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Magnuson Park

Puget Sound and Islands
47.6770, -122.2559 Map & Directions
Length
3.0 miles of trails
Elevation Gain
0 feet
Highest Point
15 feet
Frog Pond Trail and big blue skies at Magnuson Park. Photo by Harper Meyerson. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Wildlife
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

If you’ve been to Magnuson it is likely that you have walked a section of the trail on the way to a sporting event. However, it is well worth taking the time to explore all the meandering paths – less frequently known as Frog Pond Trail. If you have time to kill while your kid warms up before a game, or if you just want to sneak away for a moment of silence at halftime, these paths are perfect for a calming wander, no matter how much time you have. Continue reading

Rating
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Hiking Magnuson Park

The trails in Warren G. Magnuson Park are frequented and beloved by locals, but are often overlooked by those just passing through Seattle. The Frog Pond Trail is a series of paths that are part of a wetland reconstruction project that seeks to restore parts of the former military base. They feature ducks, ponds, well-maintained gravel, and a welcome stillness within what is normally a chaotic area. Three of these trails, described below, make up the possible outings at Magnuson Park.

First is the Frog Pond Trail, which can be better described as a series of paths linking and looping around ponds in Magnuson Park is a lovely and tranquil place to push a stroller, talk with a friend, or just enjoy the fresh air on a brisk autumn morning.

The Frog Pond trail is accessible from a variety of directions. Entrances can be found at the south entrance of Magnuson Park, off Sand Point Way, the parking lot past the baseball field, or across the street from a beach area found after 65th turns into Lake Shore Drive. Here you can also find the more utilitarian Cross-Park Trail and Lake Shore Promenade. The Frog Pond Trail connects to the path between fields 6, 7 and the baseball field, which are all near the main parking lot.

The network of small trails that make up Frog Pond Trail is roughly two miles, although it is not all connected into one loop. There are little to no elevation changes, due to the area’s past as a paved-over military base. 

Due to the high-traffic nature of the park, you will often pass a fellow walker or, if it’s summertime, a group of children from a nearby day camp learning about local wildlife. However, there is a certain respectfulness that is maintained on these trails that is not often found elsewhere. Rowdy teens quiet down as the pass between the trees, councilors remind campers keep their voices low, and friends keep their chatting to a reasonable volume. Biking is prohibited on the gravel trails, but many kids learn to ride a bike for the first time on the paved ones.  

Connected to the Frog Pond Trail is the Cross-Park Trail, which sees a steady stream of athletically-inclined teens, but is also a great place to pick blackberries or spot a swallow’s nest inside of the public restroom. As its name implies, the Cross-Park Trail is more utilitarian than Frog Pond Trail. It passes by the sports meadow, off-leash dog area, and the tennis courts, and is often is featured in one of the many 5k runs that are hosted by the park.

Finally, there is the Lake Shore Promenade, a paved path along the water where many kids learn to ride a bike or run along on their way to the beach. Further along the walkway is the Fin Project, an installation of old submarine fins that make up a great place to play hide-and-seek. The promenade also passes by Kite Hill, a grassy knoll that is popular among amateur and professional kite-flyers due to the great views of Lake Washington and frequent strong gusts of wind. At the end of the path, just inside of the NOAA headquarters (although still accessible to the public), there is the Sound Garden, which features twelve steel towers that use the wind to produce varying sounds. Together, Lake Shore Promenade and the Cross-Park trail are about a mile long.

Hike Description Written by
Harper Meyerson, WTA Community

Magnuson Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.6770, -122.2559 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Driving Directions

All these trails can be found in Magnuson Park, located just off Sand Point Way in Seattle. Follow Sand Point Way east, towards Lake Washington to its intersection with NE 65th St. Turn right here, into Magnuson Park, and drive past two roads on your left to a large parking area on the left. Turn in here. The Frog Pond Trail is at the northeast edge of this lot.

take transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO, or consult the schedules for King County Metro route number 62route number 74, and route number 75.

There are bus stops along Sand Point Way, between NE 65th St. and NE 74th St.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands

City of Seattle

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Magnuson Park

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