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Seahurst Park

Puget Sound and Islands

Location

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area
View map below

Length

3.5 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 400 ft.
Highest Point: 398 ft.

Rating

4.33 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Hike good trails though a forested drainage in Burien that has many tall trees and, in season, is very green. In spring look for a few wild flowers. Continue your hike on trails paralleling the beach, both north and south of your trailhead.

As preparation, it will be helpful to download a park map from the city website. This map shows the location of the service road, the North Nature Trail, and shoreline trails heading both north and south. But not all park trails are shown on the map.

Head north on the service road, passing the restroom building, and in about 600 feet turn right onto the unsigned but obvious North Nature Trail. It's a good trail that climbs fairly steeply through mixed forest. There are some very large trees along the way, mostly deciduous but with a few conifers, and there is a lot of moss and many ferns.

In about a quarter mile come to an unsigned trail crossing not shown on the map. The right branch looks like it could be a significant trail in its own right, while the left branch looks much more minimal. Just continue on straight here, but remember that right branch. It's an option for your return route.

The ongoing trail continues to climb as it crosses the meandering service road three times. Between the second and third crossings come to a very prominent but unsigned trail fork. Both branches look well-used and very official.

For now, stay on the left fork and follow that trail up to its upper end at a tiny parking area at SW Cove Point Rd. (When space is available, this is an option if you prefer to begin your hike at the highest point, or at an earlier hour.)

On your return, you have two choices. The shortest route is to return the way you came. Alternatively, that other prominent trail fork you passed before reaching the third service road crossing is well worth exploring, although it will add about 0.6 miles to your hike.

That optional route continues more or less level for some distance, sweeping around the headwaters of several tiny streams. Sometimes the route seems to approach back yards, a reminder that you are in an urban park. And you will note a few minor boot paths, best avoided, heading out of the park toward yards, streets or the unknown.
Eventually, your trail begins to descend fairly steeply, and it rejoins the North Nature Trail at the junction noted earlier.

Once you return to the beach you have the option of hiking north on the service road as far as the Environmental Science Center and a bit beyond, then returning back south and following the South Shoreline Trail as it continues south from the trailhead for about 0.3 miles. The South Shoreline Trail is always close to the beach, although visibility may be limited when trees and shrubs are leafed out. There are a few access points that lead out to the beach, including at the end of the trail.

In spring, along the forest trails, look for a few wildflowers, particularly trillium, avens, youth-on-age and skunk cabbage. Later, there will be a few wild berries, both the invasive Himalayan blackberries and native salmonberries and thimbleberries.

You likely will see a few birds. Look (and listen) for woodpeckers along the forest trail, and of course the beach areas always seem to have a number of crows and gulls.

 

Seahurst Park

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4781, -122.3627 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Puget Sound and Islands -- Seattle-Tacoma Area

City of Burien

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Guidebooks & Maps

http://www.burienwa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/655

Getting There

From Highway 509 in Burien, south of Seattle, exit onto SW 148th Street and head west. At Ambaum Boulevard SW turn right. In two blocks, turn left on SW 144th Street. In a few blocks, turn right on 13th Avenue SW. That street will bend around to the left and become SW 140th Street, and it will lead you to the park entrance.

There is no entrance fee, but the entrance is gated and is open only from 8 AM to 9:30 PM. So, if you are arriving by car, a really early morning hike is not an option. Similarly, if you are hiking late in the evening be sure to have your car out of the park by 9:30 PM.

About 30 parking spots are available near the beach (5 signed for handicapped users.) A much larger parking lot, with 158 spots, is located a quarter-mile back up the entrance road. On a summer weekend even that lot can fill up. So it's best to arrive early (but after 8 AM!) for your hike.

Most visitors to the park are there for the beach and picnic area, not the hiking trails. So, even if you see a lot of parked cars, the trails may not be crowded.

The beach area to the north of the road has a playground, picnic tables and shelter, and indoor restrooms.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Seahurst Park

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