At the south end of Warren G. Magnuson Park lies a hidden gem called Promontory Point. Often overlooked for the park's larger ball field and swimming beach areas, Promontory Point has something special to offer, a wild outcrop providing habitat for native plants and animals and a peaceful place to walk and take in Seattle's natural beauty.
Beginning at the east end of the main parking lot, follow the path south along the picturesque shoreline of Lake Washington, past several small sites you will find dotted with Douglas fir, nootka rose, red alder, and Oregon grape. As the trail leads on you will come to the extensive reforestation project known as the Flyway. A King County grant helped extend the wooded bluff to the shoreline, enhancing a major habitat zone crucial to birds, fish, and other wildlife. Here you will find a wide variety of native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers. Check out the informational kiosk to find out more.
From here it is up to you to choose your path, veer left and follow the steep incline past edge plantings along the park's southern boundary, or veer right following the main trail where vine maples and fir trees line the edge of the woods leading you in a longer loop towards Promontory Point.
If you do choose the longer loop trail you will pass an exciting new project hugging the east slope of Kingfisher Basin. A Washington Native Plant Society grant in conjunction with Green Seattle Partnership donations have made planting this area possible. Look to your left to see the new wildflower meadow edged by woods sheltering brush piles and habitat mounds watched over by the distinctive black-painted bat boxes. To your right you will find the Education Pavilion with a trail map and art created by our volunteer stewards.
Behind the pavilion is the Butterfly Garden created and maintained by the Northwest Montessori School, where you will find an informational kiosk listing native butterflies. Following the side path here will lead you to the stewarded north entrance site.
Back on the loop trail you will now find yourself in Kingfisher Basin. Enjoy the bench overlooking the lake or take in several stewarded sites that come alive each spring as the leaves unfurl and the swallows return. You might even see or hear a kingfisher or bald eagle flying overhead. In summer this area is active with butterflies and goldfinches, and any time of year you are likely to find towhees, chickadees, woodpeckers, and wrens busy foraging. Climb the stairs and see if you can spot the evergreen huckleberry, Indian plum, and vine maple growing amid the sword fern, red alder, and Douglas fir as you look out across the Basin.
At the top of the stairs Promontory Point crests in a sharp bluff overlooking the lake and the Cascade Range beyond. Here the path splits again. Off to your right, passing another informational kiosk, follow the trail along the crest for breathtaking views as you discover a corner site growing lush with maturity as the path switches back to reconnect with the main corridor trail. If instead you take the trail leftwards be sure to admire both sides of the path, with salal and evergreen huckleberry on the right, and oceanspray and vine maple on the left as you near the next informational kiosk and bench.
Now you will find yourself walking down the Corridor, where work is slowly progressing on grubbing out the blackberry thickets around the plantings of native black hawthorne, baldhip rose, and hardhack. Placed here are many of the botanical signs identifying native species.
As the trail curves to the north you are entering the large meadow area where you will find the bird blind. Keep an eye out for warblers, woodpeckers, and wrens as you stroll around the former Navy firing range. At the end of the meadow walk you will find an exit onto 65th Ave. It's time to turn back, perhaps take one of the trails you passed on the way in.
We hope you enjoy the sights and sounds of Promontory Point. Much effort and thousands of volunteer hours have gone into restoring and enhancing the habitat, not only for the health of the native plants and animals, but for all of us to experience and enjoy.
Evergreen Huckleberry and Salal
Woody Debris Habitat
Promontory Point View