Discovery Park

Fiancé and I are making great effort to explore our new metropolis and are taking advantage of all the wonderful resources readily available that dispense advice on where to go, what to do, and which are worth seeing.  To this end, I picked up a copy of 52 Weekends in Seattle – a box of large sturdy cards, each with information about a particular destination and what to do and see once you get there.  Fiancé looked at me like I was crazy when I got it, but came around to appreciate it as a good thing fairly quickly – all the work has been done for us, no investigating to do, just pull a card and go.  We hang the cards on a clip on the front of the refrigerator to show off all the fun places we’ve seen.

Sunday was a perfect temp and still not rainy, so we pulled out all the outdoor-related cards and picked the one for Discovery Park (#7).  It is a chunk of wilderness parked at the end of a point pushing out into Puget Sound a little to the north of downtown Seattle.  The neighborhood around it has the feel of industrial fishing village, since there is a busy commercial fishing port and marina nearby.  “Park” is a bit of a misnomer since it is mostly dense woods as opposed to manicured trees and lawn.

Hiking trails criss-cross and wind around the park, but we chose to head for the trail leading to and along the north shore of the park.  We then planned to continue on to the lighthouse situated on the very tip of the point and back along the south shore for a bit before cutting across to the car at the parking lot.  We had no idea how far this would be nor how long it would take us.  But we had all afternoon to spend and grabbed the camera for the shots we knew would be there to take.

The park did not disappoint.  The many crossroads along the trails are marked, however on occasion I was glad to have a copy of the map provided at the parking lot.  The trail to the north shore started out easily, then descended rough paths, stairs, and rocks to a rocky beach.

We took advantage of the rocks to perch and watch the waves and sailboats for a while.  It was a bit too cloudy, but we knew that on clearer days we would have been treated to a wonderful view of the Olympic Mountains just across the water.

The north shore is also home to a water treatment facility, but thankfully no glimpse of it can be seen from the trails.  We reached the lighthouse without having the scenery disturbed by machinery.  The lighthouse itself is undergoing renovation, but we could still get very close and were treated to a nice view of the city from the point.  There are sandy beaches on this side and lots of families hanging out while children played.

Then I looked along our route back and was dismayed to see a steep bluff.  Unfortunately, I seem to always forget that this area is very hilly.  (Silly girl, it’s surrounded by mountains. Duh!)  So I was not looking forward to climbing that hill on the way to the end of our tour through the park.  In actuality, it was a steep climb up a paved incline but the park had very thoughtfully provided benches every so often for folks to rest.  I admit to only having to stop once, then we reached the top and cut back across the park to complete the loop.

I since have discovered a very handy book called 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, Seattle.  Hike #3 describes exactly the route we took through Discovery Park and informs me that we walked three miles.  Not bad for someone who thought she was horribly out of shape!  I wasn’t even sore the next day, just understandably tired and hungry.  We stopped to eat quickie seafood and buy some fresh salmon in the shops at the marina before heading back home.

In all, it was a good afternoon well spent.

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