If you’re packing your running sneakers with full intentions of taking to the streets of Seattle during your visit, you’re in luck, as it’s a short jog from the front door of a downtown hotel to the walkways of the Seattle waterfront and the Elliott Bay Trail. Beyond that, the city is lined with a myriad of attractive routes awaiting limber legs and laced-up kicks.
Most famously, the Burke-Gilman Trail is easily accessible from any point of its popular and well-traveled 20-mile route. The flat, smoothly paved trail serpentines from the suburb of Kenmore to Ballard’s Golden Gardens waterfront park, with scenic views of Lake Washington and urban forests for the entire duration.
Another lakefront loop is Green Lake, an iconic 50,000-year-old glacial lake north of downtown. Its paved path bends around the water reserve for 2.8 miles, allowing potential run-ins with ducks, dogs, and old-growth firs. If you crave more sand, head to the shores of West Seattle’s Alki Beach Trail for a scenic look-back at the city. Though not a circular route, this beachfront trail is serene, flat, and runs roughly four miles down lively Alki Avenue.
Discovery Park clocks in at an impressive 534 acres in the Magnolia neighborhood. Along with its mix of beach access on Puget Sound, play areas, towering trees, and green fields, the park also sports nearly 12 miles of manicured, forested trails for runners seeking some off-roading. Another park worth jogging through, the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum hosts five miles of beautiful, meandering paths through maples, brambly bushes, and the celebrated Azalea Way, a 0.75-mile botanical sanctuary with azaleas, magnolias, and more amid ancient evergreens and conifers.
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