“That banana slug has antlers!”: A walk through St. Edward State Park

St. Edward State Park

“That banana slug has antlers!” Our little naturalist has a great view of the natural world and he calls it as he sees it. It’s our job to encourage his curiosity and his sense of wonder and if that means he sees antlers, then they’re…well, we’ll help him out and let him know that they’re actually antennae (or tentacles) and used to watch television. We just can’t lead him astray.

We spent last Sunday morning at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore. It’s a short drive from our house which made it convenient. We’d been traveling all week and didn’t feel like spending a lot of time in the car. The State Park is a former Catholic seminary and became a park in 1977. It’s primarily wooded and offers great hiking and mountain biking.

We opted for the “shortcut” to the lake by taking the Grotto trail. Yes it’s very short, but also very steep, slippery, and a few abrupt edges. It’s not recommended for strollers or inexperienced child hikers. We had to hold on to Ethan’s hand most the trail, though he fell once and skinned up his knees.

Once we got to Lake Washington, we enjoyed a snack and leisurely made our way back to the car via the north trail. The north trail is a mild incline through beautiful views of cedar and fir trees. Ethan took time to watch spiders on webs, draw banana slugs moving across the trail, and explore all the great holes in trees and on the ground.

In addition to the great hiking, there is a very impressive play structure for kids. It’s similar to the ones we’ve seen in McMinnvile and Lincoln City, Oregon. It’s huge, themed, and all wood. On Sundays, you can also catch a game of Crickett on a nearby field. The last couple times we’ve been here we’ve seen the teams out playing. I don’t understand the game but do wish to watch a match some day.

Definitely visit the park if you’re in the area.