I spend quite a bit of time venturing to different parks and trails around Seattle to walk my dog, take photos and enjoy a little bit of nature. I created a guide featuring the Best Walks In Seattle over on Do206.com and wanted to list a few of my favorites here as well.
Mercer Slough Nature Park
Located in Bellevue, the Mercer Slough Nature Park offers a sizable wildland escape right in the city of Bellevue. The park offers 7.1 miles of hiking area, a canoe trail, seasonal blueberry farm, picnic areas, restrooms, the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center and more.
When it comes to generating heaping amounts of city view jealousy few sites are quite as valuable as the Seattle Waterfront. Seriously, after seeing months of grey, just getting in a five second view of the Puget Sound ringed by the tree filled/snow capped Cascade mountains makes you realize just how good we have it. Thats why we like to hit up the Waterfront trail by Myrtle Edwards park which has both bike and pedestrian paths that include SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park as well as access to the classic waterfront and shops.
When most people think of a city park they imagine a few swing sets, screaming kiddos, and maybe some trees. All that is a-ok unless you are wanting to get some actual space and escape from the brick and concrete of downtown. That’s why we head to Discovery Park, a 534-acre former military base nestled in the corner of Magnolia that has an incredible array of outdoor options that will satisfy exercise junkies and casual view hunters alike. Take to the upper bluff trail for unparalleled views of the Sound and Olympic Peninsula or stretch those calfs and descend to the waterfront for some beach time. Even better, this park is often less crowded than most trails on I-90, which can end up feeling like hiking queue’s during peak hiking season.
Chief Sealth Trail
Take a long walk on the paved path of the The Chief Sealth Trail. The trail is a 4.5 mile long that runs through southeastern Seattle and the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Chief Sealth Trail starts on S. Snoqualmie and 15 Ave S below Jefferson Park to Kubota Gardens at 51st and S Gazelle Street, with connections to light rail stations along the way.
The University of Washington
The University of Washington is one nice place to snag an education. Equally as nice is the gorgeous campus. Cherry blossoms in the springtime are a must along with exploring the library red square.
Head to West Seattle and enjoy the view of Seattle, boardwalk, beach and maybe a bald eagle in flight if you are lucky.
Washington Park Arboretum Marine Trail
Washington Park Arboretum is one of the most amazing places in Seattle. The 230 acre park, which is operated by the city and the University of Washington, features a botanical garden, fishing areas, several canoe and kayak landings, and plenty of hiking trails, including the unique Arboretum Waterfront Trail. The trail features the largest remaining wetland in Seattle and the floating bridges create a unique experience and plenty of photo opportunities.
Seward Park Loop
A gorgeous view of Mount Rainier and views of the lake make Seward Park Loop an amazing place for a quick walk. It really is the perfect park for a trail walk/run/hike/skate/bike with old growth forest thanks to the 2.5 mile paved loop. Bring your dog and maybe a camera!
Kubota Gardens is a beautiful, Japanese-style garden. 20-stunning acres of hills and valleys, the Kubota Garden features streams, waterfalls, ponds, rock outcroppings and an exceptionally rich and diverse collection of plants and landscaping. This unique urban refuge displays over sixty years of vision, effort and commitment by the Kubota family.
Green Lake Park
Some people love Green Lake Park, some people think that it’s just a giant circle that’s a one-and-done affair. Though, no matter your view this place is packed with swarms of locals on any given sunny day in Seattle and while the path may not hold many surprises, the people watching is top notch. Plus, there are plenty of food options surrounding the lake making it easy to make a full afternoon out of a visit.
Gas Works Park
Rain or shine there is a concrete path that will lead you around the water and the and by the old coal gasification plant. It is one of the most unique parks in the city, if not the state.
Washington Park Loop
You can partake in a nice walk nearly anywhere along Lake Washington and the 61.14 miles of trails (amazing bike ride also we have to say!). The route follows a a mix of trails and city streets, and keeps to mostly residential, but still very scenic areas.
Located in West Seattle, Lincoln Park has 4.6 of walking trails, open fields to run around in and beach access. This is a great spot to watch ferries go back and forth from Vashon Island.
I will keep updating this page as I venture out and find new spots!