A famous arboretum, waterside paths, and a gorgeous university campus — all in one run! The Washington Park Arboretum is a 230 acre park along Lake Washington in the Madison Park area of Seattle, just across from the University of Washington. The park offers miles of trails that wind through forests (over 40,000 trees!) of maples, magnolias, oaks, salmonberry, and the famous Azalea Way. An out and back in the Arboretum is about 2 miles.
For a longer run, we’ve created a route that incorporates a series of marsh trails and the University Campus, adding 5+ miles. Head north onto the Arboretum Waterfront Trail, which takes you out along a boardwalk and a floating bridge on the surface of Lake Washington on the Foster Trail and the Marsh Trail, connecting to the Union Bay Natural Area. Across the bridge, enjoy a loop around the campus of the University of Washington — among the most beautiful anywhere! Highlights are the main path to Rainier Vista, the Drumheller Fountain, and the 35 foot high stained glass windows of the Suzzallo Library. Return through East Montlake Park and Shelby St. (or one of the other Montlake side streets).
PRO TIP: This route area is particularly lovely for running in the spring, and is a well-known Seattle spot for cherry blossoms! There’s even an annual 5k held during peak cherry blossom season.