KC Willy Botan Loop

by Connie DeLaVergne on June 16, 2010

5 miles
1 hr 20 miles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11,028 steps
380 kcal
Kelsey Creek Farm
Wilburton Hill Park
Bellevue Botanical Garden

KC stands for Kelsey Creek Farm, Willy stands for Wilburton Hill Park and Botan is short for Bellevue Botanical Garden. Each park is a gem and they are in close proximity to one another so it’s easy to see them all with one heart-beating power visit. That’s what makes this walk so special—you get to enjoy all three parks at one time. It’s a long walk with wooded trails and 166 steps which is why it rates an 8 on the difficulty scale.

You need to know that I walk to get exercise—to get my heart rate and metabolism moving and to burn off a few calories. I figure if I can make exercise enjoyable the likelier I am to keep doing it.

I’ve already established (in prior posts) that I’m a bit of a slug, really, and that I came to value exercise later in life. That’s why most of my walks are in beautiful locations and why I plan my walks with the difficult portions (hills and steps) at the beginning of a walk but the more fit I become, the less it matters . . . kinda funny how that works.

It’s been interesting to watch my progression over the years. Currently I prefer long walks that make me sweat and this one, the KC Willy Botan Loop is a beaut that can get your heart beat pounding!

Take a bus or park your car in the Kelsey Creek Farm parking lot and head east up the hill. Stay left on the trail and left across the bridge. Go left again and follow the bark trail. At the bollard go left up the 166 steps, which is the toughest part of the walk. Woohoo!

If you’re feeling ambitious, walk up the steps three times before continuing. The time and miles above reflect just one trip up but I’ve climbed these steps multiple times before, really I have . . . when my friend Anavadya made me.

166 KC steps and two fannies

Go right at the top of the steps to follow the Powerline trail and then right at the Lake Hills Connector to get down into the KC woods, following the bollard to KC. Once you are back into the woods stay left on the trail and you will wind up back at the bridge where you will turn left to cross it. Go left again on the gravel path.

barns at Kelsey Creek Farm

Turn right to walk between the corrals and up toward the barns. Once past the barns go left heading south past Fraser Cabin.

KC sheep

Follow the gravel path to the right and then left into the trees and onto the boardwalk to move around the large field where you will end up heading north. Go straight at the gravel intersection.

KC Field

At the end of the field go left onto SE 4 Pl and into the Wilburton neighborhood. Cross the street to get on the north side and walk on the sidewalk. Always be safe and walk on sidewalks when they’re available. Cross the street at the crosswalk and turn right on 128 Ave SE.

Take the first left into Wilburton Hill Park woods at bollard onto a wide gravel trail. Soon thereafter pick up a barked trail on the right and head into the thick of the woods. Go Left at T and follow the bollard to NE 2 ST. Go Right at Y. Go Left at bollard toward Botanical Gardens. Go straight at next bollard, again toward Botanical Gardens and follow the trail outside of the woods and around Wilburton’s baseball diamond.

Wilburton baseball diamond

Follow the path downward toward the bathroom and then Right onto the sidewalk, past the bathroom and toward the parking lot. Turn left at the parking lot and walk south past the play area and veer right toward the kiosk and soccer field. Follow the gravel path West toward Bellevue Botanical Garden.

At the Botan parking lot go left on the gravel trail. Go left at the kiosk and up steps toward the Visitor’s Center but go left before you reach the building.  You have just entered the amazing Bellevue Botanical Garden.

beautiful Botan rhoddie

Just so you know, dogs are not allowed in this park and if you come early enough there are few visitors. The majority of people I see when I come here are women like myself who are moving their bodies quickly in an effort to stave off the inevitable, and so far it’s working fairly well but it does require diligence, I’m just saying.

Let there be no mistake, looking good and feeling healthy requires sweat and regular effort. It ain’t easy but it is soooo worth the effort.

I look and feel better than I have in years which is nice but the sense of accomplishment I feel for my efforts is the real payoff. I’m a good role model for my sedentary teenager too because . . . one of these days . . . I just know it . . . she’ll want to start exercising too . . . I’m sure of it. Really I am.

But back to the park, Bellevue Botanical Garden is a well-kept gem in the middle of Bellevue. I won’t go into the details because you can find that information on their website . . .

I’m just leading you through it so you can feed your soul while you move your body in one of the most peaceful and beautiful parks in Bellevue.

Just stay left while you are in Botan and you will eventually wind back to the Visitor’s Center where you started. It’s impossible to get lost as long as you stay on the main trail.

Yao Garden

I veer from the main path twice because I love Japanese gardens and the Yao Garden here is definitely worth seeing. You can see it for yourself in the photograph above. Just stay left when you enter Yao Garden because the path loops and will bring you back to the gate where you started.

Ravine Trail

I also veer from the main path to take the Ravine Trail. It’s a natural diversion into the thick brush and trees that will bring you right back to the Lost Meadow Trail. Just stay left here folks. Always to the left I say.

the Lost Meadow

Once you pass the Lost Meadow on your right continue on that trail until you reach the Y. Then go . . . you guessed it . . . left toward the Perennial Borders. After that, however, you are done taking lefts because it’s time to turn right and head back to the Visitor’s Center.

love these rocks

There it is—we just finished visiting the third of three beautiful Bellevue parks. Now it’s time for right hand turns to get back where we started. Walk through the Botan courtyard and turn Right at the kiosk to follow the gavel trail around the parking lot and back toward Willy.

Continue past the soccer field, which will now be on your left, and past the Willy kiosk too. At the Y go Right onto the wide gravel trail. Follow it all the way to 128 Ave SE where you will turn Right, don’t cha know. Go Left on SE 4 PL and follow it straight into the KC parking lot.

You are now back where you started after 5 miles through the 3 Bellevue park gems that I affectionately refer to as the KC Willy Botan Loop. Wasn’t it amazingly green and pretty and peaceful and enjoyable? I love it!

The KC Willy Botan Loop makes exercising fun!

Walk on my friends.


Please comment on this walk and share it with your friends. These are not obscure little parks and I suspect most of you Bellevue-ites have been to one or more of them so let me know what you think and let’s get a conversation going!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise June 17, 2010 at 3:04 am

connie sue, i love the way you did all your pictures. how do you do that? is that a WordPress thing?


Connie DeLaVergne June 17, 2010 at 11:16 am

It is a Wordpress thing, dependent upon my chosen theme. If I add a caption (which I always do) it formats the images automatically to look this way–with the thicker bottom border–like an old polaroid. I use the Thesis theme for my Wordpress site and made a few custom changes. It’s a popular, well-built theme that’s easy (enough) to use, though it’s not a free one. I like it.


Marlys June 17, 2010 at 8:09 am

Looking forward to checking it out, but not sure about 3 times on the steps, and can we stop to pet the sheep??


Connie DeLaVergne June 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

Ha! That’s funny Marlys. Of course we can pet the sheep! And don’t worry about doing the steps more than once, but it depends who’s with me . . . be wary if Anavadya is along 😉


Ann Compton June 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

I’m one of the “fannies” in the photos! This was indeed a fabulous walk! I loved it! The idea of getting into deep woods, hidden meadows, farm animals and Japanese gardens all on one walk is just too perfect. Bring your camera. You will feel like you have been on vacation ( well, ok, maybe not quite)! And don’t let the 5 miles scare you. None of it is very hard.


Connie DeLaVergne June 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

. . . and what a nice fanny it is and I should know since it was in front of me the whole FIVE miles! Of course, I was the only one with a camera and was always catching up in order to walk with my friends.

That was a great day–sunny but not too hot–and you’re right about getting to see it all–deep woods, hidden meadows, farm animals and Japanese gardens–all on one walk. I LOVE the KC Willy Botan Loop!

Thanks for walking with me Ann AND for commenting about it here. This is exactly how I envision this walking club and site to work! Thanks for being an active participant. I really appreciate it.

To your abundant good health and friendship,


Deborah A. Ten Brink June 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Connie: This is my first visit to your blog. I enjoyed the photos and your description of this walk… lovely! I liked it so much I put your link in my sidebar. Thank you for this post! Very inspiring!

Warm regards,



Connie DeLaVergne June 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I just noticed that my link was on your sidebar when I was visiting your site and I was very touched by that. I am floored and flattered and grateful and don’t know what to say except, Thank You Deborah A. Ten Brink! Thank you very much and I’m THRILLED that you enjoyed my post. I am glad we’re connected on facebook too and I look forward to knowing you better. I found your site and latest video inspiring, BTW, and was stunned to learn 150,000 people are turning to Internet marketing each day. Wow! I could learn a lot from you.


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