Day Trip Discoveries: The Park at Bothell Landing — outdoor activities, homestead history

Family kayaking on the Sammamish River at Bothell Landing Park.

Ready to enjoy warmer weather by walking or biking a scenic riverside trail? Kayaking the serene Sammamish River? Or perhaps you’d rather take the kids/grandkids to the large children’s play area and historical buildings in the Park at Bothell Landing.

This 6-acre park is within easy walking distance of Bothell’s Main Street, which has seen rapid changes recently. Just west, new high-rise apartments include street-level restaurants, cafés and shops. Together the town center and the Park at Bothell Landing offer a fun day trip with many activity choices.

The bridge across the Sammamish River at Bothell Landing Park.

To walk or bike the Sammamish River Trail, take the arched wooden bridge from the Park at Bothell Landing across the Sammamish River. Then you can head east along the 11-mile Sammamish River Trail to go as far as Marymoor Park in Redmond. The trail is paved for bicycle, inline-skate and easy walking, paralleled for most of its length by an unpaved equestrian trail. It passes near wineries, including Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia and Silver Lake in Woodinville.

Cyclists and walkers on the Sammamish River Trail.

Or you can head west a short distance to where the Sammamish River Trail joins the northern end of the Burke-Gilman Trail from Seattle. Both trails are links in the greater Seattle area’s locks-to-lakes corridor. Formerly rail lines, they now connect the Ballard Locks to Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish.

At the Park at Bothell Landing, you can rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards to explore this scenic greenway by river. WhatsSup Stand-up Paddle & Surf provides the opportunity every weekend, plus afternoons on several weekdays. Visit for details, costs and hours.

Kids playground at Bothell Landing.

Kids love the park’s large children’s play area with plenty of swings, slides and fun equipment to climb on, including a pirate ship. The park also features picnic tables, barbecue areas, restrooms, gazebo, amphitheater for outdoor performances and three historical buildings. There are two parking lots — both just off Highway 522 — one for the children’s play area and a larger lot for the entire park.

The first schoolhouse at Bothell Landing Park.

Kids and adults alike will be intrigued by the historical buildings, especially Bothell’s first schoolhouse, built in 1885. It is a typical one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-8, where kids can see what school used to be like long before computers.

Beckstrom log cabin.

The schoolhouse is part of the Bothell Historical Museum, which also includes the 1883 Beckstrom log cabin and the main museum display in the 1893 Hannan House. The tiny log cabin you see today housed three adults and two children (it later expanded with two lean-to additions to encompass a family of 11). You’ll see implements of early pioneer farming and logging life — and a dress made from a flour sack!

The 1893 Hannan House, like the other two buildings, was moved to its park location. Each room in the two-story house is furnished with intriguing items that represent time periods ranging from the Victorian parlor to 1930s kitchen. Look for George Bothell’s beaver silk hat, washing machine patented in 1858, and map in the stairwell of 1887 Bothell homesteaders.

The dining room inside the 1893 Hannan House.

The buildings of the Bothell Historical Museum are free to the public, staffed with knowledgeable docents and open to the public on Sundays, 1-4 pm, April through October.

Then walk a few blocks to Bothell’s Main Street to find more recent and whimsical history in the form of life-size, cut-out figures. They honor key Bothell citizens, ranging from butcher Vern Keener, pharmacist Alex Sidie, businessman Max Logsdon and florist Bill Shannon to three generations (Gerhard, Carlton and Bud) of the homesteading Ericksen family. You may have to hunt a bit for some of the cut-outs and their explanatory plaques, subtly placed by buildings where these folks had their businesses. The cut-outs were a project of the Bothell Arts Council, which also commissioned the two large historic murals you’ll see while strolling downtown.

Cut-out figure Vern Keener, Purveyor of Fine Meats.

Both Main Street and the new developments to the west offer boutiques to browse and a wide range of dining options. If you want a bite, choose from cafés, bakeries and brewpubs to ethic fare: Mexican, Italian, Japanese and Thai.

Hillcrest Bakery on Main Street.

Or head just a few blocks north to McMenamins Anderson School. Once Bothell’s first junior high school, the 1931 Art Deco building was imaginatively converted in 2015 as part of McMenamins’ growing empire. It’s now a major visitor attraction offering several dining choices, brewery, hotel, movie theater and eclectic gift market. Eat at the Tavern on the Square restaurant, which includes spacious patio dining, or The Woodshop Pub.

Check when live music, entertainment and tastings are offered. Bring your swimsuit and enjoy the Northshore Lagoon, a huge indoor/outdoor pool overlooked by an upstairs South Seas eatery and bar. Throughout McMenamins’ complex, admire one-of-a-kind artwork created by local artists from historical photos.

Sidewalk dining at The Bine brewpub.


The Park at Bothell Landing
9919 N.E. 180th St., Bothell
Playground Parking: 9999 N.E. 180th St.

Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce
10120 Main St., Suite 201, Bothell

McMenamins Anderson School
18607 Bothell Way N.E., Bothell

— By Julie Gangler

Julie Gangler is a freelance writer who has worked as a media relations consultant for the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau. She began her career as a staff writer at Sunset Magazine and later was the Alaska/Northwest correspondent for Travel Agent Magazine.

  1. Julie, why are you telling people about the playground at Bothell Landing. It is closed! City put caution tape all around the structure. Parents tear down/kids play.

Leave a Reply

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

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.