The edge of Lake Washington is dotted with numerous little parks hugging the banks and offering beaches, views, picnic spots, boat launches, and prime trails for running and dog walking. When you first drive down the road, your eyes are naturally drawn to the lake views and you miss the parts of some of these parks which jut back into the neighborhood on the other side of the road. Madrona Park is perhaps the least noticeable of these parks.
I have driven right past (or technically through) Madrona Park several times and sorta just missed it. When you are driving along Lake Washington Boulevard, you tend to just get distracted by the big old beautiful Lake Washington spread out before you. I had seen the park on the map, but tended to say to myself as I got further down the boulevard, “Wait, where was Madrona Park?” I had noticed the beach and old bathhouse and picnic area, but the map indicated that there was more. One day I just decided to go find it. I parked right at the beach area. The beach is unusual, like a giant sandbox. It looks like it might be fun.
Across the street, there are impenetrable-looking woods. I wondered if this could be a park with no paths through it. The dog and I wandered over, and sure enough, we could see small breaks in the leaves leading to pathways. The entrances to the park were almost hidden, like they were doors to an enchanted fairy forest or something. With the right drugs, that might just be true. It is a great little park. Despite its size, we hiked around for quite a while in a setting that seemed like we were in the wilderness. When I wandered near the upper edges of the park, I could see nice houses with big yards peeking through the leaves (including one of my dream houses that looks like it could be a fairy castle in the Black Forest of Germany).
All the natural part of the park clings to the side of a steep hill. It may not be optimal for building houses, but it is a perfect place to enjoy nature and build your glutes at the same time. The lower part of the park, across Lake Washington Boulevard includes a beach and some open grassy areas right on the lake. Its got the usual restrooms and picnic area. It is the perfect environment for a relaxing afternoon.