Update: Since this post was written a trail has been added that goes past this park and into the Pack Forest. It’s called the Bud Blancher Trail, and it’s a wide, easy trail, suitable for even young children and most strollers. My family and I thought it was a little low on excitement, but we did see a bald eagle, and young children will like the bridges.
Pack Forest itself has many little trails to explore, and this is a popular starting point for the hike to Little Mashell Falls. Keep in mind that those trails are much more rugged, and while I personally have hiked to Little Mashell Falls, I do not think it is safe for most children. It’s o.k. if you disagree…I’m a bit of a chicken.
You can read more about the Bud Blancher Trail in Eatonville here.
If you’d just like to stop at the river for some splash time, read on for the original post!
Eatonville’s Mashell River is a splashy little adventure worth the trip on a hot summer’s day!
You access the river from Smallwood Park. You’ll see a sign explaining how the river is important to salmon, and there are several points where you can get down to the water. Unlike most rivers in this area, this one is gentle enough to wade and play in, and thanks to wood that has been added to make pools for those salmon, there are even spots deep enough for real splashing and dunking.
Usual cautions alert-**Of course, you should watch your kiddos around any water. During the spring, also be aware that any river may be running colder, higher, and faster than usual. And, finally, also be mindful of rocks here (they’re slippery when wet). 🙂
There are also some trails in the park, but don’t look for a bathroom! *Anyone know if they’ve added one? Leave a comment if you do!
If that’s not enough play for you, the playground in nearby Millpond Park is excellent, with a nice climbing web and two structures. There is also a skate park for the teen set and the little Stagecoach Museum. There is a bathroom here, and though it wasn’t super clean, there was actual soap in the dispenser. Whoo-hoo!
If you’d like to make some new friends, the Hike it Baby Eatonville group does regular hike/meet ups here (register and join for the details).
Have you been here? I’d love to know how you liked it!