Over at the Facebook page the other day, reader Amy asked if there was a paved walk between Anthony’s at Pt.Defiance and Owens Beach.
There is. In fact, it’s called the promenade, and I thought it would be a fun outing for a third installment in my hidden Pt.Defiance series.
There are several ways to get to both Owens Beach and the other end of the promenade, which begins just after the boathouse. Most folks simply drive 5 mile drive until they see the signage for Owens Beach. The parking lot is at the bottom and on the sides of the steep hill. Another idea is to take the first entrance as you come into the park as if you’re headed to the ferry. Instead of going to the ferry parking, stay left and go past the marina and Anthony’s restaurant until you get to the F parking lot right behind the boathouse. Make sure you don’t park in spots marked for Anthony’s or overnight Marina guests.
From here, you have a lovely walk that heads towards the beach. Look to your left to gawk at some of the park’s amazing evergreens. There are trails that lead up through the woods to various picnic areas. Please only take official trails. You’ll see lots of paths on the steep cliffs, but these aren’t safe for the environment or your kiddos.
Be sure to also look down-all along the walkway you’ll find poems written by local writers. As Henry says, “There’s letters here!”
Midway through the promenade you’ll start finding stairs to the beach. You can take them or continue all the way towards Owens Beach. The section right in front of the Owens Beach parking lot tends to be busy, especially on hot summer days. There are bathrooms, a snack shack, and kayak rentals. There are also lots of interesting driftwood pieces. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ducking a photo shoot-it’s a popular spot for engagement and family photos.
If crowds aren’t your style, walking just a few minutes in either direction will usually give you a slice of beach to yourself. The beach itself is typical Northwest style-lots of fine gravel and barnacled rocks. It’s a great place to look for sea critters, but don’t expect to make sand castles unless you come on a low tide day. Also be aware that there is a drop off here, so keep a close eye on waders.
If you want to actually get out on the water, you can rent boats and motors by the hour at the boathouse. They also sell all manor of fishing gear if you want to use the pier right next to it. The pilings are great places to spot sea stars.
Your little transportation lovers might also enjoy walking to the right to take a look at the sailboats moored at the marina. You’ll need to be mindful of ferry traffic if you do this. The ferry here is headed to Vashon, and it’s a great one to walk on to and just ride round trip.
Don’t forget that if you head to Owens Beach today, you can be part of Tiptoeing Through the Tidepools.
Missed Part I or Part II of this series? I’ll admit, it’s been kind of a drawn out one. In Part One, I talked about the Native Garden, the duck ponds, and the walking paths around the pagoda. Sadly, the pagoda burned in an arson fire, but most of the paths are still accessible. Part II of the series was about the rhododendron gardens in the middle of the park, which should be blooming soon, though I confess I keep forgetting to check!
Got your own favorite spot in Pt.Defiance? Leave a comment and share!