The 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum offers miles of trails that wind through forests of maples, magnolias, oaks, salmonberry, and the famous Azalea Way. Visit the Pacific Connections Gardens to see a variety of plant life from various countries that border the Pacific Ocean, or lose yourself in the many groves of trees that line the paths in the park.
Before being established as a park and arboretum, the land was the property of the Puget Mill Company. After a final timber harvest in 1896, the land exchanged ownership a number of times before the creation of Washington Park. The overstory that shades and protects the various collections of flora in the park has sprung from saplings and seeds that remained from the mill activity.
The public park offers many quiet locations for picnicking or relaxing, as well as a playfield and the Japanese Garden in the southwest corner. Aptly named Arboretum Creek winds through the length of the park, and there are many places to sit and listen to the creek burbling along.
The park is accessible year-round, but Azalea Way, the main road through the park, is particularly inviting in the springtime. Originally a road for the mill, Azalea Way is now an ADA-accessible path, lined by enormous flowering bushes that explode in a riot of color as warm weather comes to Seattle.
At 3-miles round trip, the walk along Azalea Way is an excellent way to get your springtime exercise. In spite of being just across the street from the houses of Montlake Terrace, anyone visiting the Washington Park Arboretum will feel tucked into a pocket of wilderness in the heart of Seattle.