West Seattle Neighborhood

by Cynthia

When we bought our house 20 years ago, neighborhood walkability wasn’t a prime factor in our decision. I’m just grateful the house we chose happened to include the bonus of many outstanding options for walks. The most adventurous of which, a 12-mile loop around the peninsula, I’ve done only once! I’m sharing here a few nearby destinations that are worth a trip alone, or can be combined for longer exploration.

To the south of my house, I can be on the rambling trails of forested Fauntleroy Park in about 15 minutes. A distinct counterpoint to the popular, busy, amenity-filled Lincoln Park, this park offers a quick respite from urban life with dense trees, lush ferns, creeks shimmering among the undergrowth. It’s a joy to step into this woodland setting in the midst of the city.

Heading west instead, I can be in Lincoln Park in about the same time. The park is popular for very good reason, with hilly forested trails, play fields, long beach-side walking path, and views of ferry traffic, wildlife and the beautiful Olympic Mountains. I never miss checking out the Love Rock, with its ever-changing motif. This loop includes the cardio workout of going first down, then back up, the 367 Thistle Street Stairs. Pre-corona virus, I was in that park a few times a week. I’ll be there again when there’s less worry about how many other fellow Lincoln Park lovers are there. Thankfully I have plenty of other routes to enjoy in the meantime.

    

One such option is heading north from my house. In that same 15 minutes or so, I’m at the highest point in the city. I think even many long-time locals don’t realize it’s actually West Seattle that holds the honor. Near the water towers that are such a landmark along this stretch of 35th Avenue SW, in the small Myrtle Reservoir Park, is a representation of Seattle’s prominent hills, showing their relative elevations (including Denny Hill’s before and after versions—Seattle history!).

Aside from those few park spaces, my neighborhood walks are quite residential. I get as much joy out of the gardens I pass by as I do from the sweeping views. There are so many rewards for getting out to explore.