Most of your treks may be out into the woods and wilderness. And I love those too but sometimes, I just need to get outside, walk and enjoy nature. Recently, I have been exploring my city (Seattle, WA) in long walks or urban hikes and the rewards have been bountiful. Little pockets I never knew existed, beautiful gardens, different mini parks, and a new perspective to the urban landscape that I call home.
I asked by buddy Tony to join me for a walk around Lake Union in the heart of Seattle. If you live or have visited Seattle, most roads lead to Lake Union in some way and it’s a great quick spot to hit up from any part of the city.
The whole way is paved with sidewalks, dedicated walking paths or lightly trafficked streets.
Distance: 6ish miles
Time: 2 hrs 15 min
Elevation: Sea Level. Couple stair climbs but pretty darn flat.
We started on the North end of the lake at Gas Works park. One of my favorite vistas of Seattle and headed east toward Eastlake. Our only agenda was to walk around the whole lake, explore, chat and get a nice work out in for the day.
There is a defined bike and pedestrian path in this area which makes it a breeze. Part of the Burke Gilman Trail that works it’s way through the northern part of Seattle neighborhoods.
As we walked, we passed under Interstate 5 then up to the University Bridge. Fun fact: the University Street Bridge was a huge deal when it was completed in 1919. This plus 3 other new bridges (Fremont, Ballard, Montlake) connected downtown Seattle to the northern neighborhoods for the first time.
After crossing the bridge, we headed South into the Eastlake neighborhood. I highly recommend you head 1 block toward the water or you will just be walking along a relatively busy street. (pic at right) There are some solid sandwich shops, bars and coffee shops if you need a pick me up but it’s not that interesting.
As you walk along the lake shore, marinas and house boat communities pop up as well as 5 mini parks and an amazing community P-Patch. Each giving it’s own special view of the lake.
At this point, we were about an hour and about 2.5 miles into our hike and continued South toward the other tip of Lake Union into the South Lake Union neighborhood.
At the southern part of Lake Union (SLU) there is a great park with a couple great museums. The center for Wooden Boats and The Museum of History and Industry. Really nice promenade and landscaping.
We turned North and headed back to our origin point. This is the Westlake neighborhood and a new (as of the last couple years) bike and pedestrian path was made and man it’s fantastic. Safe for walkers, bikers, cars, all while hugging the lake shore. Additionally, some great public art and store fronts along the way.
Getting toward the final stretch of our journey, we passed under the Auroa bridge, found a delightful house boat community before popping up and crossing the Fremont Bridge. Once you make it here, you only have about another 20-30 min to go back to Gas Works Park.
We finished our trek and whipped up a quick NO BURNER recipe of meat salad. Even on a day-hike I try to bring something other than a deli sandwich or granola bars. Way tastier and easier than you think.
Get out there and explore your city!