If you take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, I recommend you visit a magnificent estate, the Bloedel Reserve, located in the northeast of the island.
Described as a wilderness museum, meditation, or natural work of art, the 150 acres Reserve, imagined and created by Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, is splendid in many ways.
You cross as you wish, different paths, botanical and landscaped gardens, all wonderfully maintained.
In turn, a meadow, an old sheepfold then a pond before discovering a sumptuous property, the Bloedel Residence. This house dates from 1931 and the Bloedel couple lived there from 1951 to 1986. Today, it hosts exhibitions, concerts, cultural events, and weddings.
Behind this house, you have sensational views of Puget Sound.
By following the discovery trail of the Reserve, you follow a signposted route with several hiking trails at your disposal.
You will then admire a waterfall, then a wide variety of trees covered with moss, flowers, plants, and fruit trees.
Take your time to enjoy the beauty of the landscape that awaits you.
At the end of the forest, the entrance to a Japanese garden dotted with sand and large stones invites you to meditate. The traditional house, characterized by tatami floors, sliding doors, and wooden verandas, built-in 1962 was designed by architect Paul Hayden Kirk. It is surrounded by a small bridge and many plants.
You continue your way through a moss garden, a large pond, and a path of camellias which brings you back to the entrance of the Reserve.
The walk is superb, I recommend it in all seasons! To get there, take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island (35 minutes). The Reserve is on the northeast side of the island, 15 minutes from the terminal by car or bus. Be sure to book your entrance ticket in advance, it is mandatory. Visit the BI RIDE website for bus schedules and reservations.
Elisabeth Le Meur