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Originally published September 27, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Page modified September 27, 2012 at 1:46 PM

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Bellevue's Lewis Creek Park packs in the programs

Free guided walks and many nature programs are part of the attraction at 55-acre Lewis Creek Park in Bellevue.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Walk in the park |

Where: Lewis Creek Park

Location: 5808 Lakemont Blvd. S.E, Bellevue

Length: 2.3 miles of trails in 55-acre park.

Level of difficulty: Easy, short trails that are four feet wide, some of them wheelchair accessible. Trails are either paved, dirt or boardwalk.

Facilities: Ballfields, basketball courts and playground. Restrooms located in front of and inside the visitor center and also by a new picnic shelter. The 2,500-square-foot visitor center hosts nature and environmental courses for children and adults. Visitors may check out binoculars or nature guides.

Setting: Three different habitats — wetland, meadow and evergreen forest — make up Lewis Creek Park, around the namesake stream that flows into Lake Sammamish. Coyotes, bobcats and black bears have been spotted here. Individual nature trails are all a half-mile or less, all flat, except for one hill along the meadow that's a moderate climb. Grab a trail map at the visitor center; the connecting trails can be hard to follow.

Highlights: A new picnic shelter, opened in June, includes stairs leading to a sweeping canopy of vine-maple trees and mosses that should look spectacular with fall colors. Don't miss the free, ranger-guided nature walks on the first Saturday of every month (10:30-11:30 a.m.). No registration required, just meet at the visitor center. The park walk covers topics from restoration projects to the history of the park when it was a farm. There is a popular play area for young children who also attend story- or movie-time. Check the park's fall brochure for offered nature programs.

Restrictions: Leash laws in effect. Open daily dawn til dusk. Visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Directions: From Interstate 90 east of Eastgate, take Exit 13 and go south on Lakemont Boulevard Southeast. Go uphill for two miles until you see signs for the park, on the left.

For more information: See www.ci.bellevue.wa.us and search for Lewis Creek Park. You may download a fall program flyer or pick one up at the visitor center. 425-452-4195.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.

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