On Oct. 2, three new light rail stations opened: Northgate Station | Roosevelt Station | U District Station. These stations will make getting to work, taking a trip downtown, or getting to the airport easier for residents and visitors. They also help expand access to several nearby parks and recreation facilities, several of which are a quick walk or bike ride away from local stations.
Whether you’re looking to explore new trails and open spaces, join a community center program, or enjoy a new play area with your family, light rail is helping to connect Seattleites to our incredible parks and recreation system! See below for some of our favorite spots to explore, and time estimates for walking or biking there.
(Image of Cowen Park)
- Cowen Park (3-minute bike ride; 10-minute walk): Cowen Park is tacked onto the west end of Ravenna Park, adding grassy play and picnic areas to the ravine that descends toward the southeast. Here you will find a softball field, a few picnic tables and barbecue pits, a play area with swings and climbing bars, and restrooms.
- Green Lake Park (9-minute bike ride; 15-minute walk): Green Lake is one of Seattle’s most beloved parks and serves as a natural preserve for hundreds of species of trees and plants, as well as numerous birds and waterfowl. The 2.8-mile path around the lake provides a perfect recreational spot for runners and walkers. Many others use the athletic fields or visit the park for boating, picnics and swimming. Located at the park are the Green Lake Community Center, Evans Pool, and Green Lake Small Craft Center.
- Ravenna Eckstein Community Center (6-minute bike ride; 15-minute walk): This Community Center is a busy center located north of the University District; it features an outdoor play area, tennis court, and indoor gym and basketball court. The center offers programs to participants of all ages.
- Froula Playground (4-minute bike ride; 5-minute walk): This playground features baby swings, tennis courts, a long lawn area perfect for catch, as well as slides and climbing features.
U District Station:
(Image of Fritz Hedges Waterway Park)
- University Playground (5-minute bike ride; 12-minute walk): This park features two tennis courts, one baseball diamond and backstop, playground with slide, baby swings, a Rich Beyer sculpture of a sasquatch, adult exercise equipment and bathroom facilities.
- Fritz Hedges Waterway Park (7-minute bike ride; 15-minute walk): This new park opened in the fall of 2020. Located on Portage Bay, the park provides water access for hand-carried boats, shoreline restoration, open lawn space for passive recreation, and interpretive elements that tie into one of two historical narratives – the use of the Portage Bay Trail by Native Americans and the more recent maritime history.
- Meridian Playground (10-minute bike ride; 21-minute walk): Meridian Playground is a quiet neighborhood park. It contains a large grassy area for any open activities, a play area, and a gazebo near the shelter.
- Gas Works Park (9-minute bike ride; 31-minute walk): Gas Works Park has a play area with a large play barn, and big hill popular for flying kites. Special park features include a sundial, and a beautiful view of Seattle. The Burke-Gilman Trail runs past the Gas Works parking lot and follows the Burlington-Northern Railroad 12.5 miles north to Log Boom Park in Kenmore.
(Image of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park)
- Northgate Community Center (3-minute bike ride; 10-minute walk): Built in 2006, the community center building features a lobby, a full-size gym, large multipurpose room (with commercial-grade kitchen), and smaller rooms including classrooms, an arts and craft room, a weight room, a teen room and a game room.
- Hubbard Homestead Park (6-minute bike ride; 15-minute walk): The Park includes a main lawn surrounded by meadow planting, a half basketball court, a skate bowl, a hydro-seeded “wet meadow,” and a gateway plaza at 112th Street and 5th Avenue.
- Maple Leaf Reservoir Park (15-minutes bike ride; 34-minute walk): This 16-acre park includes a system of pathways, a viewpoint highlighting Mount Rainier and Lake Washington, a series of rain gardens, a shelter and gathering plaza, sports court areas (including pickleball court, a hitting wall, and basketball hoops), two ball fields, and a play area boosting a zip line, children’s garden, and other unique play features.