The Seattle Frog Hollow class wrote a guide this spring to two of our favorite parks, Longfellow Creek (aka Dragonfly Park) and Pigeon Point (aka The Tree). This was a collaborative process involving lots of revision — and map-making. One of the students, Owen, was our volunteer web designer, and he’s done a beautiful job. Check it out to learn about these two awesome Delridge spots, and to see them through the eyes of children who know them well.
This is a guide to Tolt MacDonald Park, written by the 2017/18 Carnation Frog Hollow class. We went to the park weekly, and here are our recommendations about how to enjoy this special place, and maps explaining how to find things.
There are places where you can find amenities. The park has pit toilets and port-a-potties. There are also bathrooms with running water and showers. Help prevent forest fires by making fires in fire pits. There are trashcans near the cabins and yurts.
In the spring thousands of flowers bloom. The fields are also usually rained on and wet, which sometimes makes a big puddle that is fun to splash in. In the winter, when it snows, it would be fun to have a snowball fight on the playground when its covered. In the autumn you can jump in the leaves. You can play games like soccer, capture the flag, and red rover. Its easy to have fun in the fields.
When festivals like concerts and music festivals are held, the fields are used for parking.
The playground was remodeled around 2016. The playground was small and now it’s bigger. We don’t go to the playground every week because then it would be super boring. There are a lot of games you can play.
My personal favorite is Grounders. It’s a game you can play at Frog Hollow. Here’s you how you play Grounders. One person is It, and they start on the ground. Everyone else is on the play structure. Then the person that is It (the Grounder) counts to five. The Grounder can only open their eyes when they’re on the ground, but as soon as the Grounder touches the play structure, they have to close their eyes. If the Grounder touches you, then you are It. If you’re on the ground when the Grounder says, “Grounders,” then you’re It. If there are two people on the ground, then they have to do rock-paper-scissors.
There is a big field near the playground, and I really like to play capture the flag in the field. You can also bring a soccer ball and play soccer.
Don’t put trash in the park because it’s bad for it. The playground has woodchips, so if you take off your shoes, be careful. Be careful so you don’t fall off the play structure. Look both ways before crossing the road to get to the playground.
There is a bridge in Tolt McDonald Park. It is a suspension bridge. The bridge is long and wooden, with big wires stuck in the ground on either side of the bridge. This bridge goes right over the Snoqualmie river. The bridge is an amazing place to view surrounding nature.
Fun things to do on the bridge:
There are many fun thing to do on this bridge. One of the fun things to do is shake the bridge. Because it is a suspension bridge, it shakes very well and makes it very fun to run across while its shaking back and forth. Another fun thing to do is play Poo Sticks. For all who don’t know what Poo Sticks are, its when two or more people each take a stick and drop it off the same side of the bridge at the same time. The first stick to exit the other side of the bridge wins.
In the fall, one a amazing thing to watch is the salmon run. Salmon migrate, and it is very interesting to see. They swim upstream the Snoqualmie River from the Puget Sound. A great place to watch them from is the bridge. The clear water is easy to spot salmon swimming upstream. Small and big salmon all swim up river to get to their final destination where they spawn.
The River Bar is an exciting location in Tolt McDonald Park. It’s a great place to just sit down and relax, but there is still a number of fun activities. Although there is plenty of sunlight, there is also plenty of shade in case you get too warm. If you want to, you can look for pretty rocks. You can also wade in the water.
There is a beautiful river that runs through Tolt McDonald Park. This river is a favorite spot by all Frog Hollow students. This river is fun to wade in on hot summer days because of the cold refreshing water. Although there are many fun things to do, there are cautions.
One of the cautions about the river is the fast moving currents in some locations or during certain times of the year. So if I were you I would watch out for these fast moving currents and instead play in the slower moving water. Another caution is the algae covered rocks. Most can be fine but some are slippery to stand on. Another thing about the rocks is the small ones can be very sharp if you’re barefoot. You should probably wear water shoes. Watch out for sharp and slippery rocks if you are walking with no shoes. The current is strong in some parts. Watch out for bears and other wild animals. Don’t drink the water or else you could get sick.
When you are camping in Tolt McDonald Park, there are many ways to do it. You can bring your camper, motor home, or trailer. Tolt McDonald also has yurts with multiple beds. A few steps uphill, and there’s a fire pit. You can bring food, or you can go on a twenty minute walk to a restaurant or a grocery store.
To the motor home/trailer campsites: turn in by the Tolt McDonald sign, and follow the road past the play ground. Once you get to the end of the road, turn left and follow it to the campsite.
To the yurts: Turn in by the Tolt McDonald sign, and pull in. Park by the playgrounds. Follow the trail across the bridge, and follow the straight trail to the yurts. You can keep going on the trail to get to the cabins.
The cabins are made out of metal and wood. They were made by Boy Scouts. The cabins can keep you dry and you can camp in them. They are fun to climb.
How to get there:
You can get to the cabins by crossing the bridge from the field side to the cabin/yurt side. After you cross the bridge you should go straight up the gravel trail and make you sure you don’t go on the dirt trail; that will lead to the amphitheater.
The mountain behind the cabins:
The mountain behind the cabins is a good place to play. It has amazing fort building material and it is exhilarating to run down. When you run down it a cloud of dust follows you and you get all dirty and muddy. There are mushrooms, ferns, and trees on the mountain behind the cabins.
The stream by the cabins:
The stream by the cabins is cool to play in. You can go under the trail using the stream tunnel. Sometimes the stream tunnel is gushing water and sometimes there is no water at all.
Make sure to leave things the way you found them. Make sure to clean up all your food to make sure animals don’t eat it. If you climb the cabins, make sure you know how to get down. If the stream if moving fast, don’t crawl in the tunnel because you could get wet.
Things to do in the woods:
You can make fun forts out of sticks and moss. There are good hiking trails there. I would keep your eyes peeled for birds and squirrels.
When you get to the woods, you’ll see a lot of pink flowers called bleeding heart. Caution! They look yummy, but they are poisonous. Up the trail, you’ll see some spiky leaf plants that can be used for medicine. They’re called Oregon Grape.
When you get to the woods, you’ll see deciduous trees (trees with leaves) and coniferous trees (trees with needles and they’re also called evergreens). All the trees in the woods are fun trees.
How to get there:
Walk over the suspension bridge, go up the trail, not left, when you are halfway to the cabins turn right. Walk straight through the field, then walk up to the campsite.
ANIMALS IN TOLT MACDONALD
Tolt McDonald Park has a variety of animals. Most are small, like slugs, bugs, and other critters. The few animals that are large are coyotes, beavers and bears (bears are very rare). Rodents are also common, like rats and mice.
Tolt McDonald Park features many different land types. Forest, fields, and ponds are pretty common. There is also the Tolt River which is full of life: salmon, fish and other little animals.
Tolt McDonald is not very dangerous. Although some people have seen bears, they are very rare and far in the mountains. Mosquito, bees, and other insects can also be found in Tolt McDonald Park but they aren’t very dangerous.
For the plants, animals, critters, and birds, please do not litter.
Have a great time at Tolt McDonald Park.
Games where you pass and fold paper to make crazy poems and stories are favorites at Frog Hollow. One of the classics is Exquisite Corpse (we didn’t name it — the Surrealists did — but we like it a lot). Here are a couple recent results by the Friday class that we particularly enjoyed.
I think one reason they worked so well was that I emphasized the idea of continuity. Each line needed to belong with the line before, whether that meant it continued the story or just sounded right. I also encouraged people to write more than a word or two, which they mostly did — and you can see how weird it gets when they didn’t. Anyhow, here they are. Enjoy! Better yet, try this game yourself.
Because of the Oak
I feel good when I run to the park
I also feel good when I play video games
And I was mooed, oh I was mooed
I shook my hands and stomped my feet
You don’t know anything! she yelled
“Yes I do” he yelled back
and he kissed the bride
Into the pit
of cold winter snakes
“I want to bite you”
he screamed with bared fangs
and ran away
boom went the car
stereo so loud it shook the baby
“all the single ladies all the single ladies”
ugh he moaned I hate this song
but he played the song anyway
because he felt like it
and he fell
who fell? a owl.
No! A rocket ship made of pizza boxes
It’s Harry Potter
Silence is a Verb
I hate silence
he yelled with relish
he sang like a bird
yes, a crow
a crow with dark blue eyes
a cow with dark red eyes
Moo! Moo! Moo!
Ow! Ow! Ow! said the human
but the mountain only grumbled
and shoke and exploded
lava then ash then nothing
it burned on
the flames reaching up
for the sky
for the stars
no I won’t. no no no
I cried to the stars, but they did not believe me