With a slew of hardworking volunteers serving as environmental stewards, Carkeek Park has successfully transformed itself into one of the strongest local habitats for salmon runs. Years of careful work have made the park's Pipers Creek the place to go in the fall to see fish thick in the water. Visit from mid-October to mid-December, and witness hundreds of coho and chum salmon working their way upstream, a strangely compelling sight. The fish are crowded, and seem to move by sheer force of will, though you know there is a great deal of muscle in their quest. While you're there, the park also offers spectacular views of the Olympics and Puget Sound, as well as a range of challenging hiking trails.—Adriana Grant 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd., www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/carkeek.htm.