Monday, April 13, 2015

Schmitz Park

Errands kept us in the city hence a city park to explore for an hour or two on a nice day.  This time we visited Schmitz Preserve Park in West Seattle another hike written up in Footloose in Seattle by Janice Krenmayr.   The park is located about 15 blocks east of Alki Point in West Seattle and contains the only remaining old growth forest in the city.  In 1908 Ferdinand and Emma Schmitz donated 30 acres of land to the city for a park.  Additional land was purchased in 1909, 1930, 1947 and 1958.  

Just to remind us that we were still in the city here is what we saw along the stairway down to the park trail from the street level.  The underside of the bridge was the only place we did see graffiti in the park; however, and it looked as if the upper part of the bridge was kept clean of it.

The single story Schmitz Park Elementary School adjacent to the park was opened in 1953.  This plaque pictured below in the park tells of tree plantings done by the school children for the 1976 bicentennial of the United States.

We took the loop trail but there are also several trails branching off here and there with plenty of places to roam in this nature preserve.  The trail surface is packed dirt with a cover of leaves and needles.  A creek runs through the park and there are small rivulets here and there making occasional muddy spots but also providing a nice running water sound.  Once inside a little way the traffic noise disappears and is replaced by bird song, breezes in the trees and gurgling water. 

One tree had formed this low arch that was still high enough to crawl under.

We saw Bleeding Hearts, Fringe Cups, Trillium, Salmon Berry, Elder Berry, Trailing Blackberry, Miner’s Lettuce, Aven, Skunk Cabbage and ferns in addition to big trees in this mixed forest. 

Bleeding Heart

 Fringe Cup

The Trillium flower starts out white and turns purple as it ages

Salmon Berry

Trailing Blackberry

 Skunk Cabbage

A few areas were fenced off while work was being done to encourage growth of selected native plants and trees.  One downed tree sported artwork to make it look like a toothy critter.

The loop took us to the other side of the bridge and a short walk back on the street level to the car. 

 New wall and park marker

Old dated bridge marker

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