Urban Hiking Adventure: Ravenna and Cowen Parks

P1030863BWe’ve had a love affair with Zuke’s since before they had any idea who we were and we are proud to have them as one of our long-term sponsors. Their continued support helps to make sure we have the treats we need to fuel our adventures and that I can continue to share our stories and tips.

We are lucky here in Seattle because we have several large parks within the urban area. We can’t always drive to the mountains to hike so urban walks are our staple. Sometimes we just want to commune with some nature, smell the trees and dirt and get in a short hike without having to drive far.

The other day we visited Ravenna and Cowen Parks. The parks are connected and, together, the green space encompasses about 58 acres. There are 4.5 miles of trail winding through the park and there is a creek flowing through the middle. It may not be pristine (it has been restored in parts but has been obviously touched by the City) but it certainly satisfies our nature itch and we can spend an hour or so wandering the trails.



There are two big bridges that cross the ravine. Both bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places. There are a few big trees still left in the park and plenty of squirrels for Gretel to “hunt” (I don’t actually let her chase them).



Gretel gets pretty distracted at this park by all the smells and little beasties. Photo ops pretty much went like this: “Gretel, over here. Look at Mommy. Gretel, want a treatie? Yohoo. Psst. Gretel. Look at Mommy.” Still, this is what most of the photos looked like.


This is a good park for kids too. The trail through the middle of the park is pretty much flat. There are plenty of places where the trail passes near the creek so kids can throw sticks in the water and watch them float along. There is also a playground at the west end of the park.

Are there any big green spaces near where you live that are dog-friendly?

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


  1. Wow, you are so lucky to have such a beautiful place to walk. I love you dogs coat too. We just walk in our neighborhood, no dog park or any wide open spaces. : ( There is a group working to get a new dog park established so we are keeping our paws crossed!

    1. We are lucky in Seattle to have over 25 dog parks. A lot of them are not more than a fenced off gravel area though. I hope you get one in your neighborhood soon.

  2. what a spectacular place to go for a walk, and the pictures of Gretel are really beautiful 🙂 She looks as though she has conquered that tree in the last one and is surveying her kingdom.

    1. Gretel is such a little alert hunter! It was really cute how she climbed up onto the tree to get a better look when we stopped.

    2. I am not having any luck with comments tonight. I couldn’t leave a comment on your post either (the second one tonight). I was just going to say that my Grandma had a dog that freaked out during fireworks but I am lucky that Chester and Gretel are barely affected.

      1. That is lucky! Mine get very frightened. Thanks for the feedback, you’re not the first to have that problem with my site – will have to try and work it out, getting no comments but just thought no one was visiting..

  3. That is what most of our photos look like. Around here there are loads of green spaces not exactly dedicated as parks or special areas just a field by a kids playground or the golf club that are open to dogs. Naturally we also have set trails by the National Truat and AONBs.

    Dina Mom

    1. It sounds like you have a few good nature spaces to explore and urban hiking opportunities where you live. I think it is very lucky to live in a place like that.

  4. We’re lucky enough to have a park about 5 miles from where we live with several miles of trails. We’re always going there for a walk/hike. The urban park looks nice. The moss on the trees makes for some colorful pictures this time of year.
    ~Rebecca & Teach

    1. I love mossy trees…and they DO make for good photos. The colors just pop. In the winter, that is about all of the color we get anyway. Ha, ha.

  5. I didn’t know the bridges over the ravine are historic. How cool! We have friends who live very near these parks and one of the kids favorite things to do is walk our dogs along the trails. These are great city parks accept for the trash (good thing our dogs have a good “leave it”) and we often run into illegally off-leash dogs (these poor neglected dogs plague our entire city but are worse in areas like Cowen and Ravenna Parks that people think are “remote.” Sad.)

    1. I didn’t know they were historic either until I looked up the park on Wikipedia for this post. I get disoriented being under street level but it said that one of the bridges has not been open to traffic since the mid 1970s. I thought they both supported traffic. We saw several dogs at the park but only one was off-leash. The lady said her dog was friendly and asked if it was ok. I said mine weren’t so she put hers on a leash. Usually people aren’t that considerate though.

      You guys are lucky in West Seattle with Camp Long. I like that park but it is SO far for us to drive 🙂 I swear that West Seattle feels like an island.

  6. Gretel, I love your coat! This reminds me – I need to take the dogs to the park and sprinkle a friend’s son’s ashes in his memory.

    1. I still have my Grandma’s ashed from two years ago that I need to spread. I guess I just don’t feel the urgency. I hope you have a nice walk when you go.

  7. We live by a giant urban park in our city but I don’t feel comfortable going up there by myself. There have been incidents of homeless people camping up there and people being attacked so I usually wait until the boyfriend can go with me but it’s a gorgeous space.

    1. I certainly wouldn’t go in this park at night. I am sure there are some homeless people camping out but there is evidence of kids parties in several places. I would worry more about that getting out of hand in this park. However, a lady was jumped while jogging during the late morning a few months back. You never can be too careful. During the afternoon there are plenty of people and families hiking at this park so I feel pretty safe though.

  8. We are fortunate to have several nice state parks within an hour or two’s drive that offer good hiking and camping. But locally I usually head to Phil Hardberger Park for a little nature time. There are trails, dog parks, and playgrounds. I tried to put a link here, but kept getting kicked off, but just search on the internet and you’ll find it!

    1. We have a lot of parks within one or two hours drive of us too. Sometimes we just can’t get that far, or be out for that long, though. That is when nice little parks like this come in handy. Sounds like the one near you is great!

  9. What a great post! We actually used a local space like this on Saturday when our other hiking plans were foiled by extreme mud and ice conditions. The first trail we went to had melting ice down a steep hill. Since we didn’t feel like being mudballs at the bottom, we went to plan B. Some people coming off the trail there told us they’d lost their shoes in the mud and their dogs were caked in mud. So, off to the lovely, paved Riverfront trail we went!

  10. Beautiful photos…love the big trees with all the moss…so different from what I have here! I love their little coats too! One of these days I’m going to try to get some pictures when we are out and about…two Brittanys at once is a handful…so they will be cell phone photos for sure!

  11. How fun guys!

    We have some beautiful national parks near us, but I’m not allowed there 🙁 Still I do get to go to lots of other pretty places….

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Happy New Year to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  12. Looks like a great place to hike. Seeing stuff like this makes my mom miss hiking in southern Germany. We have great hiking places in our area, but nothing like these areas.

  13. That is great you have places to walk like that that are close. We have tons of forest preserves, which are mostly in the flood plain along the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers which are pretty similar to what you have. Some are better, and safer then others, we finally found a good one. Happy new year! Love Dolly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.