Schmitz Preserve Park in Seattle, WA
Schmitz Preserve Park is the largest urban forest in Seattle and one of the largest municipal parks. This park has something for everyone, from hikers to mountain bikers to equestrians. The Schmitz Preserve offers over 10 miles of trails that lead through forests and along lakeshore paths, as well as a large off-leash dog area with agility equipment and open spaces for games like Frisbee or fetch.
History of Schmitz Preserve Park
The park was named after George Schmitz, who served on the city council from 1960 to 1969 before becoming mayor of Seattle from 1969 until 1977 when Richard Nixon appointed him U.S Secretary of Transportation. Waldo Jerman was an influential civic leader and parks advocate. His most outstanding achievement came during his term as president of the Board of Park Commissioners. He had direct oversight over the acquisition, development, and operation of the Washington State Parks system, including “Eagle Harbor Recreation Area” (now known as Discovery Parks). The discovery that led to this landmark project occurred while Haub was playing at Discovery Park in West Seattle. He discovered a skull on the beach of an unusual animal which turned out to be that of Steller’s sea cow, extinct since 1768!
About the Schmitz Preserve Park
The Schmitz Preserve Park is Seattle’s largest urban forest. It was named after the first park’s superintendent, Emil B. G. Schmitz, who served from 1911 to 1932 and whose tenure saw several significant changes in the park system, including a new emphasis on preserving natural areas instead of converting them into playgrounds for children as had been done previously. Today it is home to more than twenty-two miles of trails that provide hiking or biking opportunities no matter what level you are at! The entire route takes about six hours, so plan accordingly if you want to get your money’s worth out of this one! Once inside, there are many different routes available depending on how much time and energy people have, but we will outline three other options here.
Schmitz Preserve Park has some fantastic trails for pedestrians and bikers alike. You can find free parking near the preserve or closer by on Alki Ave SW just off California Street WY S/SW Alaska St . The park is open year-round from sunrise until sunset. Vehicle access during these hours is permitted only with official business (i.e., development). After-hours vehicle use within this area should be considered trespassing. There are no restrooms available after dark, so plan accordingly if you intend to visit between dusk and dawn. Please be aware that the park is located in a high traffic area and it’s not uncommon for pedestrians to be walking along the road, so plan accordingly if you’re driving.
During your visit to Schmitz Preserve Park, make sure to stop by Alki Beach, which has incredible views of downtown Seattle as well as excellent fishing opportunities. For those interested in history, this is also where Henry Yesler established his shipyard at what was then known as Duwamish Head (the present site of Smith Cove Cruise Terminal). The beach itself takes its name from John Septimus “Skookum” or Strong John Sealth, who served under Chief Si’ahl until June 29, 1866. His grave can still be seen today in the north end of Lincoln Park.
Nearby lies Alki Point Lighthouse, erected in 1890 to guide ships safely into Elliott Bay and is now a popular attraction for visitors interested in history. The lighthouse has been fully renovated, keeping its original design intact while adding modern conveniences such as an elevator, gift shop, restrooms, and educational exhibits about Seattle’s maritime history. Other nearby attractions include West Point Light House, Duwamish Head Lighthouse, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal & Marina Shores. Be sure not to miss these when you visit Schmitz Preserve Park in Seattle!
What to see in Schmitz Preserve Park
The park has two lakes, one of which is the largest urban lake in Seattle. It’s also home to more than 300 species of birds. There are over 130 different types of trees in the park. It’s one out of four extensive forests that remain within Seattle city limits. -Many well-known Seattle birds, such as owls and herons, make their homes at Schmitz Preserve Park. -There are over 100 different kinds of trees, including Douglas firs and western red cedars. -“Shoveler Lake,” the most significant urban lake within Seattle city limits, is located at Schmitz Preserve Park. It has a yearly population growth rate of approximately 0%.
The Schmitz Preserve has many rare trees and plants, including a big leaf maple over 200 years old. There are many different routes to follow depending on each person’s fitness level and duration they have available.
It also has a six-acre dog off-leash area where dogs can play and be free. There are restrooms available on-site and benches for visitors to sit down while they observe the wildlife or take a break from walking around in the park. The city of Seattle purchased this land in 1904, and it’s been open to the public ever since.
It also has two sports fields by Lake Washington Blvd S and a paved path for cyclists. There’s also an educational center you can visit, which has information about the park itself and plant life within it. This is one of only four extensive forests that still exist in Seattle today.
Things to do in Schmitz Preserve Park
Hike trails in the park.
Visit their art exhibits or sculpture gardens.
Take a picnic lunch.
Play sports like soccer, baseball, and basketball.
Go fishing in Salmon Bay.
Explore the forest.
Play tennis or have a picnic at one of their pavilions.
Enjoy the many amenities available at the park-like water fountains, restrooms, and trails.
Things not to do in Schmitz Preserve Park
No dogs are allowed.
No fishing in Salmon Bay.
No climbing trees or playing on the sculpture garden’s artwork.
Do not pick the flowers.
Do not vandalize anything in the park.
How to get there?
Schmitz Preserve Park is located at 5551 SW Admiral Way, Seattle, WA 98116, United States.
The park is easily accessible by bike using either West Seattle Bridge or Alki Ave SW (use caution when crossing busy intersections). Free parking is available along Alki Ave SW between California St WY S/SW Alaska St & Harbor Ave SW.
How much time should I allot to spend in the park?
The park is open year-round from sunrise until sunset, and vehicle access during these hours is permitted only with official business (e.g., construction). -It takes approximately 30 minutes to one hour, depending on a person’s fitness level and how many times they stop along the way.
The park is open from sunrise until sunset, but you can still go for hikes before or after these hours as long as you have permission from Seattle Parks & Recreation.
How much does it cost?
The park is open to the public for free.
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