This quiet residential neighborhood in Northeast Seattle is home to a large glacial boulder and the city’s first P-patch.
View Walking Wedgwood in a larger map
Start at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center at NE 65th St and Ravenna Ave NE. If you’re driving, there is street parking in the area. The 71 or 76 buses will take you right there, or the 68 will take you just a couple blocks away.
The Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center was a public school from 1911 to 1981, mostly for elementary-aged students, but it also had grades 7 and 8. Since the school was sold to the city in 1986 to be repurposed as a community center, the top floors have served as the Ravenna School Apartments for the elderly. Seattle Public Schools has an overview of the school’s history here in PDF format.
Head north along Ravenna Ave NE. This is a quiet neighborhood street with sidewalks. At NE 75th St, turn right, go three blocks, cross 25th Ave N, and then turn left to cross 75th and continue north along 25th.
Soon, you will reach Dahl Park, and the sidewalk curves away from the road to allow for angled parking. Dahl Park was once known as Ravenna Swamp and now has several play fields. There were originally a few houses built on this site, but they sunk into the swampy land and the city purchased the land to create this park – one of the houses was moved elsewhere.
After crossing NE 80th St, the road will veer left slightly as it approaches the Picardo Farm P-Patch. The parking lot of University Prep has a good view of the entire P-Patch. This land was originally swampy and has very good soil for planting. As you walk along 25th, turn right to walk down into the P-Patch. Depending on the season, you may see ripe fruits and vegetables and colorful flowers. This is one of the largest p-patches in the city and is also the very first. The P in P-Patch stands for Picardo, the name of the family that owned the land before it was given over to the parks department.
Picardo Farm P-Patch
Explore the garden, including the controversial bronze Venus statue and professionally maintained gardens toward the back corner, before heading back out to 25th Ave. Head north on 25th and turn right on NE 82nd St. Continue along 82nd and turn right on 30th Ave NE. Be careful when crossing 75th St, as vehicle traffic can be fast, however pedestrians do have the right of way to cross here. After crossing 75th, turn right and walk for one block before turning left on 28th Ave NE.
Just a ways down on the left side of the road is Big Rock, as known by residents, or Wedgwood Rock, as known by geologists. This is the second largest glacial erratic in Washington State, the largest being on Whidbey Island. Before recreational rock walls existed, this rock was used for practice by area mountain climbers. When the land was platted for housing, the developer agreed not to destroy the rock and to turn the area into a park. While there isn’t a park, at least the boulder was preserved, however climbing it is now illegal.
Big Rock (or Wedgwood Rock)
Also, notice the cross streets in this area – this is one of the first neighborhoods in Seattle where the developer adapted to the terrain and did not employ a strict grid pattern for the streets – a precursor to the winding suburban roads of today’s housing developments.
Continue south to NE 65th St and turn right there. There are a few shops and restaurants in this area. Just 6 more blocks until Ravenna Ave, where you’ll return to our starting point.
highlights: Big Rock, P-Patch, Community Center, quiet residential streets with sidewalks
lowlights: lack of shade, may be difficult to cross 75th St