Duwamish Waterway

Seattle, Washington 98136

Duwamish Waterway

Duwamish Waterway Professional Review and Guide

"The Duwamish River was once a curvy, slow-moving, flood-prone river providing water access and subsistence for the Duwamish people. In the Puget Sound Salish language of Lushootseed, Duwamish or rather Dkhw’Doow’Absh means “People of the Inside.” Pioneers settled in the area in the 1850s and soon changed this once pristine landscape forever.

Completion of dredging in 1920 straightened all but one of the original curves in the lower river. In the years following, the river became an industrial center for the city of Seattle and a home for companies such as the Boeing Company. In 2001, a 5-mile stretch was listed as a federal Superfund site. Since then, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has made considerable improvements to the river, transforming sections to their natural state. The Coalition has also created public access and a few human-powered boat launches."

Duwamish Waterway Reviews

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This loop around Harbor Island is a nice place to kayak. The eTrail lists the access points around the island and further up the Duwamish Waterway. Because a loop around the island does not take that long, you may want to venture up the river or out into Elliott Bay. The eTrail map shows the entire area. We did not encounter many moving ships while we paddled there, but if you enjoy the company of ships, there are many docked along this route. Be sure to check the weather and tides before you go since this trip is affected by both. I’d recommend this loop to any Seattlite who sea kayaks. It’s an industrial experience.

Duwamish Waterway Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
Part Day To Full Day.
Spring to Fall
SeaTrails Wa 202, 203; Noaa chart 18450 (1:10,000) or 18445 SC (1:80,000, see 1:40,000 inset); Seattle tide table.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018