Luther Burbank Park is a waterfront park at the North end of Mercer Island, offering three miles of family- and pet-friendly trails with waterfront access, wetlands, and recreational activities. The park covers 77 acres, also including a children's play area, restrooms, an off-leash dog area, tennis courts, fishing piers, beaches, earthwork sculpture, and picnic areas.
The park grounds were originally home to the Calkins Hotel in the late nineteenth century. The area next became the site of a private school teaching farm work and study. It has also housed the administrative offices of the King County Park System. The City of Mercer Island purchased the site in 2003.
The park has a mix of paved and unpaved trails, mostly in the north-south direction. From the south parking lot, head north along the trail, past The Source, a spiral earthwork sculpture by John Hoge. The pathways will take you past playgrounds and dog play areas to Calkins Point, at the north end of the Island. Near Calkins Point, to the west, are wetlands.
Returning south, follow the trail that takes you to the shore (near the off-leash dog area) along an unpaved path, with views of Beaux Arts. Continue past the fishing piers, through forest, to the beach area. Along the way, enjoy the sights of mixed evergreen and broadleaf forest, and the many Himalayan blackberry bushes--a creation of the amateur botanist Luther Burbank. There will be almost no thigh-burning here--the total elevation change from shore to maximum altitude is 120 feet--but there will be many opportunities for lakeside views and (somewhat) quiet reflection.