Named after the former mayor of Seattle, Henry Yesler, Yesler Swamp is part of Union Bay Natural Area. The University of Washington and the City of Seattle have worked together to restore, preserve, and maintain this unique ecosystem. This area was historically a dense forested area where the Duwamish Indians lived. Later the region served as a major hub for the lumber business with Yesler mill at its heart.
Over the years, after the fall of the Yesler mill, the area gradually turned into a marsh and swampy area. Thanks to efforts from volunteer groups like Friends of Yesler Swamp together along with the University of Washington and the City of Seattle, the area is a home for various species of birds including eagles and herons, and efforts are being made to preserve this unique ecosystem.
Yesler Swamp Trail as it stands today is a very short, ADA-complaint trail that zigzags through the swampy and marshy land and offers views of Lake Union with the SR 520 bridge on the horizon. Boardwalks have been put together to keep human impact to these wetlands to a minimum while providing a great learning experience for everyone. The trail adjoins the Wahkiakum Lane Trail. To learn more about the history of this area, check the Yesler Swamp website.