Outdoor Seattle

City parks can be very healing places

Madenbauer Beach Park is a spot, in a very busy city, that qualifies as the “rose” I am trying to smell.  I find that if I sit on the steps that lead down to the beach and close my eyes, I can slow down time.  If I lean back on those same steps and look up at the clouds I can use my mind to move them across the horizon, and form them into patterns.  An incredible luxury, in a busy, stressful, world that is in walking distance.

The park fills a ravine that runs down to the Lake Washington waterfront and Madenbauer Bay.  The park is a wonderful fusion of grassy lawns, sophisticated landscaping and the inclusion of native plants.  It blends the pacific rainforest with urban design.  It is a wonderfully tranquil, forested spot just a short distance from downtown Bellevue.  There is a tiny sand-and-gravel swimming beach, with broad lakeside steps to sit on and soak your feet.  The limited picnic tables that overlook the beach are open most of the spring and fall and available on a first-come first-serve basis when the park is full during the summer.  You can reach the park from Interstate 405 (northbound or southbound), You would take the Northeast Eighth Street exit and head west. After passing Bellevue Square shopping center, turn left on 98th Avenue Northeast. The park entrance road is on the right in four blocks.  For those who are not driving and using mass transit  you would walk from the Bellevue Transit Center in downtown Bellevue which is served by Metro buses (206-553-3000 or http://transit.metrokc.gov) Sound Transit buses (800-201-4900 or www.soundtransit.org).  I use the bus to get me to downtown Bellevue and then I go on by bike. Click Madenbauer Beach Park for a map.

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