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Summertime fun awaits at King County Parks


With warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine expected well into July, now is the time to get out and explore King County Parks.


From the frenetic energy of a concert at Marymoor Park’s beautiful amphitheater, to the tranquil solitude of a hike along a stretch of King County Parks’ 180-mile backcountry trail network, there are more than enough options available to fit just about anyone’s needs.

A word of caution: No matter where you’re headed and what you’re planning to do when you get there, be sure you’re prepared for the unusually warm temperatures. That means wearing sunscreen and bringing along plenty of fluids (don’t forget about the dog!).

Trail and parks use is at its highest in the summertime, and visitors are also encouraged to help keep these public places enjoyable for all by following leash laws, pet scooping laws, and speed limits for wheeled trail users.

Here is a sample of what’s going on in the 200-plus parks and 28,000 acres of open space – be sure to follow King County Parks on its blog for even more possibilities throughout the summer.

Marymoor Park19088286169_1a00f92686_z

Monday, July 13 – 6 p.m.
Marymoor Park Concerts presented by Swedish Redmond
David Gray, with special guest Amos Lee

It’s been 15 years since David Gray’s breakthrough album, “White Ladder” established the British singer-songwriter as an international star – and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, even though he’d already released three albums. Four more albums and three greatest hits compilations later, Gray remains an innovative and respected performer who manages to perform intimate sets on the biggest stages.

Opening for Gray is folk/blues artist Amos Lee, whose career received a huge boost by Norah Jones a little more than a decade ago. A former bartender and second-grade schoolteacher, Lee has released five studio albums for Blue Note Records while his resume of opening performances includes the likes of superstars Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Paul Simon.

Thursday, July 16 – 6:30 p.m.
Marymoor Park Concerts presented by Swedish Redmond
The Decemberists
, with special guest Calexico

Portland’s favorite eclectic band, The Decemberists, bring their multi-instrumental sound and quirky stage presence to the Marymoor Park Concerts amphitheater with a new album, “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.” Expect the unexpected from this Grammy nominated group…perhaps the reenactment of a historical event, and lots of audience participation.  

Calexico, the highly acclaimed, but impossible to label band (are they alt-country? Americana? Tex-Mex? Indie?) opens for The Decemberists, in support of their latest studio effort, “Edge of the Sun.”

Saturday, July 18 – 6 p.m.
Marymoor Park Concerts presented by Swedish Redmond
Tour de Compadres featuring NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and Colony House

Get ready for a night of high energy and uplifting music with the Tour de Compadres featuring the Christian rock band NEEDTOBREATHE. This South Carolina group, headed by brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart, has put together a successful career stretching back nearly a decade. They’re touring in support of “Rivers in the Wasteland,” their fifth studio album, which was released in 2014.

Grammy award-winning alt-rock band Switchfoot, who have tallied record sales of more than 2-½ million join NEEDTOBREATHE on this tour, as does Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, plus indie rockers Colony House.  

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park
SCOTT Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series
July 11 – Five kilometers, 10.8 miles or 19.5 miles

The 13th-annual trail run series resumes July 11 with a choice of races spanning five kilometers, 10.8 miles or 19.5 miles along Cougar Mountain’s beautiful backcountry trail network. Join with family and friends on a run through cool forests and past historic artifacts that make Cougar Mountain such a treasured part of King County Parks’ 28,000-acre network of parks and open space. Race details, including registration, are available online.

Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center
Get in shape for the summer by becoming a regular at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, where you’ll find a full slate of open and family swims. Can’t swim? No problem! Lessons with certified teachers are available for all ages and skill levels. The Aquatic Center is a legacy venue from the 1990 Goodwill Games, and has hosted numerous club, state, collegiate, national and international competitions for nearly a quarter century.

Tolt-MacDonald Park
July 16-18
Timber! Outdoor Music Festival

Back for a third-consecutive summer, the wildly popular Timber! Outdoor Music Festival comes to beautiful Tolt-MacDonald Park with a tremendous lineup of artists, including punk pioneers The Dead Milkmen, plus Beat Connection, LaLuz, and nearly two dozen other artists. Special performances and activities are on tap for the kids, too, making Timber! the perfect weekend music outing for the whole family.

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King County Parks—Your Big Backyard—offers more than 200 parks and 28,000 acres of parks and natural lands, including such regional treasures as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 175 miles of regional trails, 180 miles of backcountry trails, and a world-class aquatic center. By cultivating strong relationships with non-profit, corporate, and community partners, King County Parks enhances park amenities while reducing costs. Learn more at