Seward Park is one of the largest parks in Seattle with 277 acres, and sits on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Washington. The paved Shore Loop trail, open to both pedestrians as well as bikers, provides an easy hike around the park, hugging the shoreline of Lake Washington and providing spectacular lake views. On the opposite side of the trail sits the old growth forest of Seward Park, with sections of the trail briefly leaving the shorelines for short spurts through the forest. Given it's a loop trail, you can go in either direction, and start your hike near where you park.
If Seward Park was a little closer to where I live, I would be there a lot. Even on the Shore Loop Road, which is paved and sees a decent amount of people, it didn’t feel like I was in a city. To the right, you have sweeping views of Lake Washington, with it’s waves obscuring the normal city sounds, and to the left, you have huge trees giving you that wilderness feel.
I was able to squeeze in another weekday morning hike. I debated whether I should try one of the interior trails on Seward Park, as I have done the Shore Loop before, albeit 7 years ago. But the lack of people and views of Lake Washington enticed me onto Shore Loop Road. I went counter clockwise and immediately noticed the playground - it had some cool structures I think my son would like, and also had a great view.
After walking by a shelter and another parking lot, I was onto Shore Loop Road, which is closed to cars. It felt like leaving the city behind, as it was a relatively windy day, and the waves of Lake Washington crashing against the shore were the only sounds I heard. I spotted what at first I thought was a canada goose, leisurely drinking water from a puddle. Upon getting closer, I realized it was something else (some sort of duck?). Whatever it was, it didn’t mind me walking right by it. The Audubon Society has a list of birds of Seward Park, but I ran out of patience trying to match pictures on the internet with what I saw.
It’s amazing how much the Bailey Peninsula, which is where Seward Park is, sticks out into Lake Washington. It felt like quite a while before I rounded the corner and could make out the Seattle skyline. I was tempted to try one of the trails that cross through the Park, like the Spine Trail, but saved that for another day. Just one more reason to come back.
I wandered out onto a dock that was protruding out into Andrews Bay, and a caught a glimpse of a couple of sail boats moored in the water. Farther along the Shore Loop Road I passed a swimming platform, and made a mental note to come back in the summer with my son for a swim.
Seward Park is a great spot, and I look forward to coming back to try some of the trails that cut through the center of the Park.