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Manchester State Park in Seattle WA

Things To Do in Seattle – Manchester State Park

Manchester State Park in Seattle, WA

Manchester State Park, a green oasis in the heart of Seattle, is a place where you can get lost in nature and have some good old-fashioned family fun. With plenty of activities to enjoy with your kids, it’s no wonder why this park has been voted one of America’s best parks!

History of Manchester State Park

The park sits on the site of a former dairy farm. The state acquired it from King County in 1963 and opened it as a public recreation area in 1965.

In 2015, the City of Seattle signed an agreement to lease 22 acres from Manchester Park for 99 years at $250/acre with a tenant improvement allowance of up to $120,000 per year provided that the city agreed to pay all costs associated with repairs or improvements made by them during their tenancy including new roofing on some buildings after hail damage occurred earlier this year. The primary intent is used for day-use purposes only. Still, it does include overnight camping opportunities for police officers who are required to live within 15 miles of South Precincts’ headquarters, which is located next door.

The park has a beach, picnic areas, and trails. Canoeing is allowed on Lake Washington, where visitors can see for themselves the birthplace of Seattle in Myrtle Edwards Park, located at the north end of Leschi along Lakeshore Drive. Kayaking is also available most days through Emerald City Guiding Company (ECGC), which operates near Matthews Beach Park (formerly known as John’s Landing). Trips vary from single kayaks to extensive group tours like their popular Sunday Funday trips offered all year long except January when they take off for winter hiatus. They offer moonlight paddles around this time but require reservations due to popularity, so interested parties need to call well ahead beforehand or be turned away. ECGC also does corporate team building events, group paddles and offers kayak fishing tours as well.

The park is home to the Woodland Skatepark, which has been described as one of Seattle’s finest with its ramps made out of plywood rather than steel or concrete-like most other skateparks located throughout the city tend to be. It was built by professional BMX riders Matt Hensley (the first American pro-BMX rider), Kerry Getz & Chris Strople in 2004 after receiving a $75,000 grant from Tony Hawk’s foundation that was announced at his retirement party earlier that same year before he hung up his skates for good. The money went toward construction costs only, but all three have remained active ever since.

What to see on Manchester State Park?

A hiking trail leads you to a lake with the most beautiful green, blue and turquoise colors. The park offers more than four miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders alike. The Green Heart Trail weaves through a lush forest filled with fragrant salal, thimbleberry bushes, salmonberry vines.

The best part about this hike? Getting there! It’s one mile from the parking lot near the lake to the actual entrance of this little slice of heaven – which means it can be crowded or pretty much deserted depending on time/day – so get there early if you want some seclusion inside what is otherwise a trendy spot.

The Green Heart Trail is an easy hike and can be completed in about 30 minutes, but the beautiful views of the lake make it well worth your visit. And on clear days, you might even see Mount Rainier off to the southeast – so there’s that too!

It is hard to believe this gorgeous place lies just 20 miles from downtown Seattle as we know it today because no matter how many times I’ve visited Manchester State Park over the years, each time feels like the first trip into nature. It indeed has become one of the favorite places in all of Washington state, where every season offers something new for me to enjoy. If you are looking for solitude/time away from city life or want to see what this area was like before the pioneers settled here, be sure to visit Manchester State Park.

What are some activities at Manchester State Park?

Canoeing and Kayaking are available most days through Emerald City Guiding Company (ECGC) that operates out of nearby Matthews Beach Park (formerly known as John’s Landing). Trips vary from single kayaks to extensive group tours like their popular Sunday Funday trips that are offered all year long except January when they take off for winter hiatus but require reservations well beforehand, otherwise making them turn you away if interested parties don’t call ahead. ECGC also does corporate team building events, group paddles and offers kayak fishing tours as well.

The park is home to the Woodland Skatepark, which has been described as one of Seattle’s finest with its ramps made out of plywood rather than steel or concrete-like most other skateparks located throughout the city tend to be built by professional BMX riders Matt Hensley (the first American pro-BMX rider), Kerry Getz & Chris Strople in 2004 after receiving a $75,000 grant from Tony Hawk’s foundation that was announced at his retirement party earlier that same year before he hung up his skates for good. The money went toward construction costs only, but all three have remained active since then.

Things to do

Hang out with friends at one of the many picnic areas.

Bring your bike and go for a ride around Green Lake Trail or Burke Gillman trail. There are plenty of trails to choose from!

Rent kayaks or canoes to paddle around Green Lake.

Photograph the beautiful scenery! Many trails lead down to the water, so you could potentially get some great shots of wildlife and nature.

Bring your pup along on a leash for an afternoon at this dog-friendly park with plenty of beaches!

Go camping in one of the several campgrounds available within the state park! They have RV hookups, showers & bathrooms nearby. You can also rent yurts if you don’t feel like bringing a tent just yet!

Things not to do

Do not feed the ducks.

Do not attempt the hike to “the falls” without wearing hiking boots.

Do not bring your dog (or any other pet for that matter) to the park.

Do not attempt to bushwhack through the bramble. It’s an excellent way to end up with poison oak all over your legs and arms. You don’t want that. Not in Seattle, where there is no sun!

Do not attempt to park near the gate. They will tow your car in about five minutes flat!

Do not forget water, food, and warm clothes when you hike this trail.

Location of  Manchester State Park

Manchester State Park is located at 7767 E Hilldale Rd, Port Orchard, WA 98366, United States. Manchester State Park is located on the western shore of Lake Washington, in the city limits. It’s only about 30 minutes from downtown Seattle!

Hours:
Monday 8am–8pm
Tuesday 8am–8pm
Wednesday 8am–8pm
Thursday 8am–8pm
Friday 8am–8pm
Saturday 8am–8pm
Sunday 8am–8pm

Phone: +1 360-871-4065

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