Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located in the Seattle suburb of Kenmore on Lake Washington's northeastern shore, Saint Edward Seminary State Park is one of Washington's most unique state parks. Prominently standing in the middle of the park is the Saint Edward Seminary*, a massive brick edifice that was owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and used as a seminary for the Sulpician Order until 1977. Built in 1931, the Saint Edward Seminary is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

After the seminary closed due to insufficient enrollment, the land was sold to the state of Washington and converted into a state park. In total, the park extends over 316 acres with roughly 3,000 feet of undeveloped shoreline along Lake Washington. Along with the Saint Edwards Seminary, the property is also home to the Saint Thomas Seminary, which as of 2005 has been wholly owned and occupied by Bastyr University.

Beyond the park's Catholic past, Saint Edward State Park has an extensive trail network, including the South Canyon Trail, all of which are open to hikers and mountain bikers. The park also features countless picnic areas, the state's largest playground built primarily by volunteers in 2003, baseball/sports field, The Grotto (a garden alcove popular for weddings), a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool (currently closed), and a Grand Dining Hall all housed within the Seminary building.

Facilities + Reservations

To reserve and obtain a Special Activity Recreation Permit for any of the park's areas for an event, call 425.823.2992. Areas include:

  • PICNIC AREAS: The park offers 5 main picnic areas. According to the state:

Each site accommodates at least 150 people with picnic tables and stand-up style grills. The east and west picnic sites have a ball field with their areas. The north picnic area has an open play field and horseshoe pits. The south picnic site has a beach-style volleyball area with a net and is very close to the playground. 

  • THE GROTTO: The alcove has a capacity for up to 120 people, but does not include potable water or electrical connections.
  • THE GRAND DINING HALL: Located on the ground floor of the Seminary building, the hall has a capacity for up to 50 people and includes a dance floor.
  • CAROLE ANN WALD MEMORIAL POOL: Currently closed due to funding.
  • GYMNASIUM: Used as an activity space for basketball camps and is not currently open to the general public.
  • MISC. EQUIPMENT: According to the state, the park rents a 20-by-20-feet and 10-by-20-feet canopies, tables, chairs, and portable heater for all outdoor activities.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Washington Discovery Pass

Pros

Historic seminary. Secluded beach. Group events. Bike-friendly trails. Washington's largest playground.

Cons

0.75-mile walk to lakefront.

Features

Flushing toilets
Mountain biking
Potable water
Picnic tables
Baseball
Old-growth forest
Playground

Location

Field Guide + Map

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