs along the West side of Downtown Park is 100th Ave NE.  Main Street is the dividing line between the NE streets and the SE streets.  So when you cross Main, the street becomes
100th Ave SE/Bellevue Pl.

 This tiny lane leads down a very steep hill to Lake Washington.  At the bottom of the hill is a small pocket park with a bench.  The view is absolutely lovely.
To your left is the Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club.
You can reverse your walk, or continue on Meydenbauer Way back up to Main Street, then return back North on Bellevue Way to the Hyatt.  The whole walk is about 1.6 miles.

Mercer Slough

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You can walk to the Mercer Slough Nature Park, but it is a bit far.  There are bus stops and parking.

The Slough (pronounced Sloo) is over 320 acres of freshwater wetland.  There are over 7 miles of trails.  Most are wooden walkways that float on the slough.
The slough is an extremely slow moving waterway, or bog.  The ground shakes when you jump up and down because it is  not completely solid.
There is a working blueberry farm, and old structures that are slowly sinking into the ground.  You can see all kinds of water fowl including heron.  The paths are very well marked with good signs so you can't get lost.

Although it is impossible to completely block out the noise of traffic since the 405 fwy runs along one side, there are many places on the trails where you can't see anything but the beauty and solitude of the slough.
There is an historical house, The Winter's House, on the edge of the slough (I have seen it, but never been inside).
This is especially a nice place to walk if you like flat.

Bellevue Botanical Garden

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The Bellevue Botanical Garden has 52 acres of cultivated gardens, reclaimed woodlands, and wetlands.
There are gardens featuring "waterwise" gardening,
As well as gardens that feature specific parts of a home garden, like ground cover and borders.
The Japanese garden is lovely, but my favorite has always been the high altitude rock garden.

There is just something about these plants scrabbling for a hold in the rocks that I have always admired.  There are pathways leading through the gardens that are wide enough for running.

Kelsey Creek Park and Farm

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Kelsey Creek Park and Farm has 150 acres of forest, meadows and wetlands.
There is a large area here that is just wonderful meadow or pasture.
There are 2 historic barns

 with animals to visit, including ... SHEEP!  as well as other fun farm animals.

 They have a fair at the end of August with sheep shearing, and other fun farm activities.  The local spinning guild will be there demonstrating.  I can't wait.
The last walk I recommend is Weowna Park  (get it?  We  Own A Park).

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This is the farthest from the downtown area.

You can park in one of the side streets near the park, SE 19th St. is the closest to the hiking trails.

This park has a really nice 3 mile loop that is not for people with bad knees as it gets very steep.  There are 90 acres in this park.  If you follow the trail to W. Lake Sammamish Blvd., you will go down a very steep set of stairs along side a waterfall.  This is my favorite trail.  Here is the stream that makes the waterfall at the top of the park.

I am standing on a bridge over the stream looking upstream:
and downstream (almost straight Down):
There is way less traffic near this park, and once you get into the trees on the trails, you would swear you were hiking in the Cascade Mountains, and not at all in the middle of a city.
If you are near the stream and waterfalls, you can't hear traffic at all.  The trails again, are very well marked.

Other important things to know for Vogue Knitting Live.

I wanted to offer another free parking place for those who don't want to do much walking.  If you park at Bellevue Square in the North East lot, you will be almost on the corner just across the street from the Hyatt Regency.  There will be a shuttle bus that goes between the Hyatt and the Meydenbauer Convention Center.  On the above map, this parking lot is marked in Black.  There are 2 entrances to the lot which are marked with black arrows.

The Hyatt Regency is marked with a Blue circle and the X.

Grocery Store
I wanted to recommend a grocery store which is closest to the Hyatt.  Just 2 blocks West is a QFC (Quality Food Center).  On the map it is marked with a Red circle and star.  This would be a great place to stock up on what ever food/snacks/etc. you want for your hotel room.

adding a LINK to the Eastside Stitchers thread of recommendations.  Anyone who lives here and has a good place to eat, etc., please feel free to add it to our Thread.

Shameless Self Promotion:
One more plug for my book, Salt and Pepper at the Pike Place Market.
This is one of the illustrations from the book.  If you find me at Vogue Knitting Live, I will be happy to autograph the book for you!

Tonight I will be across town from Bellevue Square at Crossroads with my stitch buddies, Eastside Stitchers.

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If you are in town early, and are looking for some friends to stitch with, please come down to our side of town.  We meet in the center of the mall near Starbucks (where else?) and Half-Price Books at the big round tables.

I will be working on my Braveheart Socks.

Hope to see you there!

shaping the world with sock toes.

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