Blueberries, farm stand and pretty little lakes in suburban Bellevue
Take a walk in the Lake Hills Greenbelt, linking Phantom Lake and Larsen Lake in Bellevue.
Seattle Times staff reporter
the park |
Where: Lake Hills Greenbelt
Location: 15416 S.E. 16th St., Bellevue
Length: Two miles, from Phantom Lake to Larsen Lake. Round-trip, including short side trails along the way, is about 5 miles.
Level of difficulty: Flat and easy: paved walkway, boardwalk over wetlands. Only a few parts of the trail are packed gravel. The trail is wheelchair-accessible.
Facilities: Picnic tables, restrooms and benches around Larsen Lake and Phantom Lake trailheads. A demonstration garden is near the ranger station.
Setting: The greenbelt trail between the two lakes makes for a pleasant spring or summer stroll. You can fish for trout or launch kayaks and canoes on Phantom Lake, with access at 2050 156th Ave. S.E. Get a free permit at the ranger station for nonmotorized boating.
Along the trail, at the corner of 156th Avenue and Southeast 16th Street, is a produce stand (scheduled to open by mid-June). At the other end of the trail is Larsen Lake, next to a U-pick blueberry farm, 700 148th Ave. S.E. (scheduled to open by July).
Highlights: Take a free guided walk with a ranger every Saturday at 2 p.m. Meet at the ranger station at 15416 S.E. 16th St. The walk takes about an hour and is appropriate for all ages, with an overview of the area's wildlife and history (Japanese immigrants farmed this area in the early 1900s).
On your own, the ranger station is still a good starting point. You can pick up a map and a trail guide or ask the ranger for tips. For a quick outing, Ranger Laura Harper suggests the Phantom Lake area. For a longer walk, continue from the ranger station to Larsen Lake. The trail parallels a busy street, though there's a forested section of Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock. Lots of bird-watching along the way; watch for cedar waxwings and killdeer.
Restrictions: Open daily from dawn to dusk. Dogs must be leashed.
Directions: From eastbound Interstate 90, take Exit 11B (Exit 11 from westbound Interstate 90). Go north on 148th Avenue Southeast and east on Southeast 16th Street. The ranger station is on the left; parking is limited. More parking is available about a block away at the Community Garden, located before the 156th Avenue intersection.
To get to Phantom Lake, drive past the ranger station and turn right on 156th Avenue Southeast. Look for signs to the trailhead and parking on the left.
To reach Larsen Lake, follow 148th Avenue Southeast north to the parking lot just past Southeast Eighth Street.
For more information:
Call the ranger station at 425-452-7225 (open Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.) or see www.bellevuewa.gov/lake_hills_greenbelt.htm.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.