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Thursday, August 19, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

More spots where you can cool off

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NWsource: Outdoors

Frink Park, Seattle

The .75-mile Big Loop Trail winds through a 17-acre mixed urban forest past cooling slope wetlands and a waterfall. Benches provide spots to reflect and recharge for the uphill return to the trailhead.

The Big Loop connects to Leschi Park so you can make a swim in Lake Washington your halfway mark. Frink Park is located between the Central District and Leschi at South Jackson Street and 31st Avenue South. Call Seattle Parks at 206-684-4075 for general details or see the Seattle Parks Web site map:

For details about Frink Park restoration and how to get involved, see

Carkeek Park, Seattle

Carkeek offers the archetypal Northwest experience of walking through coniferous woods to a saltwater shore. The Pipers Creek Trail is an obvious choice, especially when capped off with toe-dipping in Puget Sound.

For other ideas, visit the Environmental Learning Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Maps are also available in kiosks throughout the park. Carkeek is located in Northwest Seattle at 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Road. For more information, call 206-684-0877 or see the Web,

Join a naturalist at the Friday Night Campfire for storytelling and s'mores, Friday from 7 — 8:30 p.m. near Shelter 1.

Coal Creek Falls, Newcastle

Beneath lush ferns and moss, it's not easy to see evidence that this area of Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park was once home to a coal mine.

In moist places low to the ground, look for the heart-shaped leaves and purplish orchid-like blooms of wild ginger, and try to spot hummingbirds sipping from the falls. Coal Creek Falls is located in Newcastle a few miles east of Seattle.

To get there, take Interstate 90 to Exit 13 and turn south to Lakemont Boulevard Southeast. Go three miles and turn left into the Cougar Mountain (Red Town) Trailhead parking lot. Pick up a map at the bulletin board and follow the trail to Coal Creek Falls — three miles roundtrip.

For area trail information, including organized hikes, see the Issaquah Alps Trails Club Web site,

— Kathryn True

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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