Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Westside Beach Adventure (South)

A couple weeks ago I posted an adventure that included all the waterfront
parks along the north end of Beach Drive so here's one about our adventures along the south end of Beach Drive and Fauntleroy Way.

This one covers four parks—two well known and two lesser known—plus optional side trips. Similar to the north end adventure, although this one is twice as long, you can do all four stops in a day, a couple at a time or only one at a time.  

It's organized from north to south but you can do it in any direction or order and choose to walk, drive or bike. If you want to create a loop, remember you can walk along the beach during a low tide as long as you stay below the tideline. 

Which, BTW, the next low (minus) tides starts Tuesday, August 17th and goes through Sunday, August 22nd. For exact times and tides go here for a tide chart. I find anything -1.5 and lower is best for viewing sea life and you can learn more about that in an earlier post I did about low tides.

Length: 2 miles one way

Map: Here's a detailed Google map I created. If you're walking or biking from stop to stop here are a few tips. From Lowman Beach to Lincoln Park you'll follow a narrow section of Beach Drive that looks like an alley but connects the two parks. From Lincoln Park to Cove Park you'll use the sidewalk on Fauntleroy Way and the same to get to Brace Point.

1) Lowman Beach
7017 Beach Drive SW
A small park located just north of Lincoln Park is great for all sorts of beach play—building driftwood forts, looking for sea critters at low tides, picnics, l
aunching paddleboards/kayaks and bonus is set of swings. Do note that starting in September most of the park will be closed for repairs to the seawall.

Parking: On the street. Can sometimes be hard to find a spot near the park. 

Side trip:
  • Murray CSO Control Facility (across the street from Lowman Beach)
    7018 Murray Ave SW
    A wet weather facility completed in 2017 to help with managing stormwater and sewage from overflowing into the Puget Sound. The site includes a rain garden, a green roof and three interpretive signs at the top of the stairs that explain what the facility is all about. 
Special find: Between Lowman Beach and Lincoln Park keep your eye out for a "Take A Treasure" display between the two parks.

2) Lincoln Park
8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
A go-to park for many reasons but for this adventure we’re staying along the water which is great for exploring the beach, building driftwood forts and even stopping for a swim. There is also a set of swings at the south end of the path before you head up a hill and out of the park. 

Special find: Just north of Colman Pool on top of a big rock is an ever changing "LOVE" display made from pieces of nature that you could add to.

Parking: Two lots. The one on the south end of the park is the easiest for reaching the beach and the other one is in the middle near the playfields and playground/wading pool. There is plenty of street parking but make sure to watch for the parking restrictions so you don’t get towed.

Side trip:

  • Stop at Coleman Pool for a swim.
  • Take one of the trails up the hill to stop at the playground and/or wading pool or do it on your way back if you are doing the adventure as a loop. There are kiosks throughout the park with trail maps or here's one from a while ago that I think is still fairly relevant. 
3) Cove Park
4897 SW Barton Street
Next to the Fauntleroy Ferry terminal is a small park with beach access and wonderful art. At the kiosk, you will see a brochure that tells the story of the artist, Thomas E. Jay, and highlights several items on a self-guided tour of the park. Make sure to keep your eye out for unusual items that are part of the path—a horse bit, a tiny magnifying glass—and once at the beach read the story that goes along with the raven sculpture by the sealing canoe.

Parking: None close by but could park on a near-by street or in the South Lot at Lincoln Park and use the sidewalk along Fauntleroy Way.

Side trip:
  • Hop a ferry to Vashon or Southworth and ride it round trip.
  • Cross the street to check out this little park, which is part of a salmon walk post I did.
  • Between the ferry dock and the park is the Barton Street Pump. Similar to the Murray CSO Control Facility, which was a side trip across the street from Lowman Beach, there's a kiosk explaining what this facility does.
4) SW Brace Point Drive Public Shore
Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Brace Point
I just discovered this hidden sliver of shoreline this year and have returned to visit several times. As you head down Fauntleroy Way SW look for small blue sign with the words "Shore View" where the street intersects with SW Brace Point Drive. Turn right (towards the water) to walk down what seems like an alley-like driveway to the beach.

Parking: Street parking.