Trail through trees around the ponds
Pond viewing platform
On the west side of 1st Ave NE.
Just south of N 155th and just west of I-5.
There are two parking lots and four entrances altogether.
Twin Ponds Park is like three parks in one. The northeast section is a nicely landscaped park, with the special feature of a deck overlooking the north pond. The western half of the park is all trees surrounding the twin ponds. The south section is separated by a strip of trees and a creek, and has a community garden, arboretum, and a tennis court.
I’ve always used the north parking lot, so I’ll start the tour from there.
Slightly southwest of the lot you can cross the lawn and catch the trail that encircles the ponds. Head a little ways west and you’ll find two picnic tables in the trees with a view of the north pond.
I haven’t taken the ponds trail any further than that, so can’t provide more details. My understanding is the trail goes all the way around both ponds. From my first park visit in early February I can say that it’s not a walk you’ll want to take in winter months without wearing mud shoes of some kind.
If instead of angling for the ponds trail you head south out of the parking lot you’ll be on a paved path that eventually extends all the way down to the south end of the park. If you only are up to a short walk the walkway makes a really nice loop through the northeast section of the park.
You’ll first come to the bathrooms, and just beyond them is the children’s play area with a large structure and swings. There is a picnic table next to the play structure.
Stay to the right and the path will take you to the little viewing platform overlooking the north pond. There are two picnic tables on the platform.
It can feel a little odd going onto the platform if both tables are full of merry picnickers because it’s a small area. But the space isn’t rented out, so you’re free to be there also at any time. Out of my several visits to the park that only happened once, on a warm late spring afternoon.
Remember that these are ponds, not lakes, so the water is fairly shallow and a bit stagnant. I’d guess especially so in late summer. But it’s still nice and you can watch some water birds. (Bring binoculars if you can.)
When you leave the platform walk east on the loop and there are three benches along the paved path. When you get to the path intersection you can choose to head back to the north parking lot or head south to the other end of the park.
The center section of the park contains a synthetic turf soccer pitch, with the paved path traveling down its east side. Bleachers are located in the middle, and there are openings in the fence to 1st Ave at the north and south ends of the field. The openings provide easy access to the street parking.
If you continue on south you will come to a footbridge that crosses a creek and leads to the south end of the park. In the south end is the other parking lot, a community garden, and a tennis court. There are tables and chairs at the garden.
On the far side of the tennis court is a small arboretum that was installed as a personal project over many years by a local citizen. I’ve included a link to a post on another blog about him below. It’s a neat little story.
In winter months Twin Ponds Park isn’t that pretty because most of the trees are deciduous. But in spring it’s very picturesque with lots of blooming trees.
Things to Know
Dawn to dusk
Two picnic tables at the north end of the north pond.
One picnic table by the play area.
Two picnic tables on the north pond platform.
Three benches on the paved north end loop.
Two benches and bleachers on east side of soccer pitch.
Picnic tables and chairs at the community garden.
Located by the children’s play area a short distance from the north parking lot.
The women’s has two stalls with no doors on them. The toilets are the steel kind and only one has an added toilet seat.
Two lots, one at each end of the park.
Street parking on the west shoulder of 1st Ave.
Plenty of parking available on weekdays. Uncertain about summer weekends, but suspect it only occasionally fills up between the three parking options.
Twin Ponds Park is mostly used by people living in the Shoreline/North Seattle area. It’s the sort of park that gets used a lot, but is plenty big enough to not feel crowded most of the time.
Ponds, birds, flowering trees in spring.
Best light: morning.
Wildlife I’ve Seen:
Birds – ruby-crowned kinglet, bufflehead, mallard, American widgeon, American coot, pied-billed grebe, wood duck.
Other – turtles, squirrels.
(You can click on the slideshow pause button and use the arrows to navigate at your own pace.)