Dockton Forest and Maury Island Natural Area — Explore Vashon Island’s grand park

 

Quick Facts:

Location: Vashon Island

Land Agency: King County Parks

Round Trip: More than 10 miles of trails

Elevation Gain: up to 450 feet

Contact: King County Parks

Detailed Information: Urban Trails Seattle (Mountaineers Books)

Notes: Dogs allowed on leash

Access: From Seattle take Washington State Ferry from Fauntleroy (West Seattle) to Vashon Island Ferry Dock. Then drive south on Vashon Highway passing through Vashon center. Turn left onto SW 204th Street and soon afterward bear left onto SW Ellisport Road. Continue and turn right onto George Edwards Road (Dockton Road SW).  Follow this road onto Maury Island coming to Dockton Park at 4.4 miles.

From Tacoma take Washington State Ferry from Point Defiance to Tahlequah Ferry Dock on Vashon Island. Then drive north on the Vashon Highway and turn right onto SW Quartermaster Drive. Continue to Maury Island. Bear right onto George Edwards Road (Dockton Road SW) and continue for 3.5 miles to Dockton Park.

Good to Know: kid-friendly, dog-friendly, beach walking, snow free winter hikes, mountain biking,                                        Practice Leave No Trace principles

 

At 426 acres, the Dockton Forest and abutting Maury Island Natural Area make up one of the largest tracts of public land on Vashon Island. Here more than 10 miles of multi-use trails traverse attractive forests and towering coastal bluffs, and lead to a sprawling beach. The Maury Island Natural Area was owned by a gravel mining consortium which had plans for a controversial massive excavation. After a long battle spearheaded by local citizens and conservation groups, the mine was stopped. The former quarry lands along with the abutting Dockton Forest (transferred from DNR) were then transferred to King County Parks.

From the Dockton Park trailhead you can hike a series of trails and old woods roads through a forest of Douglas fir and madronas. The best hiking here however is via the old quarry access road. Take it for one mile winding down 300 feet into the quarry passing rusting conveyors and other old excavating machinery and reaching the old dock site and beach access.

A trail leading left from the old quarry access road is another great option. Follow this old road along the rim of the old quarry to excellent bluff top viewpoints. Enjoy sprawling views across Puget Sound to the Issaquah Alps and Mount Rainier.

When the tides are favorable, enjoy great coastal walking—usually all alone on the park’s one mile long cobbled beach. Walk along the base of steep forested slopes content that this coastline—the longest undeveloped stretch in King County didn’t become an open pit mine.

 

For detailed descriptions (including maps) for these trails as well as many others on Vashon Island; and the cities of Seattle, Renton, and Kent—pick up a copy of my best selling Urban Trails Seattle and start discovering wonderful trails close to Washington’s largest city!

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