Hiking · Local Adventures

Local Adventures: Chetzemoka Park

Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, is a highly walkable Victorian town. There are many places to visit that have history entwined in them, and many are kid friendly. I find walking lets you see the lay of the land better in urban adventures and you see so much more. We often take the ferry over from Whidbey Island to walk up to Uptown Port Townsend for the Saturday farmers market and find new things to look at. I have been intrigued by the coming Chetzemoka Trail, an urban “trail” that will walk through town to showcase history, so I decided to take the boys to the start of it, Chetzemoka Park. It is about a mile from the ferry dock, with a gradual uphill grade to the park. If you take Water street, then turn up Monroe and take it to the top, you will have sidewalks nearly the whole way.

The park is hidden by the trees, but well marked. All parking is along the quiet street, so once in the park children are safe to run around. The park is a little over 6.5 acres and has a gentle downhill nature. It is large older trees, with a soft grass around, and numerous flower areas with gardens. Hiking paths wind through, connecting it all, with little troll wooden bridges to walk over. It is a quiet park, with birds everywhere. Simply relaxing, and the trees leave it a cool place to just sit and watch.

The edge of the park is the bluffs high above, offering views of Admiralty Inlet (the Salish Sea) and Whidbey Island, with the ferry crossing.

There is beach access, in the lower southern corner of the park, as you head downhill. There are two separate play areas, on each side of the park, as well there are public bathrooms.

On the way down, walking down Monroe we came upon a Little Free Library.

It’s a cute one. It is painted to look like the house behind it.

The boys perusing the offerings.

A literacy classic I tell you!

Sometimes the most positive part about our short adventures is just the quiet. Sitting on a ferry, with no distractions, is golden time. Walker would rather read a newspaper than have an electronic leash and I encourage it. I want my children to live differently than most children, and it is up to me to encourage that. Summer is nearly here, and all we need is a water bottle, snacks and a ferry ticket to explore history. Find what is near you and go after it!

As a bonus a ferry worker came up to us and told us there is a Heron nest on the piling at the Coupeville dock. We could see the Heron on the nest and even saw eggs as the ferry left the dock.

*One negative to mention is that as one walks uphill in Port Towensend, within a few blocks the sidewalks have no ADA accessibility. If you are doing this with a stroller or wheelchair it poses real issues. The curbs are high to get on and off the sidewalks. A wheelchair cannot navigate this and would be forced to be in the street.

~Sarah

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