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Saltwater State Park
2 miles south of Des Moines on State Route 509, King County.


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Saltwater State Park

Saltwater State Park is an 88-acre marine camping park with 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound. The park is located halfway between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle. The cities jointly and literally buried a hatchet in the park as a symbol of an end to their mutual competition. The park offers beautiful views and wildlife-watching opportunities.

Location:
Located two miles south of Des Moines, Wash., near Sea-Tac International Airport.

Acreage:
87.84 acres with 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline.

Acquired:
The park was acquired in seven parcels between 1929 and 1974, for a total cost of $46,772.61.

Historical Background:
The park was originally presented April 24, 1926, through the cooperative efforts of the Seattle/Tacoma Associated Young Men's Business Club, co-sponsored by the Seattle Star and Tacoma Times, dedicated August 20, 1933. During the 1930s the CCCs built the first facilities, manager's residence and shop, and roughed in the road and trail. In the early 1950s, the creek bed was moved to the north to enlarge the parking area and extend the beach.

Facilities:
Three residences, 4 comfort stations, 4 picnic shelters, 1 kitchen shelter, group camp, storage/registration booth, 2 vault toilets, 52 tent campsites, 290 car parking, 128 picnic tables, 30 pedestal stoves, 150' of unguarded beach, sunken barge and tire reef for scuba divers, scuba rinse station, 2.0 miles of road, 2.0 miles of trail, 3 buoys, trailer dump station. Saltwater contains an underwater park.

Of Special Interest:
The park features tide pools and marine life, including salmon spawning in McSorley Creek. There is an underwater artificial reef for scuba divers. The park is on the flight path of Sea-Tac International Airport.
The upper trails of the park have beautiful views of Maury and Vashon Islands, the Olympic Mountains, and spectacular sunsets.
Several educational programs are available. The Tidelands Stewardship Training program is offered March through May, with clock-hour credit for school teachers. "Teach on the Beach," a youth summer camp, is offered in July and August. The camp also features an active Junior Ranger program. For information on park programs, call (253) 661-4956.

Activities:
Trails

Water Activities
Diving
Fishing (saltwater)

Other
Beachcombing
Bird Watching
2 Fire Circles
1 Horseshoe pit
Interpretive Activities
Sailboarding
2 Volleyball Fields
Wildlife Viewing

The park has an underwater, artificial reef on Puget Sound. The area is often used for scuba diving and fishing.

The park offers three trails for hiking and biking. The park can be noisy, as it is located in the flight path of a major airport.

Featured Creatures
Mammals
Foxes
Squirrels

Birds
Crows or Ravens
Doves or Pigeons
Ducks
Eagles
Gulls
Hawks
Herons
Hummingbirds
Ospreys
Owls
Quail
Woodpeckers

Fish & Sea Life
Clams
Crabs
Mussels
Octopuses
Oysters
Sea Birds
Sea Cucumbers
Seals
Shellfish
Squid
Starfish
Whales
Eel
Perch
Salmon
Shark
Trout

Environmental Features
Plant Life
Cedar
Douglas Fir
Hemlock
Spruce
Alder
Ash
Birch
Oak
Poplar
Rhododendron
Rose
Berries
Ferns
Moss or Lichens
Seaweed

Driving Directions:
From the south:
Take exit #147 off I-5. Follow signs west, and turn right on 16th St. past the Safeway store (sign missing). Then follow signs to park. Turn on Marine View Dr., which runs through the park. Turn left into the park.

From the north:
Take exit #149 off of I-5, go west, then turn south on Hwy. 99 (sign missing). Follow the signs into the park. Turn right on 240th at the Midway Drive-in. Turn left on Marine View Dr. and turn right into the park.

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Courtesy of Washington State Park and Recreation Commission

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