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Shoreline Trail

Easy

Trail

0.6 mile 1.0 kilometer point to point
100% Runnable
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 5' 2 m
Descent: -10' -3 m
High: 23' 7 m
Low: 15' 5 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (1°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Brendan Ross

This trail features outstanding views of the Puget Sound, Vashon Island, and the Olympic Mountains.

Brendan Ross

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views

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.

Runner Notes

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 Shoreline Trail is in much better shape, mainly large-grit gravel that drains quickly.

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.

Description

Running the length of Seahurst Park along the waters of the Puget Sound, the Shoreline Trail is where most visitors spend their time. The entirety of the trail is a wide gravel path, interrupted only by a footbridge and paved segment near the lower parking area, which is also the primary access point. Note that the trail extends both north and south from the parking area, and its recommended that visitors explore both trail segments. While the path itself is uninspired by ordinary trail standards, the stellar views of the Puget Sound, free from residential or commercial development, elevate this to a true gem within the dense suburban landscape between Seattle and Tacoma. Ferries shuttling between Fauntleroy, Vashon, and Southworth can be seen throughout the day to the northwest.

The northern portion of the trail follows the shoreline, about thirty feet from the waters edge. Driftwood and grassy areas separate the trail from the actual shore, and short staircases are placed strategically along the trail to provide access to the beach. Benches and picnic areas are found along the way. Two access points to the Seahurst Park unpaved trail system disappear into the woods to the east; the dirt singletrack is easy to miss, so use the Trail Run Project mobile app or GPS track here for help. Near the end, Shoreline passes the Environmental Science Center, which offers free courses on area ecology and history. The northern terminus coincides with the beginning of Seahurst Park Service Road.

The southern portion crosses a small creek and, after passing a covered picnic area, enters a more wooded area. While still near the shoreline, it feels much more secluded along this segment. A few connectors to South Seahurst Park head up into the trees to the east. After about two tenths of a mile, the trail makes a short U turn, descending to the water's edge and ending.

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.

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Apr 15, 2016
Brendan Ross
Apr 8, 2016
Brendan Ross

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#17871

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#901

in Washington

#17,871

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192 Since Apr 17, 2016
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Photos

Shoreline Trail runs along Puget Sound with Seahurst playground and other trails nearby.
Nov 19, 2016 near Burien, WA

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