I recently read a magazine article about hidden parks in Seattle and it made me think about those little gems that I grew up with in West Seattle.
Westcrest Park is a stone’s throw away from where I grew up. It has one of the most amazing views of Downtown Seattle I have seen, besides the deck from my grandparent’s house in the Admiral District. I loved looking out onto the reservoir as a child, which has now been covered, and hiking a bit of the West Duwamish Greenbelt. That trail along with others in Puget Park and Pigeon Point Park capture what it must have been like to live in this region so many years ago.
Camp Long is another park near and dear to my heart. We rented out the lodge for my grandparent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. My grandpa was born and raised in West Seattle, him and my grandma actually live in the house he was born in, so it seemed like the logical place to celebrate them and the family they created here. It’s also one of those places that makes you feel like you are no longer in the city…and you can camp there!
Schmitz Preserve Park is one of my favorite places to take friends for a little urban hiking. It’s a bit hard to find if you aren’t paying attention, but it’s a lovely little hike either alone or with a group. It’s a little patch of old growth forest and although it has nothing on the redwoods, the trees there have a history and it’s been preserved for us to enjoy.
Twice a week a few friends of mine head down to the Emma Schmitz Memorial Outlook, located just down from Alki beach, to go for a run. No matter the weather it’s always so beautiful; the mountains, the islands, and the beach. The view is so empowering you can’t help but tell yourself, “I live here.”
From the library be sure to check out Reasons to Go Outside: A Seattle Parks Project by James Mitchell. See photographs and the journey that James and some of his friends take to over 300 parks in the city of Seattle! Or rather than take anyone’s word for it go outside and see for yourself what our city has to offer, because no matter the weather, Seattleites always have a reason to go outside.