When are you in the wilderness while still in Seattle, without being in a major park? Llandover Woods. Never heard of it? Me neither, until I ran across it on a Parent Map list (which you can read here, along with 7 other hikes you can take little kids on). Just go west on 145th (bordering Seattle and Shoreline) and go straight past Greenwood, slight left onto third and there’s a parking lot on the right. City to woods, just like that!
We heard a lot of birds, though only saw little ones (Kaya told me she was looking for squirrels but astonishingly we didn’t see any).
Usually when we start a hike Kaya protests until we’re out and then enjoys it (most of the time) but this time she was eager to get started with a “follow me, mommy!”.
When we got to a fork Kaya was very sure we should go to the right. I tried to pull up the map I’d taken a picture of, since the sign post clearly said the loop was to the left, but by then Kaya was headed right so I went after her (I can’t run with Kaden in the carrier so…whose in charge again?).
I tried to take a pic of me and the lump that was Kaden napping, under a blanket and my rain jacket, since it was drizzling, but it just turned into a selfie apparently.
Despite the rain and my lack of confidence in which direction we were going, alone with two young kids, we had a great time looking at the trees and greenery, and finding every leaf, pinecone,and stick to carry for a few dozen feet before depositing them back on the side of the road.
At the next fork the path to the right clearly goes into the neighborhood and path left uphill, just like the path with the previous sign for South Loop, so I figured we were on the right path and headed uphill.
When bumping and dragging sticks wasn’t enough to keep Kaya walking uphill we took a break.
After a few minutes Kaya was ready to continue hiking and we made it to the top of the hill.
Accessibility note: There are stairs at the steep part right before the top of the hill so if you are using wheels and are able to really push it you could do most of the loop going one way then the other but not the whole thing. There’s not a real view at the top anyway so that might be worth it for a quick getaway still!
Oh and the bench was also perfect for a picture, as Kaden had just woken up.
It was downhill most of the way back (there’s some uphill at the very end but by then can say “almost there!”). Overall, it’s 0.7mile trail (per the article).
The only problem is, there’s no bathroom. So go beforehand, stop at Diva Espresso or somewhere nearby, or…bring your own. With Kaya potty training I keep a little potty chair with us all the time (just keep a plastic drink bottle and get a re-use before a recycle so you have somewhere to put urine, and spare diaper for #2 – to scoop it up, not have them poop in, to clarify, so there’s no regression).
All in all I’ve already told my parents and good friend with two little ones that we will be heading back here and should go together. It’s close by, the perfect distance and difficulty for this age, so beautiful, has parking (a rarity in Seattle), and is as safe as it can be (the trails are wide and bright enough even on a rainy gray day, and every 10ish minutes we saw a dog walker).