This “walk” is really more of an urban hike. It totals more than 10 miles, round trip and takes about 4 hours to complete.
Here are two different routes to/from the water taxi dock on Alki. Our destination was actually Marination Ma Kai for lunch and to fortify ourselves for the walk back. The first route takes us down through the Whitlock Woods, for a longer walk but with more trails. The return is shorter, but through neighborhoods and with more street crossings.
Obviously you could go either direction on these walks, but I’ll describe them in the direction that we traveled. Hopefully the reverse is not an issue, but I’ll try to call out anything that is not obvious.
GOOGLE MAPS NOTE: Google sometimes chooses to split maps into parts, which is why I display the two pieces below. When you click on the “View Larger Map” link, you may receive the entire map or you may be able to page between the two parts. My apologies.
The Long Way
- Distance: 5.5 miles
- Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Starting point: 14th Ave SW & SW Holly St (Elevation 340 ft)
- Ending point: Seacrest Park (Elevation 15 ft)
Begin by heading North into the Whitlock Woods. If you are not familiar with this trail, please refer to my Dump Truck Run walk. Follow the trail down to Highland Park Way.
At Highland Park Way, walk downhill to West Marginal Way. There is actually sidewalk for much of the way, but it is buried and overgrown. You may have to beat your way through here. Cross West Marginal at the light and turn left. You are now on the Duwamish Trail.
Follow the Duwamish trail North, being sure to side trip into Herring’s House Park, which offers views of Kellogg Island, wildlife, some art and history.
As you exit the park, be sure to look across the street to the Duwamish Tribe’s Longhouse and Cultural Center. Admission is free. If you cross here, do so with great caution. Cars and trucks fly on this road.
Continuing North, you will be forced to cross the street at Terminal 105, with the trail continuing on the sidewalk. Fortunately there is a crosswalk with a responsive light for that purpose.
As you approach the West Seattle Bridge (Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge), you will take a slight left onto SW Marginal Pl. At the intersection of SW Marginal Pl, West Marginal Way SW and 17th Ave SW, there is a memorial to the immigrant fisherman that lived and worked here.
As you reach the end of the street, note the staircase to the left which would take you to the top of Pigeon Point. That may be included in another walk, but not this one. A few steps ahead is the intersection of the Duwamish Trail with the Alki Trail. If you were to turn right here, you would cross the lower level bridge. Instead, take the left that will take you downhill. The harder left would take you into the Youngstown neighborhood or Delridge. We’ll use that path on the way back.
Cross Delridge and then West Marginal Way to continue on the Alki Trail which runs behind the Chelan Cafe. Now you just stay on the Alki Trail (which turns right to run along Harbor Ave). until you arrive at Seacrest Park, which has both the Water Taxi and Marination.
On the way back, consider a walk through Jack Block Park, which has some nice viewing spots.
The Short Way
- Distance: 4.73 miles
- Time: 1 hour 36 minutes
- Starting point: Seacrest Park (Elevation 15 ft)
- Ending point: 14th Ave SW & SW Holly St (Elevation 340 ft)
Head back South along the Alki Trail, following it left as it turns next to the West Seattle Bridge. After emerging from behind the Chelan Cafe, cross West Marginal and then Delridge Way. Continue up the Alki Trail under the bridge until you reach the three way intersection. Turn right, back towards Delridge, then take the first trail to the left, which will connect to 22nd Avenue SW.
Continue South on 22nd Avenue SW. Just before you reach SW Andover Street, you will see three houses on the left that are clearly empty and being allowed to deteriorate. All three houses are owned by the same person who owns the eyesore houses up across from Riverview Playfield, at 12th Avenue SW and SW Webster St, as well as a number of other derelict houses in West Seattle.
Most disturbing (to me) is that the first house you come to was the one used as Frances Farmer’s house in the film Frances. You can see a little bit of the house in this clip at Amazon. It is the one that she heads to, though you mostly see the porch and stairs.
Above is a picture of the house at the time this was written. Below are two film captures from the film Frances. Note that you can see the address on the first one.
At SW Andover Street, you have a choice. You can follow our map and go up to 21st or you can continue up 22nd and climb the stairs, at Genesee St to 21st. Then continue South on 21st Ave (either way). Be careful crossing 22nd Ave, which you have to do in order to continue on 21st Ave. Follow the arterial as it turns into SW Dawson St, and then 16th Ave SW.
Continue South on 16th Ave SW. Consider stopping in to walk through the Arboretum or the Chinese Garden at SSCC. Both are on the North end of campus and both are free.
Turn left at SW Holly St. After 15th Ave SW, there is a rough trail which will take you up to 14th Ave SW.