The Green Lake trail is a very popular paved trail within the Green Lake Park which loops around its namesake lake. It provides scenic views of the lake and various water fowl like ducks and heron that frequent the lake, passes through grooves of trees and abundant grassy areas and even provides far off views of the skyscrapers of downtown Seattle.
As mentioned above, this trail is popular and has people on it at all times and in all weather, so don’t expect a wilderness experience. Rather, this is an opportunity to enjoy views of the lake while people and animal watching. Either direction is fine for walking, and your starting point will likely depend on where you are able to park.
It was a beautiful autumn day, and I was able to sneak away from work for a long lunch, and decided to head to Green Lake. I typically run around Green Lake Trail loop, but decided today I would slow down, walk it, and take in sights. I was happy to find a number of things I would have definitely missed had I been running the loop. It’s amazing how often you can pass by something and never notice it...
I started out at the Green Lake Aqua Theater, and walked out onto one of the docks to take in the view of the Lake. There were a number of people fishing on the nearby docks, and on my walk, I noticed how many docks are at Green Lake, as well as how many people take advantage of the docks to fish. Heading back towards the trail, I noticed a Great Blue Heron perched atop the bathroom. I saw another Heron later sitting on the swimming platform at East Green Lake Beach.
While walking past the Green Lake Aqua Theater towards the actual trail, I noticed some crazy tree roots cascading into the lake that looked like an alien life form. There were a decent amount of people on the trail, but not too many, considering it was a beautiful day out in October.
Upon reaching the East Green Lake Beach, I saw a large group of Canada Geese taking a break from their journey South for the winter - not a bad place to grab some water and rest before flying again. Fortunately there wasn’t much goose shit along the path, but that wasn’t the case at West Green Lake Beach, where I felt like I was in a hopscotch game while trying to keep my shoes clean (this was at the waterfront, not along the Green Lake trail).
At West Green Lake Beach I veered off the trail to walk along the waterfront, and headed out onto another dock for more photos. I was able to see the Seattle downtown skyline peaking above the trees. Then it was back onto the trail and a brisk walk to complete the loop. The trees along the final stretch had some nice colors.
My final stats for the walk were 3.01 miles and 62ft of elevation gain. A great walk in the park as they like to say. Fortunately for me, I live close to Green Lake and this won't be my last time doing the Green Lake Trail!