Recently I took a trip to Seattle to visit my friend Steven. He’s lived there for a little while now, and while spring isn’t the best time to get outside and do things, he was excited to show me around.
One of the first places he took me is the Washington Park Arboretum, which is super pretty. My favorite part of the trip was the Arboretum Waterfront Trail along the edge of Lake Washington.
The trail is a 1/2 mile long. Most of it is pretty muddy and the parts that aren’t are floating walkways that allow you to walk across the water from Foster Island to Marsh Island.
The Arboretum Waterfront Trail is in the largest wetland in Seattle, hence all the mud. The floating walkways give beautiful views of Lake Washington, but a lot of the trail is actually in the marshes on the lake’s edge. Willow and birch trees hide the lake from view in these areas, but there’s still plenty to see. If you watch carefully, you may spot some dragonflies, marsh wrens, or even a turtle.
The marsh is a fragile environment, so bikes, runners, and dogs are not allowed.
Since the trail is all mud and floating walkways, it’s not accessible for wheelchairs or strollers and you should be prepared to get a little dirty.
There is a raised observation platform on Foster Island as well as several other platforms on Marsh Island, but they don’t look very well maintained. Steven assured me that the observation platform was *probably* safe, but the wood looked like it would give way at any moment, so I didn’t want to risk going all the way up to the platform. Even getting on the steps was tricky, since there was a mud pit in front of the platform and the bottom step was missing.
The benches along the trail looked just as dilapidated and unsafe as the platforms.
At the end of the trail is a sign from Seattle Parks and Recreation asking for help in preserving and improving the trail. If you’ve used the Arboretum Waterfront Trail, be sure to take the survey about how often you go, your favorite activities, and how to improve the trail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with how you would like to see the trail preserved or improved.