Kayak the Washington Arboretum Loop

Washington Park Arboretum - Search Nearby - Added by Michael Gabbert

An easy paddle to a unique and secluded area close to the center of Seattle.

Situated just southeast from the shores of the University of Washington, the Washington Arboretum Loop is a short yet gorgeous paddling excursion. What it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in its peaceful escape from the city and its beautiful path carved out through fields of lily pads. The loop, which goes around Foster Island at the north end of the Washington Park Arboretum, sits between Lake Union and Lake Washington.

If you are renting a kayak, the Aqua Verde Paddle Club is your closest proximity to the loop but it can be easily accessed from either of the two rental companies on Lake Union as well (you can also rent a canoe from the nearby Waterfront activities Center on the UW campus). Distance-wise, it’s a 3 mile, (1hr) round trip paddle from Aqua Verde and a 6 mile (2 hr) round trip paddle from the middle of Lake Union.

To get to the loop, you’ll cross in between Marsh and Foster Island. You’ll first go under a small pedestrian bridge between the two islands and than Hwy 520 until you get to the fields of lily pads. This is your destination. It’s a slow, peaceful ride so enjoy your surroundings, follow the lily pad lanes and take it all in.

Activities

Kayaking

Scenic
Wildlife

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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Highly Recommend

Ended up costing about $30 and taking 2 hours. Fun way to get a workout and be on the water!

More Options To Rent

Just across the Montlake Cut from the arboretum is the University of Washington's Waterfront. They rent canoes, rowboats and kayaks. The main entrances between marsh and foster island are closed, but access to the inner waterways can be gained through the entrance on the east side of foster island. This route takes a bit to get to, so if renting it's more affordable to cut travel time down and rent at UW.

10/11/16

We were limited to the coast because the arboretum is closed for construction.

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