Sometimes when I'm standing atop one of the cliffs in Discovery Park, I like to pretend what I'm seeing is what the first settlers experienced on their arrival; it's so refreshing and awe-inspiring. But then I remember that the coastline was a lot more forested and difficult to navigate back then, that a lot of grooming and maintenance is required to keep the park in the shape it is in. (How else would all the strollers, marathoners and dogs manage it?) Still, I think the magic about it keeps it among my favorite places in the city.
Whether you're going on a hike, bird-watching, playing ultimate frisbee or doing a trail run, Discovery Park harbors a wealth of activity. You get basketball courts and a visitor's center, trails and water fountains, all side-by-side. The park is especially great with out-of-town guests; you get to enjoy nature without leaving Seattle city limits. I love how in the span of a few miles, I can hike through some small forest, walk along a sandy beach and stand in the middle of what feels like a mini prairie. Although many of the visitors travel in groups, I still find Discovery Park a great place for solitude. Depending on the day, you can spend an hour exploring and not run into anyone. And even if there are lots of people around--as is usually true on a sunny summer day--it's hard to beat the views.
If you are going for a run in the rain, there's pretty decent tree coverage on the Loop Trail. If there hasn't been a lot of recent precipitation, the trails are usually manageable still, with limited pools of water to spoil your jaunt.
If you're letterboxing, I will note that I've never been successful at finding any of the boxes. Perhaps I'm going at the wrong time, perhaps my navigational skills are that off. I have a sinking suspicion, though, park officials are diligent about removing any foreign articles found.
I've never visited the park after sundown. I've heard interesting rumors about the goings-on once the sun has set, but I cannot confirm.