Hidden Gem: Orchard Street Ravine

The green spots on the Seattle Walking Trails map looked so small. But it was so close! We headed off to Orchard Street Ravine hoping to discover a new local birding spot – we had heard that black-headed grosbeaks nested there. We weren’t sure that this was the right place, but the location seemed right, so what the heck…


At the end of a dead end road, there was a parking lot and a trailhead:
On the trails, we found extensive work had been done clearing out invasives and replanting native species. There were beautiful trees and even little signs marking various vegetation:

This little place (1.4 acres) was just plain amazing, both in its natural beauty and in the obvious signs of loving care given to it by people living all around it. There was a melon planted on the edge of the parking lot, growing very happily. I wonder what it is?


Seattle has over 450 parks. I wonder how many other gems there are like this all around us?


We did not see nesting black-headed grosbeaks – but we will be back.

One thought on “Hidden Gem: Orchard Street Ravine

  1. I’ve heard about this natural area from a former Earthcore participant who was so proud of it! Must get over there to check it out!

    I’ve seen what I think are black-headed grosbeaks nesting in Schmitz Park a few years ago (I’m not an expert birder, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they were). For at least 2 years, they had a nest in the tall Indian Plum right along the side of the trail! I noticed the male sitting there as still as could be, only his dark head showing, while only a few feet away people and dogs rambled by, not seeing him at all.

    It’s a good reminder that the forests are full of different kinds of species, plants and animals, trying to nest or find food or shelter, or simply grow and reproduce. This is why we need to do as much as we can to help keep them safe. You know what I mean.

    Dogs on leash. Feet on trail.

    It’s the least we can do, right?

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