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“Discover how little a park will do with a great site.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Discovery Park

Discovery Park
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Seattle in One Day: Sightseeing Tour including Space Needle and Pike Place...
Ranked #20 of 434 things to do in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: You can get lost happily among the thickets, nature trails, beaches and bluffs of this 534-acre park.
Chadds Ford
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Discover how little a park will do with a great site.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

Mediocre trails, good signage. Boring views. The administrators are doing everything possible to keep visitors off the beach. The lighthouse is closed despite renovations at $ 600,000 (figure is 2/3 times what has been done). A decent walk if the weather is fine. Sad, shabby treatment of the buildings.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank LDMS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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West Chester, PA
Level Contributor
90 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Overall, just as described in the tour books!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

It was great to see folks taking advantage of a rural park in the midst of a city. Trails were manageable but a bit steeper than guidebooks seemed to indicate.

Visited August 2013
Thank Blizzard1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
169 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Amazing hikes!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

We were in Seattle for the weekend for a wedding and were taking the red eye home so we had all day in Seattle and we had already done all the regular tourist activities. We had heard good things about Discovery Park so we took a taxi out to the park. It has beautiful trails with great hikes! We hiked down to the beach by the lighthouse for beautiful views of the sound. If we are ever back in the area we'll for sure head back with plans to explore the park more thoroughly!

Visited August 2013
Thank Serendipity5963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
82 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013

If you like : sweeping sound and mountain views, picnicking, hiking, cycling, beach combing, old lighthouses, and military history Discovery Park is a fun place to visit.

The park, which was originally the Ft. Lawton army base (dating back to 1900), sits on a bluff high above Puget Sound on the northwestern edge of the quiet Magnolia neighborhood about 20 minutes from downtown.

I usually park my car on the street at the southern entrance and either park on the street or in the parking lot.

From there I take one of the trails through scotch broom, silal, and blackberry bushes down to the sandy bluff with the water far below. I always thought this part of the park would be a good exterior filming location for a gothic film classic like Wuthering Heights situated high above the sea.

There are picnic tables and several viewpoints as you follow the trail south along the ridge. Soon you'll see the trail signs to the beach and the West Point lighthouse. Lots of steps and pretty easy going down. But the return trip will give your legs and lungs a workout. Good idea to wear hiking boots or sturdy footwear. The trail spills out at a beach where you can wander amid lots of driftwood. The lighthouse is just a few minutes walk north from the trail.
The climb back up does come with some convenient, platformed view points where you can take breaks along the way. At the top of the blluff you have a choice of different trails for further exploring through fir and cedar trees and other lush greenery. You just might glimpse an eagle or two who like to hang out at the park.

Because I am a history buff I usually head up the hill toward the old Ft. Lawton parade ground to stroll amid some of the original buildings including the chapel, barracks, stables and the post exchange. None are open to the public but have been preserved quite well and a few are on the national historic register.

The facility was a particularly busy place during World War II in the Pacific theater and the Korean conflict as a distribution center for troops who shipped out at nearby Pier 91.
German POW's were held at Ft. Lawton. In fact one of the prisoners is buried in the post cemetery.

These asphalt roads allow for good cycling, jogging and walking and I always see young families with strollers. Most of the trails are of the dirt or gravel variety but there are paved portions as well.

This park is very popular with locals like me and I would assume many out of state visitors.

Other than the top of the Space Needle and Queen Anne Hill I don't know that you'll find greater views of Mt. Rainier, the ferries, ships, and sailboats,plying Elliott Bay and Puget Sound and mountain views than at Discovery Park.

For that alone a visit to this special place is very much worthwhile.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank yamhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfort, Illinois
Level Contributor
139 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Perfect for a picnic and hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

This park was once a military base, so there are a few building around the park. I had a picnic with my extended family near an old church. We parked at the south lot and walked to a picnic table that we were able to move into the shade. From our spot, we had a great view of the sound and watched sailboats, barges, and yachts go by.

It is a bit of a walk from the car and there were stairs on the way as well. For these reasons, you don't want to bring anything too heavy. There were only 2 picnic tables closest to our parking area, so be sure to bring a blanket in case those are in use.

From the picnic area, there are several trail options, including a walk to the beach. That is probably about a mile. Wild blackberry bushes are everywhere, so help yourself to a snack along the way!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank floondy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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