Lincoln Park is West Seattle’s go-to destination for a wooded afternoon run. At 135 acres one of the city’s largest parks, the loop around the park’s perimeter is about 1.8 miles of well-maintained trails. There are also several inner paths to extend your run, making for a total of 4.6 miles of walking and running paths.
What Makes It Great
You can keep it mellow by staying on top of the bluff (thus avoiding going down and then, more importantly, back up the 20 percent grade hill). But, while that may save your thighs from burning, it would also mean missing out on the fantastic views of Puget Sound available from the lower Beachfront Trail, which connects to Coleman Park. This is a case where the extra effort is very much worth it.
Running through the old-growth evergreens, which are also a major migratory destination for many species, is quite nice. But reaching Coleman Park, situated on the headland called Williams Point, will likely be the highlight of your run. The point opens up to glorious views of the sound and the Olympic Mountains across; be sure to factor in some time to take a breather here in order to properly take the sights in. You’ll see the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal just to the south, and may even glimpse some classic Puget Sound wildlife: Seals, sea lions, and river otters are often nearby. Sometimes resident and transient orca whales even swim by. For a longer run, you can easily continue along the waterfront trail from here.
In the summer, Coleman Pool provides a wonderful post-run treat. This outdoor Olympic-size saltwater pool – one of Seattle’s best-kept secrets – is heated to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Back in the day it may have been called the “old mud hole,” but now that it has been spiffed up you’ll almost feel as though you’re swimming right in the sound (except for the fact that the water is of a temperature you can actually stand to stay in for more than, oh, 0.5 seconds). Coleman Pool also has fun features like a diving board and tube slide. The pool is open Memorial Day through mid-September.
Lincoln Park has many other fine features, too, such as tennis courts, a baseball field, and several picnic shelters.
Who is Going to Love It
West Seattleites who have ever felt jealous of the great parks of the city’s mainland. This one is right in your backyard!
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The park is located at 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, and there are a couple of parking lots accessible from Fauntleroy Way SW.