As a borough within a coastal city, living in the U-District of Seattle provides endless opportunities to get outdoors and explore. Visit the local parks green and spaces listed below for hiking, fishing, and enjoying nature throughout the city.
Discovery Park occupies 534 acres and is the largest city park in Seattle. Located on Magnolia Bluff and overlooking Puget Sound, visitors can experience the breathtaking views of the Cascade and the Olympic mountain ranges. This wildlife sanctuary is perfect for those looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. While there are 11.8 miles of trails spread across the park, a local favorite is the half-mile Wolf Tree Nature Trail. The trail is a raised boardwalk trail that spreads across the wetlands.
Carkeek Park is one of the most beloved parks near Seattle’s U-District. This 220-acre park spreads across forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks, and beach. Visitors can get involved in the education program to learn more about the area and the wildlife surrounding it, or volunteer for the park’s scheduled events. The salmon themed play area is a hit with kids, while the Pipers Canyon Story Trail takes adventurous hikers through the unique and magnificent views of the park. Visitors should also make sure to check out the sustainable gardens and the historic Piper Orchard, a unique fruit orchard that has been restored by volunteers.
Lincoln Park is equipped with everything to make a family day trip a success. Sitting on 135.4 acres overlooking Puget Sound, the park includes 4.6 miles of walking paths, 3.9 miles of bike trails, and endless picnic area space and playfields. Lincoln Park is mostly known for their heated saltwater Colman Pool, a tide-fed swimming hole that can only be accessed by a hike through the woods. Other park amenities include a boat launch, a community garden, restrooms, play areas, soccer fields, and horseshoe pits.
Volunteer Park Conservatory
Visitors come from far and wide to experience the botanical collection of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. If the Victorian glasshouse structure itself doesn’t catch your eye, the variety of greenhouse plants will keep you intrigued throughout your entire visit. From newer species of fauna, to plants that have been kept alive in the green house for more than 75 years, there is a deep-rooted history behind the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The Conservatory offers a wide variety of beginner to experienced horticultural classes, from flower arranging to caring for tropical plants. Guided tours are available upon request and are given by volunteers. Volunteer opportunities of all kinds are available for those who have an interest in horticulture.