Eagle Landing Park

14641 25th Avenue SW

NOTICE: Eagle Landing Park will be closed September 29, 2020 through December 2020 (estimated) for the Eagle Landing Park Drainage Improvement Project. There will be flagging operations on SW 149th St and 25th Ave SW while work is being performed in the right-of-way. The stairs at Eagle Landing Park remain closed. 

Eagle Landing Park offers 6.21 acres of wooded bluff with an interpretive trail that winds through majestic trees and native undergrowth. Looking up, you may encounter a bald eagle perched high in the treetops. Continuing on, the trail terminates at a view point overlooking Puget Sound.

Eagle Landing Park contains two acres of tidelands and six acres of wooded uplands.

The park entrance is at the west end of SW 149th St and has a five-car paved parking lot.

View Eagle Landing Stairway Project page.

Park History

In the early 1900s, the land known as Eagle Landing Park belonged to the Branson family. The Branson property was a nine-acre wooded waterfront residential lot and was a portion of a 200-acre parcel owned by the Seahurst Land Company. Springs on this land supplied water to local residents.

In 1915, a relative of the owner built a residence in the northern portion of the property, which was upgraded and expanded in the 1930s. A county road through the property was planned, but never built, and has been vacated since 1935. The property was logged a century ago, when much of the timber in Burien, Seahurst, and Gregory Heights was felled to supply wood for America's Liberty Ships in World War I.

The steeply sloped property sits on top of two geologic units (glacial lake clay and silt below and glacial outwash sand and gravel above) deposited during glaciation of Puget Sound in the last Ice Age. Springs trickle from the hillside at an elevation of about 50 feet. The area has a long history of slope instability, according to oral history and the topographic features of the site.

Burien Acquires the Park

Burien assumed ownership of existing King County Parks in 1997. In 2001, the City adopted its first citywide Parks, Recreation and Open Space plan, expressing Burien's desire to add more shoreline property to its park network. The highest-valued land acquisitions were those providing open space, wildlife habitat preservation, and access to natural resources.

In February 2000, Seahurst residents brought an eight-acre site on Puget Sound to the attention of the City. The site included 247 feet of undeveloped shoreline with no seawall (rare for this part of Puget Sound), two acres of tidelands, and six acres of wooded uplands. Acquisition of this site was supported by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, City Council, and Seahurst Community Club. The City Council voted to finalize acquisition of the Branson property in April 2002.

Burien PaRCS department obtained grants to purchase the site, and provide $300,000 toward developing a beach access trail and protecting marine riparian and second-growth forest. In October 2002, the City Council articulated its vision for the park: “To provide an open space where community education and access are in harmony with habitat and critical area preservation as represented in the grant process.”

By 2000, the Bransons had already divided the property into two parts. The City of Burien bought the southern part from the Branson family in 2002 for $954,866. An additional $824,135 was spent to develop the park. The firm of MacLeod Reckord Landscape Architects was selected to work with the City to develop a recommended plan for the park's construction.

The Official Opening

On June 15, 2005, Governor Mike Lowry (Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition), Mayor Noel Gibb, Martha Wyckoff (Trust for Public Land) and Emelie McNett (Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chair) were the featured speakers at the Seahurst's official opening. Lowry, a longtime member of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, was the main speaker at the dedication ceremony, which attracted more than 50 people on the sunny spring day.

Following a brief ceremony, guests were led on a tour of the path to the beach, which included a stop at the eagle viewing area where they saw the eagles that make their home in the tall trees that overlook Puget Sound. Guests climbed down the 257-step metal stairway and explored the pristine beach.