Places to Launch in Washington State (North Seattle)

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mariusx1

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I'm new to the forum, but have dabbled with rocketry on and off since childhood. Now I've got kids of my own and am looking to get them more interested in the hobby. I'm curious if anyone knows of a reliable place to launch in the Seattle area or nearby. We launched a class A/B rocket at the local Middle School one time, but it felt a little tight and the last launch of the day actually ended up high in a tree. I'm hoping to find a place where we can avoid that outcome in the future!

I'd ideally like to find somewhere to launch up to F/G rockets. I launched at Fire In The Sky (Central Washington) a few years back and that was great fun, but that's only once a year. Online information about local clubs is sparse and seems outdated. But, I'm excited to see that this forum has plenty of activity and I'm hopeful you'll have some recommendations. If nothing else, are there rules for launching at nearby schools/parks? My local hobby retailer said that would be fine for smaller rockets, but it still felt a little iffy to me.

Thanks so much!
 

BEC

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The main place is Sixty Acres park in Redmond. It is the only King County park in which rockets are explicitly allowed. This is where most (if not all) Puget Sound area TARC teams fly, as well as a number of us who are flying for fun. Since the pandemic and consequent activity restrictions have pretty much killed organized launches (even at that field), you won't find any current info on local club web sites.

BEMRC MAY get to fly in March but our site isn't as spacious or accessible as Sixty Acres. Of course when the weather improves and the restrictions are relaxed, then Sixty Acres will be mostly used for soccer (it is administered and maintained by the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association for King County Parks), but when it's not being used for soccer it's probably the best site in the Seattle area. It certainly is the best one I know of.

Washington Aerospace (who put on FITS) has lost access to that site and between the pandemic and that site loss there was not FITS in 2020. I have not heard anything about a FITS in 2021 either.
 

rharshberger

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If you are willing to drive a couple of hours TriCities Rocketeers has an excellent field we fly LPR/MPR and HPR from most months starting a week from Saturday thru November-ish.
 

Dotini

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I'm new to the forum, but have dabbled with rocketry on and off since childhood. Now I've got kids of my own and am looking to get them more interested in the hobby. I'm curious if anyone knows of a reliable place to launch in the Seattle area or nearby. We launched a class A/B rocket at the local Middle School one time, but it felt a little tight and the last launch of the day actually ended up high in a tree. I'm hoping to find a place where we can avoid that outcome in the future!

I'd ideally like to find somewhere to launch up to F/G rockets. I launched at Fire In The Sky (Central Washington) a few years back and that was great fun, but that's only once a year. Online information about local clubs is sparse and seems outdated. But, I'm excited to see that this forum has plenty of activity and I'm hopeful you'll have some recommendations. If nothing else, are there rules for launching at nearby schools/parks? My local hobby retailer said that would be fine for smaller rockets, but it still felt a little iffy to me.

Thanks so much!
Although I cannot confirm it by personal experience, I think Marymoor Park at Redmond is the best if not the only place to launch high altitude model rockets anywhere near Seattle.

I also live in North Seattle, Ballard to be exact, and I too am returning to the rocketry hobby after an absence of 30 years.

In my youth, I launched frequently at Dahl playfield in NE Seattle, then about the size of 4 baseball fields, and at Warren G Magnuson State Park on the shores of Lake Washington, then a vast area of tall grass to lose rockets in. I have launched E and F motors there, but regretted it. I think it is legally permitted to do rocketry at Magnuson Park.

Most public school football fields are going to have a sign posted that says explosives and fireworks are prohibited. I'm not yet convinced, but I think that implicitly includes model rockets. Due to the pandemic, the public seems to be freely accessing these fields at will, and it may be as well to seek forgiveness rather than permission.

Due to my age and frailties, my personal goals in rocketry are limited to low altitude odd rocs and fat A and B motor conventional rockets.That being the case, I have discovered a jewel of a launching site in North Seattle for rockets of modest altitude. It is the abandoned Model Airplane Flying Field at Carkeek Park, a perfect circle 200' in diameter of smooth tended grass surrounded by trees and the nearby shores of Puget Sound.
 

mariusx1

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Thanks all for the great recommendations!! We were just at Carkeek Park for the first time last week...nice place. I've also heard of Sixty Acres park as an option, but have never been. If I can figure out how to avoid the soccer games, that sounds like an ideal location.

TriCities Rocketeers also sounds good and would be a good option on weekends when I fancy a bit of a drive. I stumbled upon their site yesterday and they were one of the few who had updated information and seem to still be flying on a regular basis. In the absence of FITS 2021, I might try to make it out for a launch this summer.

Thanks guys, this gives me some good options. I might continue to use local school fields for smaller launches...and just be ok with asking forgiveness rather than permission. Having a couple young kids by my side might prove helpful in that regard. =) Also, in the past, I tended to choose the biggest engine I could for the highest possible flight, but it's about more than that, isn't it? Smaller engines will be just as much fun for my kids without as much risk of losing the rockets.
 

BEC

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Marymoor Park does NOT allow rockets. They have an RC airplane field (join the Marymoor RC club and AMA to fly there) but not rockets. Marymoor is NOT Sixty Acres.

I have not flown rockets at Magnuson Park (Seattle City park, not King County) though I belonged to an indoor RC club that flew in one of the hangars some years ago, but know some folks who do occasionally launch rockets there (though they more often go to Sixty Acres as well).

An abandoned control line circle at Carkeek Park, eh? Hmmmmmmm.

And as you say, with school fields, it's an "ask for forgiveness" situation. I've never been asked to leave school fields in the Federal Way district where I have flown a little. But none of them are very good sites to fly, really, either.

The Tri-Cities Rocketeers site is my favorite of all the places I have flown. I look forward to flying there again sometime this year.
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