Friday, October 10, 2014

Trail Running for Beginners: Seward Park

Seward Park is in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle. It is located at 5895 Lake Washington Blvd. South. The dirt trails are on the interior of the peninsula that sticks out in to Lake Washington. A paved trail follows the outside of the peninsula. Both times I ran there I parked in the upper parking area, right by the black star on the map at trail #3.

Map from the Seattle.gov site.

As a runner, I have run at Seward Park many, many times. The paved trail around the perimeter of the trail and it is a popular loop for runners as well as being a part of local races such as the Rock-n-Roll Marathon. It never occurred to me that there might be actual dirt trails inside the park, though. I didn't discover this until I was perusing the Northwest Trail Runs site and saw they do a trail race there! 

Being new to these trails, I printed out the map and brought it with me. The total mileage for trails in Seward Park is just 5.745, according to the Seattle.gov site. If you are trying to fit in a run of a decent length you will find yourself doubling back over most of the trails.  

Some of the trails are wide and well-groomed, such as #1. Some of the trails are much more rugged, you will be jumping over roots and rocks, ducking obstacles. In my opinion, those trails are much more fun (see trail # 7)! I ran over a bridge or two and up a couple of steps, as well.

Garmin route from my run.

The trail does not have any major hills, though there are a few short spots that you might have to stop and hike up (I did!). 

Elevation from my run.

My first time on these trails was on a Monday mid-day. I saw just a handful of other hikers, the trails were very quiet. Well, except for the crows! The crows were having a party.

These trails would be perfect for a beginning trail runner who wants to try out trails that are a bit more technical without any risk of getting lost. Another bonus is that these trails are in the city, so for many of us city-dwellers, they are relatively close by!

Have you ever run the trails at Seward Park? Any other thoughts to add?

Check out my other posts in the Trail Running for Beginners series HERE

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