At 29 weeks pregnant walking long distances or anything with much of a change in elevation has become virtually impossible. After a week of hot weather and sunshine in Seattle, the weekend promised clouds and rain. We headed out early on Saturday morning in an effort to beat the forecasted rain showers that would plague the city and most of the surrounding areas. We drove the short distance to West Seattle and found our way to Schmitz Park.
Schmitz Park is a gem held within the boundaries of West Seattle and offers walking trails amidst old growth forests that were saved by Ferdinand Schmitz who saw that the forests of the area would soon be completely gone if something wasn’t done to prevent it. So between 1908 and 1912 chunks of land were donated and preserved by the park commission. We have been told by many West Seattelites about this park and decided to go and check it out for ourselves. What we discovered was a little bit of wilderness within a bustling city.
The park has 1.74 miles of trails and we were able to hike 2.74 miles through the park with a slight detour to Alki Beach which is a 2.5 mile stretch of beach that runs along Elliot Bay, a part of the Central Basin region of the Sound. There was a beach cleanup in progress while we were there that seemed to be sponsored by Boeing. A few brave, possibly unintelligent individuals, were swimming in the waters of the bay that never gets warmer than 56 degrees. On that cold and rainy morning I doubt it was even that warm… We only walked for a short ways down the paved walking path that runs alongside the beach, dogs aren’t allowed in the beach area itself, and a light drizzle began to fall. We turned around and made our way back into Schmitz Park.
We were able to follow a slightly different trail back meeting a few birders along the way. Overall, the park wasn’t as crowded as I had expected. We met a few joggers, a family, and a few other people out walking their dogs. The space was quiet and ridiculously green. Parts of the trail were very muddy and we almost regretted our choice in tennis shoes rather than hiking shoes. There was lots of graffiti which was too bad, but, the park was remarkably clean for a city park. It had less litter than some popular hiking trails. The trail was a little overgrown at points, which was surprising but, it was nice that the trail wasn’t ridiculously wide. There were some pretty wildflowers in bloom and some neat spots for photo ops.
Overall, this is a great spot for a quick day hike that’s right in Seattle’s backyard! Bobby and I agree that it would be a perfect location to bring our parents when they visit. It would give them a taste of the Pacific Northwest Forest life without being difficult to access and difficult to walk through.