Featured image: The Bluff Trail at Lincoln Park (photo by Cheryl Landes)
Before boarding the ferry from West Seattle to Vashon Island or the Olympic Peninsula, stretch your legs at Lincoln Park, near the Fauntleroy terminal. This 135-acre park at 8603 Fauntleroy Avenue SW has a sweeping view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula, 4.6 miles of trails, and 3.9 miles of bike paths.
Start your journey on the bluff, where two miles of the trails wind through alder, hemlock, madrone, maple, Western red cedar, and Douglas fir. Then descend to Stony Beach at the western edge of the park. Some cedars and firs are as tall as or taller than the 100-foot bluff. Walk another mile along the U-shaped pebble beach, or sit on the beach and watch the ferries shaped like giant wedding cakes glide across Puget Sound. Along the shore, look for white agates in sizes ranging from peas to small marbles, and for wildlife. Frequent sightings include bald eagles, great blue herons, seals, sea lions, and gray and killer whales.
Dress warmly if you hike the north end of Stony Beach, because cold breezes often blow. The bluff protects the south end of the beach.
Stony Beach at Lincoln Park (photo by Cheryl Landes)
The park’s original name was Fauntleroy Park, but Seattle founder Arthur Denny changed the name to honor President Abraham Lincoln, who appointed Denny registrar of the US Land Office in Olympia in 1861.
Lincoln Park is open daily from 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. From I-5 North, take exit 163 or 163A if traveling south from downtown to the West Seattle Bridge. After you cross the West Seattle Bridge, the road changes to Fauntleroy Avenue SW. Continue on Fauntleroy Avenue SW 2.25 miles to the park’s entrance on the right. The Fauntleroy ferry terminal is one-quarter mile farther on the right (view schedules and fares).
For more information about Lincoln Park, call (206) 684-4075 or visit the park’s website.