Mountaineers Books offers a new guide from writer who visited all of the city’s 400+ parks and wrote about her favorites.

Share story

In 2009 Seattle writer and hiker Linnea Westerlind set out with the naive goal of visiting every Seattle park in a year.

Four years later, she’d accomplished her goal — except the “one year” part. Crikey, there are more than 400 parks in this town.

A spinoff from that loony endeavor is her handy new guidebook, “Discovering Seattle Parks: A Local’s Guide,” which gives concise and user-friendly write-ups of 114 of her favorite parks. (What’s excluded? That might be explained by this “Fun Fact” at the front of the book: “There are more than 150 parks smaller than 1 acre, including many that are the size of a small square of lawn. And several contain nothing more than a square of lawn.”)

But all the great parks are here. Plus you’ll learn about “one of the best hidden parks in Seattle” (it’s on Queen Anne Hill) and discover other little-known gems such as Capitol Hill’s Streissguth Gardens (still maintained by the couple of garden-loving neighbors who married and merged their gardens). A “test read” about my neighborhood parks shows that Westerlind’s descriptions are spot on.

There are 150 color photos, helpful icons (denoting barbecue grills, spray parks and more), and maps when you need them. (Mountaineers Books, June 2017, $18.95)

— Brian J. Cantwell