With 200 King County parks (consisting of 28,000 acres of open space), Seattle families can find a green place to play every day of the week. And topping that list of places is Woodinville’s Cottage Lake Park. This beautiful, sprawling park is chock-full of amenities, yet still feels quaint and oh-so-out-of-the-way. If you’re ready to discover this hidden gem, grab your sand toys, pool floats and fishing poles and read on for the inside scoop.
photo: Jennifer Davis
A Lake for Everyone
Only 63 acres in size and 25 feet deep (compared to Lake Washington at over 22,000 acres and over 200 feet deep), Cottage Lake is warm and inviting, clear and clean and contains limited “growies” at the beach section. Crowded with those-who-love-to-fish in the early mornings, and teeming with swimmers and parkgoers on warm summer weekends, Cottage Lake Park is the perfect hideaway on a sunny mid-week day. If the weekend is the only time your family can visit, you’ll be happy to know there’s more than enough space to spread out. Plus, it’s safely contained and away from busy streets, so you can let the tykes run free.
Bring Your Pool Noodles!
Did you know Cottage Lake Park boasts one of the few public outdoor pools in the Seattle area? And guess what? It was recently renovated and is open to the public Mon.-Sat. (with Sunday’s available for private party rentals). The pool is only $7/person (or $5 with a YMCA membership) and offers complete aquatic fun with a water slide and 84-degree water temps. What’s even better, the kids can go from pool to lake in a matter of minutes. Psst… if you can’t make it to the pool before the season ends on September 4, put it on next summer’s must-do list.
photo: Joanne McDonald
Places to Monkey Around
While the expansive green space and, of course, the pool and actual lake are the major draws, the park also offers rugrats a newly built play structure with multiple options for climbing, swinging, bouncing and running (on safe, rubbery flooring). The play structures are located between the pool and lake and most suitable for tykes ages four and up. But there is also a small-scale climbing apparatus as well as bucket swings for tiny tots. A variety of unique rope climbing features will delight the littlest monkeys in your crew (and an actual ropes course, though not publicly accessible, is on-site for adult team-building and events). Follow the covered walkway and you’ll find a separate green space available for picnicking or running wild. Psst… this space is often used by YMCA camps during the summer months, but come fall it will be wide open for families to use.
photo: Jennifer Davis
Cottage Lake Park
N.E. Woodinville-Duval Rd. & 188th N.E.
Woodinville, Wa 98072
Open: 8 a.m.-dusk
Insider Tip: The main parking lot on the north side of the lake, accessed via Woodinville-Duval Rd., can get crowded, but there’s a smaller spillover lot just a minute east down the road.
Have you visited Cottage Lake Park this summer? What’s your family’s favorite part? Tell us in the Comments below.
— Jennifer B. Davis