Maury Island Marine Park
HIKE DESCRIPTION: Maury Island Marine Park is a 320-acre park on the east side of the island. With big views, beachcombing and an uphill workout, the park packs plenty into a short hike.
Starting from above on 244th Street, visitors can take in a sweeping view that on clear days includes Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and Tacoma. Below, almost the entire trail system can be seen. The trail drops to the beach, where visitors can enjoy a mile of shoreline.
The work comes when it’s time to climb back to the trailhead. The trail ascends about 480 feet.
For an easier walk (or to warm up your knees before heading down to the beach), a short and mostly flat loop takes hikers to the highest point on Maury Island, 492 feet above sea level
Descending to the beach and taking the highpoint loop require only 2 miles of hiking, but the trip can easily be extended with a stroll on the beach or other short sections of trail and a maintenance trail (closed to vehicles).
DIRECTIONS: From the Tahlequah ferry landing, head north on the Vashon Highway, veering right to stay on the highway after climbing the hill. Turn right on Quartermaster Drive to access Maury Island. Once on Maury Island, follow Dockton Road to Southwest 240th Street and turn left. Turn right on 59th Street then left on 244th Street. Find parking and the trailhead near the overlook.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 2.
ELEVATION GAIN: 492 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year round.
MAP: A map is available at the King County Park website. Maps are also sometimes available at the trailhead kiosks.
ALSO: Maury Island Marine Park was once a gravel mine. The park is open to equestrians and mountain bikes. Rare stands of Pacific madrone trees can be found in the park. The park is a destination for SCUBA diving. Reach the island via the Vashon ferry. Boats depart regularly from Tacoma, Southworth and Fauntleroy. Fees are $14.30 for a vehicle 14 feet or shorter and driver, plus additional fees for extra passengers ($5.25 ages 19-64 and $2.60 ages 6-18 and 65 and older). The fee for cyclists is $6.25 for ages 16-64 and $3.60 for ages 6-18 and 65 and older. There are many other hiking opportunities on the islands. A list is available on the King County Parks website. Dogs are permitted on the trails. They must be leashed, and owners must clean up after them. Several geocaches are hidden along the trails.