Discovery Park to Ballard Locks

Seattle, Washington 98139

Discovery Park to Ballard Locks

Discovery Park to Ballard Locks Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Two of Seattle’s most popular scenic spots are legacies from the U.S. Army. The former Fort Lawton in northwest Magnolia, which Seattle gave the Army in 1900 and the Army returned to the city in 1972, is now Discovery Park. The city’s biggest park encompasses 534 acres, mostly reclaimed for nature and nature-loving humans. It has walking trails ranging from flat to steep and a restored lighthouse guarding a wide beachfront.

Just north of Discovery, the Hiram M. Chittenden (also known as Ballard) Locks, built in 1916 and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, is the gateway between Lakes Union and Washington. A key passageway for both pleasure and commercial boats (and for our precious salmon), it also serves as a water-level footbridge across the Lake Washington Ship Canal, with finely landscaped grounds at both ends."

Discovery Park to Ballard Locks Reviews

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7/17/2018
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3/21/2009
This is a wonderful park. Today was my first visit and will not be my last. The trails are well maintained and, of high importance to me, well marked. I can get lost in my own back yard, and seeing the many signposts along the way made me feel secure that I could actually find my car again. This trail is a social dog's paradise as many canine companions shared the trail with their owners. The vast majority were on leads and the only one off lead was quickly corralled and tethered once the owner saw us coming up the trail. I was careful to keep my golden boy close to me as many healthy individuals use this trail to run. I am a novice hiker and I appreciate trails like these for getting my hiking feet. Others will appreciate these trails for winter hiking when other trails are inaccessible.
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1/22/2007
I just moved to the Seattle area and have been Jonesing for some trail running. This was a welcome surprise. Great views, signal track trail, stairs (Up and Down) and bathrooms along the trail. I had a great run and plan to go back real soon.
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10/18/2006
Love to take the kids here! Easy to find parking, not too strenuous, great picnic opportunity!
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2/21/2005
Ran this yesterday. The "loop trail" is wide and great for running. The northern bluff trails are steep, which is ok, but with lots of people on the trails it is hard to get by. Lots of ways to mix up the route you run in this park. Some trails stay muddy long after the rains.
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3/13/2003
my wife and i take the dog here all the time and are never dissapointed with the views or the trails. it's a great place for trail running or short to long hikes. the trails are well maintained and marked and there is plenty of parking. views are fabulous of the sound, mt. rainier, the olympics, and the forested areas on the point. this is a very popular park and once you go you will find out why.
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4/21/2002
Great park! I started out in the South Parking Lot, following the Loop Trail which heads to the South Beach trail. There are some great views here from the top of the cliff. From there take the South Beach Trail down to the beach where you can head to a still-functional lighthouse. Go around the lighthouse and head north along the shoreline. From there you have a bit of a climb up the North Beach Trail back up to the top. Then you can catch the Loop Trail again to complete the loop back to the South Parking Lot. All in all it's about a 5-6 mile walk. What's nice is that you can experience beaches, forests, and open areas, while at the same time take in some Northwest history (it's an old military installation). Perfect for a weekend picnic or an afternoon workout.
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Discovery Park to Ballard Locks Photos

Trail Information

Seattle
Nearby City
5.0
Distance
Point-to-Point
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
Year-round
Season
Discovery Park Visitor Center, West Point Lighthouse, Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks, Lockspot Cafe, and Red Mill Totem House.
Attractions

Activity Feed

Dec 2018