O. O. Denny Park Trail

It was sunny today, so I gave myself a break from the computer and knitting needles to get outside for a while.  I picked up my hiking guidebook and selected another trail.  This time it was a short, easy loop in O. O. Denny Park.  This park is also just a short drive away and just down the road from Saint Edward State Park.

Denny Park is a sliver of land nestled in a quiet neighborhood.  The focus is Denny Creek, which runs along the bottom of a valley to spill into Lake Washington.  The valley is very deep, so once I got into the trail a bit I couldn’t tell I was in a neighborhood at all.  The park is split in two by the street, with a beachy picnic area on the Lake Washington side and the trail area on the other.

The beachy area is very nice, with a view of Mount Rainier to the south and lakeside neighborhoods all around.

Mount Rainier rising above the clouds in the distance

The trail start and finish points are barely marked, but easy to find.  It follows one side of the creek, then crosses it at an old bridge where the neighborhood has done some work to return the creek to a more salmon-friendly state, and continues back along the opposite side.

Along the way, I encountered an enormous uprooted tree that had been sliced to make way for the trail.

I also encountered the remains of the “biggest tree in King County,” according to the plaque announcing this distinction that is placed at it’s feet.  They even named it.

It was pretty impressive, even with it’s top gone.

Nearly as soon as I stepped inside the woods, I could hear the constant chatter of the creek.  I finally reached it, shortly after encountering Sylvia.  So picturesque.

A spur of the trail continues on past the bridge, crossing the creek three times (rock hopping is required here), then climbing out of the valley to emerge into the neighborhood.  I followed this, then backtracked to cross the bridge and continue on the loop.  The trail on the opposite side of the creek is wider and covered with gravel until it reaches the top of the valley, which makes for a welcome break from the slippery leaf and mud mixture I had encountered before.  Without the helpful footholds provided at the worst spots, it would have been truly nasty.

Once at the top of the hill, the trees became mostly pine and the trail decidedly less muddy.  It definitely made for a nice walk back to the parking lot at the lake.

This one is going on the list as another favorite.

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