How to make a nature connection in Seattle’s Ravenna Park
A how-to guide, including favorite mystical places, bridges you to a Ravenna Park nature connection with Seattle’s iconic ravine wilderness.
There is plenty of information about Ravenna Park, but not as much about how to make an authentic nature connection with this iconic Seattle wilderness. Mature 100-year-old trees fill a dramatic ravine that awaits your exploration in ways that can help you genuinely rediscover the life energy around you. This curated Mystic Nature Experience offers you my favorite magical places in Ravenna Park.
My life is all about nature. I take time every day for some form of connection, whether a 20-minute meditation or several hours playing in a local park or garden. So, I venture all over Seattle regularly — in all kinds of weather — to explore and find the best places to build new and grow existing nature connections. And the magic is abundant in Ravenna Park.
This beloved park is conveniently located north of the University of Washington and east of Green Lake in a cozy Seattle neighborhood. While year-round you’ll find joggers, bikers, and dog walkers filing down the main service road and multiple trails, it is possible to enjoy a quieter pace under the canopy of maple, red alder, cedar, fir, and redwood.
It feels particularly soulful to me to visit Ravenna Park in the rain. This is especially spectacular in the fall — check out my other article, Seattle Autumn — five walks to elevate your nature connection. Just be sure to wear waterproof footwear and a good jacket!
What’s in this article — all about Ravenna Park nature connection
While Ravenna Park is not a Seattle secret, the true secret is how to go deeper into your nature connection — in ways that can change your life. This is your guide to exploring Ravenna Park, with specific steps to the mystic way of taking in all Mother Earth wants to offer.
If you’re interested in joining me for an in-person Mystic Nature Experience, read to the bottom of this article for more information.
Follow these sections below, and you’ll be on your way to elevating your nature connection.
How to make a Ravenna Park nature connection
Everyone can connect with nature profoundly, but it takes an open mind and patience. Since I practice all the time, I can assure you that this regimen will work to help elevate your relationship with Mother Earth.
Engage transformation to seeing yourself, nature, and the world differently. Try these six steps on your nature connection in Ravenna Park.
Take a few moments to engage with your purpose walking in the beautiful nature of Ravenna Park. What outcome would you like? Are you healing from something? Do you want more inner peace?
Reach out to the land
Nature will hold you tighter when offering a thoughtful gesture of respect. Ask for permission to enter as if knocking on a neighbor’s door. You could say, “I come with an open heart,” or something similar.
The walk starts on the bridge because formations like this help the mind, body, and soul all engage with a transformation into another realm. The symbolism is essential — especially if you’re beginning to explore entering nature in new ways.
Yes, that means putting your phone away! It’s okay if your mind isn’t clear, but try to set yourself up for success. Technology will be waiting when you return, but give yourself the gift of space from the frantic world.
The first 15 minutes are crucial in setting the pace of your nature experience. Make a conscious effort to do everything slowly — maybe as you’d imagine slow motion. Try to stay as quiet as possible.
You’re walking in a world with millions of little miracles — smell the leaves and look up at the trees.
Allow your experience to integrate into your life. On the way home, review your favorite nuggets of gold. Maybe the sound of the stream gurgling through a downed tree provided a feeling of peace. Go a step further and write down notes.
Ravenna Park nature connection — go slow.
I’ll reiterate number four on my list above — go slowly. I’ve curated this itinerary based on the concise natural beauty that helps you focus on deeper connections because large hiking distances aren’t required.
Make this experience about the quality of time… and take your time. The magic with elevated existence in nature is how linear time morphs into something else. During my latest visit to Ravenna Park, I spent three hours wandering in what seemed like 30 minutes.
Aside from attempting the six steps mentioned above, allow yourself grace to do what feels right. Sit down, stand up, close your eyes, or open your mouth to taste the rain — this is your connection to Mother Earth.
Understand that everyone’s experience is unique to them — it’s okay not to feel monumental changes when new to this approach to nature. Be patient and keep on practicing.
Beginning your walk into Seattle nature.
Are you ready? Start on the 20th Avenue NE Pedestrian Bridge. I usually park in the Mid-Ravenna Parking lot, which has a restroom (open as of my latest visit in Summer 2022). Use the visualization of the bridge to align your mind, heart, and body with this elevated experience. You are crossing over the threshold to see yourself more clearly in nature.
The canopy is a musical cauldron of rich textures and colors. Spend 10-15 minutes gazing in one direction — perhaps selecting one or two maple trees to examine. If you can muster the nerve, look down into the ravine and try to locate the creek below.
In the first 15-20 minutes, it is essential to set a slow, contemplative pace. Even if you can’t stay in one place for 10-15 minutes, try to move slowly as you view the trees from a birdseye view.
Select one leaf, patch of tree bark, something organic as a grounding anchor for the walk. Bring this symbol back into focus if you find your mind wandering or distracted.
Descend into a new mystical world — ensuring your Ravenna Park nature connection.
At the bridge’s north end, take a right, heading east to the end of NE 61st Street. See how slowly you can make this walk — passing a block of beautiful craftsman-era homes. You’ll come upon a stairway heading down to a footbridge that passes through what feels like a secret canyon. Cauliflower plumes of leaves shoot up from majestic maple trees, and other brush layers fill in the open spaces.
Make it a point to stop every five feet on the footbridge and gain a different perspective. Focus your attention up, down, and side to side. Take a few minutes to determine what calls to you from Mother Nature. Listen to your intuition here. If you were to take a photograph, where would the lens focus? Ponder how you would draw this scene or describe it.
If you feel restless during the suggested timeframes, try to push for just another minute. That extra time can provide magical connections or help you slow down a little more.
At the end of the bridge, take a right and walk down the stairs toward Ravenna Park Sulfur Spring, near the central service road.
May the mystical waters flow — Ravenna Park Sulfur Spring
You’re now at the most magical part of the park. Listen to the flowing water cascade down the ravine toward the main Ravenna Creek. Walk through the pine and fir trees grove to find a spot to get situated near the water. I like sitting on a log near the path and the black marshy soil.
There may be frequent passers-by but keep focus. Imagine the grounding anchor object and focus on the water’s pulse to remain in the zone.
There is a lot of great medicine for you here, so work as hard as possible to remain quiet for 20-30 minutes. Look around the forest and imagine how each piece fits together in an interdependent puzzle. The cedar tree needles are toxic, discouraging animals from disturbing growth so their roots can prevent the bank along the stream from eroding, while the tall maple trees shed leaves in the fall that provide new nutrients to the soil.
Do any reflections come to you about your own life?
Ancient markings and farewell.
By now, you might feel that nature is the mirror and inspiration to look at yourself more holistically. Perhaps something comes to you as an “aha” moment about a current life circumstance, or maybe you have a new appreciation for a part of the forest floor you never noticed. The changes can be subtle, but Mother Earth’s medicine flows your way.
You can take the 1.7-mile loop around the park from here or slowly meander through the thickets hovering over the signature Ravenna Creek. Just be sure to still go slowly. Smell the dirt, touch the sinewy bark of the cedar, and gaze at the tinsel-like moss dripping from the omnipresent maple.
Eventually, work your way to the South Hill Trail, which leads you up a hill to the Mid-Ravenna Parking Lot (near Picnic Shelter #1). There is a fallen tree near the top that can be crossed over or a switchback staircase that ends up at the same trailhead — on the periphery of a large grassy field.
At the trailhead, notice an octopus-like cedar tree hanging out as if wanting you to take notice. Move closer to notice the opposite side has been burned. Put your fingers in the charcoal and imagine back in time when trees were used to mark trails and other places of significance. The unusual armlike pattern of the cedar is also a sign of manipulation to symbolize something.
Ask the tree to tell you.
Other nature connections in and near Seattle
If you’re seeking other options around Seattle, consider reading another article Gardens in Seattle, that offers 18 soul-nourishing parks & gardens in the entire region. For a short list of my favorites that combine deep spirit and stunning natural beauty, consider these suggestions:
- Capitol Hill Seattle: Volunteer Park
- Seattle: Washington Park Arboretum
- Federal Way: West Hylebos Wetlands Park
- Bellevue: Ravine experience at Bellevue Botanical Garden
- Tacoma: Point Defiance Park
- Bainbridge Island: Bloedel Reserve
- Everett: Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary
- Olympia: Billy Frank Jr Nisqually Wildlife Refuge
- Bellingham: Sehome Hill Arboretum
Do you want to take your relationship with nature to the next level?
Let me show you how paying attention to nature opens the door to seeing yourself — and the world — differently. Transformation is closer than you think.
I offer Mystic Nature Experiences, 90-minute in-person guided journeys in select parks and gardens in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland.