June 9, 2014 by Terumi
So many lovely days start off with pancakes and although this past weekend wasn’t a pancake weekend, (I’ll let you know about our fun and wild adventures from this weekend’s trip to Whistler soon enough!) the morning of our hiking adventure in Discovery Park with our kids was and I hope we can repeat this whole day multiple times this summer and I thought you might like to too.
On pancake mornings, I usually default to Snoqualmie Falls pancake mix because it’s a just-add-water type of deal and it’s locally made but we were out, so I used sweet Martha’s best basic easy pancake recipe and they turned out fabulously. And because it’s peony and berry season in the northwest anytime we can incorporate BOTH of these ingredients into our day the better it is. (So I’m hoping peonies last all summer. Does anyone know how to make peonies in a garden last?) And even though Martha forgot chocolate chips in her recipe I made sure to dose almost every pancake heftily. (Because even though my husband does not agree, pancakes without chocolate chips are just totally sad.)
We decided we wanted an easy kid-friendly adventure and we looked at the tide schedule to see when the tide went out, and it turned out it would peak in the late afternoon. (Even though I don’t totally know if this is a real tide predictor, but it’s the only one that we know.) So, sometime after breakfast and sometime before dinner we journeyed to the Discovery Park Visitor Centre and followed the trail down to South Beach.
The hike is about a mile and a half each way and we probably should have brought more water and snacks because we only had water and no snacks. But in our defense we thought we were just going to grab a parking permit, but EVERYONE else in Seattle had the same idea that weekend. (And they will every sunny weekend in Seattle too!) So count on walking and bring snacks. Apparently there is a shuttle to the beach on some select weekends as well. But I bet that might be crowded and unpredictable so I’d again count on walking and bring snacks.
We all were wearing our Keen water shoes (we all have a version of this one!), so at least we were somewhat prepared for being in water and none of us got blisters on our 3 mile journey. And the hubby made sure we knew all about stinging nettle, because there is a TON of it on the trails.
When we finally reached the water, it was spectacular and the guys ran into it right away.
And we spent hours on the beach, while the tide finished going out and starting coming back in.
We found sea life like starfish and anemones that hid underneath the big rocks and watched seagulls who dropped shells from high above to smash and open them on the rocks for tasty snacks.
We built castles and watched the waves wash over them and take the sand back out to sea. It was like we were on vacation, but this park is practically in our own backyard.
And we tired ourselves out. COMPLETELY.
The return hike wasn’t as pleasant. We all were a little exhausted from our vigorous playing and the uphill trek was painful because we were extremely hungry. I wished and wished for some magic M and M’s to appear in my pocket but they didn’t. Even raisins might have worked as bribery to get us back up the hill.
But like all great hiking adventures we’ve done before, eventually we made it to the end. And even then it was all worth it and we definitely want to do it again. I can’t believe we have such an amazing park right here in the city.
(PS. as I was reading up on this one, I noticed there is a bird sanctuary here too for herons that I’ve never visited and it looks like they nest until August so I’m going to have to check it out ASAP. Have you been? I’m actually starting to get an appreciate for birds.)
(PPS. We have tried more fun hikes for you and your kids if you think you might need another one up your sleeve.)
Category DAILY LIFE, FAMILY TRAVELS, seattle, seattle kid sports, TRAVEL | Tags: beaches in seattle, easy hikes to beaches, easy pancake recipe, family travel seattle, how to get discovery park parking permit, non-touristy seattle, seattle hikes with kids, what does stinging nettle look like, wildlife in Seattle