You don’t have to go outside the city to witness the grandeur of old-growth Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. The pioneering Schmitz family preserved a 50-acre plot of land in the early 1900s that was only partially logged off, leaving behind untouched specimens as well as old stumps.
The preserve is close by Alki Point, where Seattle’s famous first settlers landed in 1851 and spent a damp and cold winter before moving across Elliott Bay to the present downtown. Also nearby is Lincoln Park, site of Seattle’s longest stretch of undeveloped shoreline, where marine life is often abundant and bald eagles fish for their dinners.
After a leisurely half-mile loop walk in the Preserve, we’ll walk along Alki Beach with views of downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Walk past the Alki Point Lighthouse (still in operation and not generally open to the public) to Constellation Park, where stars are embedded in the sidewalk.
Along the way we might spot Orca whales, harbor seals, and numerous waterfowl in this urban corridor. From here I will shuttle you along Beach Drive to Lincoln Park, where we’ll do another one-mile walk along the shoreline of Fauntleroy Cove—on a promenade trail or on the beach at low tide if you prefer. Again, marine life abounds.
Aside from Schmitz Preserve, and the optional beach walk at low tide, this adventure is mostly flat and mostly paved, although we can add additional hiking and steep climbs at Lincoln Park if that’s desired.
Hiker Level: 1 2 3 4
Round-trip travel time: 1 hour
Hiking time: 3 hours
Total time: 5 hours
Best season: Year round
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