City of Seattle Reminds Residents to Use Social Distancing, Will Close Parking Lots at Eight Most Popular Parks, Seattle Beaches, Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area and Ledge Trail to Reduce Growing Crowds and Potential COVID-19 Transmission

Green Lake, Lincoln, Golden Gardens, Seward Park, Magnuson Park, Gas Works, Alki Beach, and Discovery will be immediately closed to parking

All Seattle beaches will now also be closed to gatherings. Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail and will also be closed

SEATTLE (March 24, 2020) –  In an effort to encourage social distancing and reduce the number of congregating crowds, the City of Seattle has closed parking at the eight destination parks, closed all beaches to gatherings and prohibited access to Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail near North Bend. Last week, the City and County announced that play areas and other high touch areas would be closed, and reinforced that congregating in parks is not allowed at this time.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation eight destination parks are Green Lake, Lincoln, Golden Gardens, Seward Park, Magnuson Park, Gas Works, Alki Beach, and Discovery. All Seattle beaches will no longer be open for gatherings however will remain open for walking or general exercise. Parking lots will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 25. Understanding the Governor’s Stay at Home, Stay Healthy order, residents are encouraged to visit the 479 local neighborhood parks or to bike or walk to these destination parks, which will remain open for public use.

SPR and SPD will also continue to deploy staff to encourage social distancing at these highly frequented parks as well as locations such as Cal Anderson and Volunteer Park.

“We still want people to be able to enjoy our parks during this stressful time. But we have seen many of our parks have become too busy to allow folks to properly create social distance. Our hope is that closing parking lots will reduce crowds. If folks are not able to maintain six feet of space, we will need to close parks,” said Jesus Aguirre

As always, Seattle Parks and Recreation asks residents to:

  • Use social distancing: the most effective tool we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. We are asking people to abide by social distancing guidelines in Seattle Parks.
  • Do not access off limits equipment or areas: as of last week, Seattle and King County have closed all play areas and other high touch areas, such as picnic shelters, tables, and outdoor exercise equipment.
  • Do not congregate in parks: the means no pick-up games, no picnics, BBQs, parties, or bonfires.
  • Six feet for activities: Hiking, biking, walking are all great ways to enjoy parks right now, just remember to give a wide berth to your fellow residents.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has been following the guidelines from the Governor’s Office that allowed hiking trails, including Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, to remain open. However, over the weekend, Rattlesnake Ledge Trail saw upwards of 4,000 visitors, indicating that people were coming in large numbers and not following social distancing protocols. The recreation area and trail will be closed starting tomorrow, March 25, to prevent crowd densities that preclude safe social distancing and recreation.

“Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the region and we certainly understand the desire to visit the site and enjoy being outdoors, especially at this time. But keeping the area open is attracting crowds that make it impossible to practice the social distance protocols we are all being asked to follow for the health of our communities. We look forward to re-opening Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail when it’s safe to do so,” said Mami Hara, SPU General Manager and CEO.

Gates to the parking lot will be closed by watershed protection staff beginning this evening. Signs will be installed to indicate to residents that the recreation area and trail are now closed. More information can be found on the Seattle Public Utilities website.

For more information about Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, the public can call (206) 733‐9421 or email crwprograms@seattle.gov.