Ravenna Trails

In flusher times, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s 5-diamond 3,000 foot penthouse suite equipped with a king size bed, Jacuzzi, grand piano, dining table for sixteen, and decorative fireplace might have been our pick for best urban escape, but times are hard. Why not try instead the 4.5 mile oasis that is the Ravenna Trails? Most people stumble upon these trails on their way to Green Lake or the University District, and when they usually ask “Why haven’t I been hear before?” With 100-foot native cedars and firs towering above, it’s easy to forget the Ave is just a few blocks away. Mossy surroundings, a slithering Ravenna Creek, and padded trails under foot bring to mind the 1992 film FernGully: The Last Rain Forest. Sadly, the plot of the film doesn’t stray too far from Ravenna Park’s own history. Back in 1887 when William W. Beck owned the place, 400-foot old-growth trees prevailed, but after the city of Seattle bought the land in 1911, all of the wooden giants disappeared. Today, things are on the rise, and neighbors of Ravenna fiercely protect and preserve their little Eden. CHANTAL ANDERSON

Starts: Sept. 16. Daily, 6 a.m.-11 p.m., 2009

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