Walk in the Park
Where: Frink Park and Leschi Park, Seattle
Location: Frink Park is at 398 Lake Washington Blvd. S. Down the hill, Leschi Park is at 201 Lakeside Ave. S.
e: Frink is 17 acres and Leschi is 18.5 acres.
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Level of difficulty: At Frink, the 1.3 miles of interconnecting trails are moderate, though more challenging on rainy days when the trails can get slippery and muddy even with the stairs. Not wheelchair accessible. The short trails at Leschi Park are paved and partly wheelchair accessible.
Facilities: Benches dot the trails at Frink. There aren’t many signs to guide you through the park, but the trails are short, so it’s hard to get lost. Leschi is more accessible with short, paved trails, the right path leading to a tennis court and restroom and the left leading to a playground. There are benches with views of Lake Washington.
Setting: There’s a big contrast between the two parks. Leschi is essentially a hillside park that’s well manicured with exotic plants and a small rose garden. It’s scenic, with views of boats and willows along the lake. It’s perfect for seniors and children because the trails are paved and short.
Frink is a ravine with little maintenance done over the years and an overabundance of invasive species. It’s still a popular and much loved park since it feels as if you are hiking in a big forest far from the city with the lush greens and the canopy of second-growth firs over the dirt trails.
Highlights: Visiting both parks is a beautiful way to experience contrasting terrains and you also have access to longer strolls along Lake Washington. Frink has two main trails that run from top to bottom of the ravine. Runners and hikers carrying backpacks with weights often use this route as part of their training regime along Lake Washington. If you take the Frink trail down and carefully cross Lake Washington Boulevard toward the tennis court, you’re at Leschi Park, where the setting changes to an open field with views of the city’s maritime culture — lakeside bistros and water recreation near the boat launch area.
Restrictions: Leash/scoop laws in effect. Both parks open from 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The playground area is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Directions: If you want to walk both parks, one easy route is to park along the street by the Native American sculpture “The Dream Catcher” at the intersection of 32nd Avenue and East Yesler Way and take the trail down to Leschi Park and Lake Washington.
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