Motors Allowed?
Easy / Class A
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Located entirely on the Bailey Peninsula, the 300-acre Seward Park provides an excellent backdrop for a short kayaking adventure on Lake Washington. Named after former U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, who was responsible for the purchase of Alaska in 1867, many people considered the island too far from Seattle for practical purposes. Seattle Park Superintendent E. O. Schwagerl and the Olmsted Brothers preserved and purchased the island in 1911 as part of their Seattle Parks Plan. Bailey Island became a peninsula in 1916 with the completion of the ship canal and locks and subsequent lowering of the water level of Lake Washington.

Today, the park has one of the last surviving old-growth forests in Seattle's city limits, and it is home to owls, bats, a pair of bald eagles, and Peruvian conures. The Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center offers many free and low-cost nature education programs.

Kayaking around this park offers views of Mount Rainier, the Seattle skyline, and even the occasional floatplane. On the western side of the park sits Andrew's Bay, which is a popular anchorage for many boats in the summer. The waters around Seward Park are very popular for fishing from the shore, docks, and boats. After the sun sets, the park stands out as a dark area amidst the the lighted shores on nearby sections of Lake Washington.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Close to Seattle. Easy access. Nice park to paddle around.


Busy. Limited parking. Lots of boat and air traffic.


Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Bird watching

Site characteristics: Water


Portage required




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