While visiting Seattle recently to attend the wedding of my nephew, we stayed in the trendy Ballard neighborhood. This area, founded by Scandinavian immigrants to take advantage of the fishing opportunities, is now known for its eclectic mix of restaurants and shops catering to its young and diverse residents.
As usual, the first question I had was: Where’s a good place to run? I didn’t have time for a long run and wasn’t eager to attack the steep hills that seemed to be everywhere. Green Lake Park was the perfect place for my run. Amid all the better-known options for running in Seattle, this park is a hidden gem.
Located just east of Ballard—although it took a little time to reach due to Seattle’s circuitous traffic patterns—Green Lake has a 2.8 mile running/bike path around it perimeter. With a variety of interesting vegetation along the path and in the water, including a large area of lily pads, it’s easy to forget you’re actually running in a city. The quite cool temperatures for a mid-July morning that are typical of Seattle, along with a host of other runners making their way around the lake, made it an enjoyable experience.
There is accessible parking at several small lots next to the lake as well as ample on-street parking along the roads bordering the lake. Restrooms are spaced around the park at three locations. One interesting touch is the signs embedded in the path indicating one lane for runners and the other for bicycles.
Next time you find yourself in the northwest part of Seattle, be sure to include a run at Green Lake. It’s the ideal answer for the traveling runner who wants an enjoyable short run.
*Will Kuhlmann is an avid runner who has completed marathons in many states and internationally. He also enjoys other endurance sports and traveling. Will is actively involved in helping develop On The Go Group, Inc. He and his wife, Mary Sue, live in Ohio, and their two children live in California.