The Hiker Mama

Discovery Park

Distance: Discovery Park has over 7 miles of trails.

Elevation Gain: Flat to moderately steep

Season: Year-round

Directions:  From I-5 Northbound: Take the Mercer Street exit.  Turn right at first stoplight onto Fairview Ave N.  At next set of stoplights go left onto Valley St.  Stay in far right lane that merges onto Westlake Avenue N.  Westlake Ave becomes Nickerson Street.  Go straight on Nickerson Street past Fremont Bridge and Seattle Pacific University.  Staying in left lane follow the sign to the Ballard Bridge/Emerson Street.  At 3 way stop take a left onto Emerson St.  Continue on Emerson St., through one stop light, until you get to a 4 way stop with a flashing light.  Turn right onto West Gilman.  West Gilman becomes West Government Way.  Follow West Government Way until you come to the east entrance of the Park. (about 1/2 mile).  The Visitor Center will be on the left.

        From I-5 Southbound:  Take the 45th Street Exit and head west (right).  Follow 45th, staying to the right.  45th becomes 46th Avenue North.  Follow 46th until it becomes Market Street.  Continue on Market until you reach 15th Avenue NW.  Go left on 15th Avenue NW, following it over the Ballard Bridge.  Take the first right after the bridge onto Emerson Street.  Take a right onto West Gilman at the 4 way flashing light.  W. Gilman becomes West Government Way.  Follow until you come to the East entrance of the Park. (about 1/2 mile).  The Visitor Center will be on the left.

Description:  Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle.  It encompasses various habitats, from forests to wetlands to beaches, cliffs, streams and meadows.  It is an excellent place for birding and beach exploration.  Stop at the visitor center and purchase a trail map.  The exhibits will entice youngsters, and the center is a nice place to warm up on a cold day.

Links: View trails at  Learn more about the park and view current education center hours at  Visit for a list of birds you could find at the park.


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