Northwest Hiking Trails

Discovery Park, Seattle

Photo - Discovery Park If slush still obscures the mountain trails, or you just can't get out of town for a day hike, steal a few hours and visit Discovery Park. You'll find woods, open areas, beaches and a lighthouse, all interlaced by a network of trails.

When the military abandoned a large fort on Magnolia's waterfront, the City turned it into this haven for urban dwellers. Built on the rolling hills on a bluff above the water, this park has some of the best views in town. Mt. Rainier is visible from the South Bluff trail, as is the city skyline. Bring a book, pick a bench, and stay for sunset over the Olympic peaks in the distance.

Trails are nearly level, except for the stairstepped path that leads down to the long expanse of Puget Sound beach. Open areas are partly wild, partly maintained. The Army still keeps part of the base in use, just in case the Godless Commies try to invade the extremely capitalist suburb of Magnolia.

Photo- Discovery Park Stats: 10 minutes to a day of strolling, biking, jogging or sitting in the park's 500+ acres. The park closes at night.

Getting there: Drive to Magnolia (I get there by following Denny west to 15th and then north out of Seattle). Written directions are almost useless because of the tangle of streets and changing street names. Look at a street map and follow Emerson St. to the entrance. Park in the lot and pick any trail west. From there, you're on your own. Just remember where you parked.

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