This complete loop is 18 miles long. There are several long hills, including one from Lowman Beach to Lincoln Park and one from the Fauntleroy Ferry up to Marine View Dr. There is no easy way to make it much shorter as a loop. One possibility would be to ride an out and back route by parking at Kellogg Island and riding to Alki Point. This would be entirely flat and most of it would be on a bike/pedestrian trail.
In 1903, when landscape architect John Charles Olmsted proposed a 20-mile-long series of parks and parkways that stretched across Seattle from Seward Park to modern day Discovery Park, he also included several parkways around West Seattle. This route map covers some of these green spaces in the southwest part of Seattle, although none of the parkways was ever built. This bike route begins along Alki beach, the point where Seattle’s founding families first landed on November 11, 1851. Alki is a native term for “by and by.” The first settlers named the area New York Alki.
Numbers Below Correspond to Numbers on Map
1. Pioneer banker and park commissioner Ferdinand Schmitz and his wife donated most of the land to the city between 1908 and 1912. It contains some of the last remnants of old growth forest in the city, including towering Douglas firs, western red cedars, and western hemlocks. A recent restoration project has restored the lower end of the park.
2. First named Point Williams by Lt. Charles Wilkes in 1857, the park became city property in 1922, when it received its present name. Beautiful views of the Olympics can be found on several miles of trails that wind through Lincoln Park. Colman Pool began life as a tide-fed swimming hole and was filled with concrete in 1941. It is the only heated saltwater pool in the city.
3. Few people visit the Seola Park green space, which the city protected in 1989. It contains one of the largest and best groves of madrona trees in the city. A short trail winds down into the majestic, cinnamon-colored trees.
4. The Olmsted Brothers recognized the importance of preserving Seattle’s steep slopes, most of which were not suitable as building sites. Their proposed parkways for West Seattle were situated along these sites. Red alders and bigleaf maples cover the bluff that runs along the Duwamish. Both are fast growing trees that colonize disturbed habitat.
5. Shown on early maps as the largest island (200 acres) in a group of five, Kellogg was originally shaped like a massive slug, long and narrow with two tentacle-like expanses extending north. It appears to have been named for two signers of the original plat of 1870, S. Kellogg, county auditor, and David Kellogg, notary. In 1891, the name Edwards Island replaced Kellogg, with the original name not appearing again until the 1930s.