Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Four City or State Parks in One Day

We've done a pretty good job this summer in spending less money and spending more time outside. While we want to spend more time in the national parks in our area, we also want to minimize gas costs and daily park fees. So we've tried to find more outdoor activities that are closer to us. We took one warm and beautiful day to pack a picnic and go on a local mini-park tour.

Our first stop of the day was Brown's Point Lighthouse Park. This park is fairly small and is just a on a tiny spit of land. The tide was low while we were there so we spotted a ton of giant purple starfish. The lighthouse, as it stands now, is a functioning concrete tower. But pictures show that it used to be a white clapboard-styled lighthouse that lighted the way so people could cross between the Brown's Point area of Tacoma and downtown. The original lighthouse keeper's house still stands and Robb's research shows that you can apply to spend the weekend in the cute little house to act as an honorary keeper.
Next we headed to Saltwater State Park. This park is exactly half-way between Tacoma and Seattle. In the 1920s citizens from each town joined together here to literally bury a hatchet to end the hostilities between the two cities. But I don't know how many people know about that, as I still here quite a bit of Tacoma-bashing. This park is really one of the more popular ones in the south end of Puget Sound, so it was pretty crowded with people picnicking, hiking, and running around the playground. But we found a nice picnic table and ate our brie, proscuttio, and onion jam sandwiches and enjoyed the breeze and people watching.
We randomly looked up parks in our GPS and found a park in Kent called Old Fishing Hole. I'd driven by this city park several times before, but had never stopped to actually look at the Fishing Hole. The Fishing Hole is a small pond that is actually not very old (I think it was created in the 90s) along the bank of the Green River. It is a Fishing Hole designed for the exclusive use by children, ages 14 and under. The park was well-maintained and really a cute little area. Plus, they had a giant totem pole, which is always cool.
Our last stop of the day was in our own town at West Hylebos State Park. The Hylebos is a designated wetlands area that has a mile-long boardwalk loop through old growth trees and ferns. Since our first visit I've now run there several times during my long runs to make a couple of loops through the quiet forest. I've seen squirrels, rabbits, and even a giant owl. The Hylebos is a definite gem in Federal Way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Kent for 43 years and had never heard of "The Fishing Hole". Now I'll have to go find it!