“This former road through Seahurst Park is a popular local trail.”
— Brendan Ross
A signed posted at the entrance of Seahurst Park states that its hours are 8:00 am to 8:30 pm, but the official website claims 8:00 am to dusk. Whichever is the case, be headed out by sundown, as the city has been known to lock the entrance gate.
Seahurst Park's dirt trails are sporadically maintained, but are usually in reasonable condition. Roots, rocks, and mud are all present though are infrequent enough to not cause any real issue. Trail shoes are a plus but most road shoes would fare well enough. The Service Road, on the other hand, is paved and generally clear of debris.
The park is a popular retreat, especially on afternoons and weekends. While most visitors stay along the beach, expect to share the trails with runners and hikers of all skill levels. Many sections are only wide enough for one person at a time, so pass and be passed carefully.
Cell phone reception is poor to non-existent through most of the forested sections of the park.
Despite the superior unpaved trails of Seahurst Park, the former service road between the beach and neighborhoods above remains a popular option for visitors.
The service road begins as an extension of the Shoreline Trail
, near the Environmental Science Center. Keep right as the gravel of Shoreline fades; the left route leads to a vocational skill center. The asphalt single-lane road, in good condition despite seeing little use or maintenance for years, heads up into the trees in a series of hairpin turns. The majority of the Service Road is at a moderate grade with few level parts. At just under a mile in length, it's a good spot to train for bigger objectives. The Seahurst Park Nature Trail, and its related segments and shortcuts, cross the Service Road in several places. Missing one is no big deal, as another can be found just a short distance further.
The Service Road ends at a neighborhood street about three hundred feet above the water. The Salmon Creek Ravine
trail can be found a few hundred feet to the north.
Flora & Fauna
Seahurst plant life is typical of the wetlands and forests found along the Puget Sound. Grasses and ferns lie low along the trails, and watch for lilies, huckleberries, salal, snowberries, elderberries. Stinging nettles are an uncommon but present hazard. Tree varieties are dominated by evergreens, with several maples making appearances as well. English Ivy, English Holly, and blackberry bushes are problematic invasive species; feel free to pull out any you encounter along the way to help (though watch for blackberry thorns).
Both large and small birds are present in great numbers around Seahurst. Seagulls, eagles, woodpeckers, herons, and owls can be found here. Landborne animals are less frequently sighted, confined mostly to suburban woodland creatures like raccoons and mice. The creeks in Seahurst were once return routes for spawning salmon, and a hatchery near the Science Center researches their movements.