Discovery Park Seattle

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We woke up to a beautiful day on Friday November 6th and decided to explore a part of Seattle we had never been to before. Discovery Park is located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, and is the largest park in the city. Entry is free. The Discovery Park Loop Trail is a designated National Recreation Trail, 2.8 miles long with an elevation change of just 140 feet. It passes through both forest and open meadows, offers extensive views, good prospects for bird watchers, and can be hiked or jogged year-round.

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We walked to the highest point on the Loop Trail. A sign points right toward a viewpoint near the old chapel that looks out over the South Meadow. What you see from this viewpoint is the Puget Sound, The Olympic Mountain Range and Bainbridge Island.

discovery-park-003The little white World War II chapel perched on the hill at Discovery Park has been given historic landmark status and given a second chance to remain standing on a spot that overlooks Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Before there was a park here, this area was Fort Lawton and it is thanks to the fort that this large park is available to Seattlites who wish to explore an urban trail.

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While Fort Lawton was a quiet outpost prior to World War II, it became the second largest port of embarkation of soldiers and materials to the Pacific Theater during the war. The fort was included in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list. Fort Lawton officially closed on September 14, 2011.

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One of our goals while at Discovery Park was to see the light house on West Point. We stopped at the visitor center and asked about driving to the lighthouse and we were happy to learn that since we were 62 or over we could get one of 8 special parking permits to park at South Beach close to the West Point, otherwise we would have had to hike there. If we were prepared it would have been easy enough for us to take the South Beach Trail and walk/hike but on this day we were happy to drive.

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The West Point Lighthouse has a Victorian-era Beacon. It was built in 1881.

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North Beach on Shilshole Bay.

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South Beach on the Puget Sound looking towards the West Seattle Bridge with Mt. Rainier barely visible. Squint and you can see it.

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This last mosaic is a photo of South Beach with a couple navigating the rocks on the left of the photo. I zoomed in on my photo to get a closer look at them. When I took this photo I didn’t realize we’d have a nice encounter with this couple. They had hiked down to the beach. When we made it to our car and started back to the visitor center to hand in our parking pass we saw them starting their walk back and we decided to roll our window down and ask them if they wanted a ride back. They were happy to accept and we learned they had just arrived the day before to the Seattle area from Milan, Italy. They were here for a very short time to see their daughter who was attending a special course at the University of Washington. We were happy to share our experiences in Milan with them. They were navigating our city by bus and other public transportation.

We would like to visit Discovery Park again in the future to see more of the park in a different season.

I’m linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life. Click over to see more mosaics from around the world.

We have enjoyed a quiet weekend with a mix of rain, high winds and a little sunshine. We were home mostly except for church this morning and have eaten all of our meals in. Why do I feel like I need a pat on the back for that or that you even need to know that? Hope you had a good weekend in or out!