Bellevue garden swings into 20th year with new suspension bridge, nature path
Bellevue Botanical Garden has opened its new Ravine Experience woodland trail, which has a 150-foot suspension bridge.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Walk in the park |
Where: Bellevue Botanical Garden
Location: 12001 Main St., Bellevue
Length: Nine trails or walkways and garden displays spread over 53 acres.
Level of difficulty: Easy and short paths, all around 1/3 mile on gravel or mulch surface with few steep slopes. It's mostly wheelchair-accessible.
Facilities: The visitor center includes a gift shop, restroom, meeting rooms and patios outside. Kiosks and maps are located near the parking lot and the visitor center. Large picnic area by the parking lot and 26 benches scattered along the trails.
Setting: The Bellevue Botanical Garden, celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer, includes ponds, meadows and gardens. Most attractions and sculptures including the popular Alpine rock landscape and a Japanese gate are located in the north end, near the visitor center. New this spring is a suspension bridge and nature trail on the far south end of the garden.
Highlights: The grand Garden d'Lights display during the holiday season is its biggest event, when the garden charges admission. But the rest of the year, there's no entry fee, and many visitors come on weekends now for the new "Ravine Experience," a nature trail leading to a 150-foot suspension bridge over the ravine, in a lush second-growth forest. It's isolated from the rest of the garden display. Just follow the "Ravine" signs. Once near, you will be on a gravel trail rimmed with sword ferns that leads to the suspension bridge.
The bridge, about 5 feet wide, is a popular picture-taking spot. Cross over the metal bridge to take a loop trail. You can hear birds chirping and smell cedar trees. Even on a drizzling day, the canopy of bigleaf maples and western red cedars protects you from much of the rain if you stay on the mulch trail. Deer frequent this area early in the morning and at night.
The new nature trail is only about 600 feet long but connects to the other trails in the garden, making for a popular route with joggers and walkers.
Restrictions: Garden opens daily, from dawn to dusk. Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Directions: From Interstate 405, take the Northeast Eighth Street East exit, then turn right on 120th Avenue. Go south and along the curvy road ¾ mile to the first light and turn left onto Main Street.
For more information: 425 452-2750 or www.bellevuebotanical.org
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.