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Saint Edward State Park

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area
View map below

Length

3.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 400 ft.
Highest Point: 400 ft.

Rating

3.90 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2019
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Hike through a diverse century-old second-growth forest with a dense canopy to the undeveloped shoreline of Lake Washington. This historic 316-acre state park, nestled in the midst of the Seattle metropolitan area, has playground facilities for children, picnic areas, trails for mountain bikers and fields for sports teams as well.

Boats may be launched at the Department of Fish and Wildlife ramp in Kenmore, just north of Saint Edward State Park. The Park offers a big toy playground for children, numerous picnic tables (though the park encourages reservations for picnics), ball fields for baseball and other sports, mountain bike trails, and even a dining hall that can be reserved.

Perhaps the most fascinating activity—and why you’re reading this guide description—is hiking from the hills 400 feet above Lake Washington down to the undeveloped shoreline under a dense canopy of Douglas fir, western red cedar, western hemlock, bigleaf maple, Pacific madrona, and cottonwood.

Wildflowers and ground cover include sword ferns, devil’s club, candy flower, thimbleberry, red currant, Robert Geranium, Oregon grape, and bleeding heart. Be cautious of the Pacific banana slugs and European black slugs that outnumber hikers on the trail during the spring, summer and fall months.

There are many routes you can take. Some are shared with mountain bikers. For a direct hike to the lakeshore, find the Perimeter/Seminary trailhead (the widest trail) to the west of the seminary building. This route descends 360 feet over 0.62 miles to a small beach and the junction with the 0.57-mile Beach Trail, which takes off northward along the undeveloped shoreline.

The beach is well-suited to wading or contemplation. Fishing is allowed with a permit from the state. There are several routes back up the hill, including the Grotto Trail (0.4 miles)—the steepest choice, the South Canyon Trail (0.9 miles)—with perhaps the most stunning forest canopy, and the South Ridge Trail/Water Tower Trail combination (1.1 miles)—which skirts the Bastyr campus.

For those who desire a longer sylvan experience, find the trailheads east of the building complex near Seminary Drive to access the North Trail (1.4 miles), which becomes the Beach Trail when it nears the lake. The longest possible loop is just over 3 miles.

Consider printing a map to help choose the route that best suits you and to avoid getting lost.

History of the area: The Seattle Catholic Archdiocese purchased the property that is now Saint Edward State Park to build a seminary for the Sulpician Order. The area had been logged in the 19th century and again in the 1920s. The seminary was completed in 1931 and named for Edward the Confessor, king of England in the 11th Century. The seminary closed in 1977, and the Archdiocese sold 316 acres to the state of Washington for use as a park. The park opened in 1978. Subsequently the Archdiocese sold the remaining acreage to Bastyr University, which is surrounded by the Park’s grounds. In 2007 the seminary was placed on the National Historic Register.

 

Saint Edward State Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.7329, -122.2583 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

Washington State Parks PDF Map: https://bit.ly/2TzTT5N

Cascade Club: http://cascadeoc.org/map/st-edward-state-park/

Getting There

Take Lake City Way/WA-522 to 68th Street. Turn south at 68th Street (which becomes Juanita Dr NE) and go 1.9 miles. Make a right at 145th Street NE/Seminary Drive. Go 0.2 miles and turn right at the fork (left takes you to Bastyr University). Go another 0.2 miles to the parking area.

There are approximately 140 parking spots around the seminary, with 10 percent of those spaces reserved for disabled access. There are restrooms to the south of the parking lot. Two vault toilets also at bottom of Seminary trail.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Saint Edward State Park

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