Parks & Trails
take a hike
Table of Contents
Bainbridge Island is committed to preserving the island’s rural character. especially places where visitors and residents can take time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds the island today and for the generations to come.
All across the island you will discover parks of all sizes, well-groomed forest trails, walking paths along beaches and waterfronts, with interesting landmarks and features along the way. With 25 parks and 30 walking trails, you will undoubtedly discover your perfect place for peace and tranquility.
You don’t have to go beyond downtown Winslow to begin enjoying a park or a trail. Check out these little gems.
- Located at the corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305, Waypoint Park serves as a gateway to the island. Along the serpentine path, keep an eye out for the graceful “Tribute Baskets” by Portland artist Christine Clark. Standing as eye-catching symbols of the community’s living history, the baskets are a tribute to the cultural contributions of the Suquamish, Japanese, Filipino, and Scandinavians on the island. Sometimes you’ll also see members of the community gathered on the corners to to show their support for a cause or the community. A naturally welcoming place for visitors, take a moment to look around and decide which way to go next.
- Convenient to downtown, The Waterfront Trail is an easygoing introduction to our island. With two loops, you have opportunities to take in different views of the island’s history and habitats. The western loop takes you through town, with views of the harbor and marina, restaurants and more. Enjoy gorgeous views of Eagle Harbor and its many boat moorings. The eastern loop starts at the top of the ferry parking lot and wanders through a residential neighborhood and then along the beach at Hawley Cove, ending with a path into a wooded
area. The trails are suitable for all skill levels and dogs ok, as long as they are on a leash. It’s a great place to bird-watch—keep an eye out for eagles!
- Waterfront Park is one of the most popular gathering places on the island for both residents and visitors. Concerts, festivals, and other community events are often happening on the extensive lawn areas. You’ll love the gorgeous harbor views and watching the boat activity on the city dock. Enjoy a picnic at one of the benches, or let the kids run around at the playground.
- Enter Red Pine Park through the Torii, an ornamental gate at the entrance to a shrine, and you’ll feel immediately more relaxed. Designed by the late Junkoh Hari of Bainbridge Gardens fame, enjoy the flower beds, manicured lawns and heirloom fruit trees. The park also has gorgeous rhododendron, heather, and Japanese maple. The pea patch (private) grows beautiful seasonal vegetables. Breathe in the long-needled red pine fragrance, and be at peace. A tiny secret gem, Red Pine Park is right next door to the Harbor Public House. Visit the park, then stop in for a pint!
From more traditional and populated park settings, to rustic and lush forest paths opening to sweeping water views, the center of our island offers many diverse options for the park and trail lovers.,
- A former naval radio station Battle Point Park is 90 acres of open space — a place to play all day. The kids will love the giant play structures, watching ducks in the ponds, and running around the open lawns. For the sports-minded, you’ll find fields for soccer or softball, courts for roller-hockey, basketball, tennis, and the fastest growing sport in the nation, Bainbridge-born Pickleball. Bring a Frisbee and give the 9-hole disc-golf course a try. Walking paths, jogging trails, picnic shelters, and benches offer places for moments of quiet reflection. Or take up your hiking game and pick up the Cross Island long-distance trail here. Maybe you’ll meet up with a horse or two on the trail or in the corral. And keep an eye out the locals cultivating community garden plots (pea patches). Stargazers will want to take a look at the telescope at the Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory, managed by the Battle Point Astronomical Association.
- For a quieter experience, visit the Fairy Dell Trail. Hike through a wooded ravine thick with ferns and ivy and ridged by private homes. Stone steps at the end lead you to a sprawling tidal flat with great views of Keyport, the Olympics, and the Agate Pass Bridge. At one time, the Mosquito Fleet landed here. Then called the Venice ferry pier, the land was dotted with small campsites and cabins, and throngs of summer goers made their way up the trail to get to Venice, today’s Battle Point Park.
- For incredible coast-to-coast experience, make time to follow the Cross Island Trail. With
amazing views along the way, the trail extending from Arrow Point on the west side of the island to Manitou Beach on the east side. Just shy of 5 miles, you can do parts of the trail or all of it. Enjoy spectacular views of the
Olympic Mountains, the Seattle Skyline, and Mount Rainier while hiking through majestic
- In the middle of the Cross Island Trail is the tranquil Grand Forest. This lush, magical forest is dense with fir and cedar and offers gorgeous walking trails. Select from the main Grand Forest West Loop, a short 1.2 miles through pristine forest and fern, the more secluded Grand Forest East Main Loop trail, or one of the many trail offshoots. East meets West in a gorgeous 5-acre meadow, offering dramatic and sweeping views.
Worth the car ride, the north side of the island has several attractions drawing forest, garden, and water lovers alike.
- One of the Pacific Northwest’s best examples of natural beauty is the world-class Bloedel Reserve, a true wonder of nature and an incredible island treasure. Named one of the 10 Best Botanical Gardens in North America, this 150-acre sanctuary features a series of curated gardens, structural features, and distinctive landscape. The well-groomed trails take you through a peaceful Bird Marsh, a stunning Japanese Garden, a mysterious Moss Garden, and more. Open year-round, with special seasonal events. Be sure to check out the gift shop for gorgeous nature-inspired books and gifts.
- Fay Bainbridge Park is a 17-acre full-service park with 1420 feet of saltwater shoreline with
sweeping views of Puget Sound and the Cascades. The park has a newly renovated play area – guarded by a pirate – and is a great place to enjoy a picnic, beach volleyball, or horseshoes. You can rent a cabin, or if camping is more your style, reserve an RV or tent campsite.
- George Anson Meigs was an island pioneer, lumber baron, shipbuilder, and founder of Port
Madison. Meigs Park was once the dairy farm he established to supply his Port Madison mill
town. Today, it is a beautiful meadow with many peaceful trails. Look for the ruins of old farm buildings, a quiet pond, and a hidden wetland, the biggest on the island.
Beach or forest, (or even graveyard?!) the south side of our island has many opportunities for gorgeous, sometimes historical, exploration.
- With over 7 miles of trails to walk in wild, mossy forest, Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve is a gorgeous example of a lush Northwest forest and wildlife sanctuary. The lake was likely formed by a glacier that left a large ice chunk within its depression. Throughout the 540-acre park, explore the many path loops of various length and difficulty
level. Enjoy mature second-growth conifer forests, lush with Douglas fir, hemlock and red cedar. Hike next to wetlands and small ponds, home to a variety of waterfowl, and enjoy the glorious yellow pond lilies that cover the lake in the summer.
- A classic sandy beach, Pritchard Park is a wonderful place to play. The 50-acre park includes a
backdrop of upland forest and extensive water views of Eagle Harbor. Enjoy the ferries as they
come and go while your kids and dogs splash around in Puget Sound. Before you leave, be sure
to visit the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, commemorating the
internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
- One of our most interesting and unique trails is the Blakely Cemetery Trail. What it lacks in length (it’s a mere .3 miles) it makes up for in elevation. The reward for reaching the top is a visit to a fascinating cemetery dating back to 1880. Explore the rich collection of markers memorializing the mill workers, Asian immigrants, and European
homesteaders and others who first settled Bainbridge Island.
For a full list of all available parks and trails, please visit the Bainbridge Parks & Trails Finder sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District.