Seattle's Discovery Park

seattle discovery parkEncompassing an area of 534 acres (2.2 km²), Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest public park and one of the best places in the city to view wildlife, such as birds and marine mammals. The park has 11.81 miles (19 km) of walking trails. Most visitors hike the Loop Trail, which leads through meadow, forest and shrub habitats and provides fantastic views of Puget Sound.

Located in the peninsular Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, Discovery Park used to be a military base from the 1890s, but in 1970 the government turned it over to the city to use it as a park. The park’s great size provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures. There are miles of nature and bike trails to be explored. Discovery Park also has a half-mile long “parcours” (health path) that runs through the woods, ideal for health enthusiasts.

To the west, two miles (3.2 km) of beach stretches north and south from the West Point lighthouse (the southern portion has more sand, the northern portion more rocks). To get to the beach, take the loop trail at the north or south parking lot. If you’re short on time but still want to enjoy the great view of Puget Sound, park at the South Beach lot from where it’s only a short walk to the West Point Light Station, a lighthouse built in 1881.

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