Green Lake Park

Panorama of Green Lake

Panorama of Green Lake

Green Lake Park is a fabulous park located in the middle of North Seattle. The main highlight (at least for me and everyone else I’ve taken there) is the 2.8 mile paved trail that lines the lake. You will find swarms of Seattleites and visitors walking around the lake – dog leash and coffee in hand, chatting away with friends and loved ones. Runners training, cyclists riding and rollerbladers gliding along the path, getting pumped by the music blasting from their headphones.

Spanish Lessons

Spanish Lessons

But there’s more than biking, rollerblading or walking around the lake. Not that I’ve tried any of it, but there is in fact, so much more. You can swim in it during the summer (if bacteria and algae levels allow it…), you can fish, rent a small boat, play a game of tennis or basketball on one of the many fields that are dotted around the lake or you could even find the guy who is always offering Spanish lessons and brush up on your español.

You can bird-watch. There are “Mallards, Gadwalls, Pied-billed Grebes, and Bald Eagles, are found nesting on or near the lake… Winter flocks of American Wigeons… Double-crested Cormorants and diving ducks like goldeneyes, Buffleheads, and Hooded and Common Mergansers… -winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, and Bewick’s and Marsh Wrens.

I truly do love Green Lake. But honestly, it hasn’t always been this way.

Sure, when I first arrived in Seattle, we went through a euphoric honeymoon phase. I was glad to see the park, the park was glad to see me. We ignored each other’s negative qualities and habits, drunk on that powerful aphrodisiac of young love.

But then it happened. We hit a rough patch. One too many times of me stepping in dog shit. Getting almost trampled over by a group of runners overly engrossed in their conversations and not paying attention to who was around them. Tripped up by an errant dog and leash whose end was held by an inattentive owner.

DSC00071I said some things I regretted, the park said some things it regretted and we didn’t speak to each other or see each other for a few years.

“Oh yeah.” I’d say wistfully as I looked off into the distance. “I used to love Green Lake when I first moved to Seattle…” thinking of those special times we’d shared, back when our love was young.

Luckily that’s all in the past now and we’ve made amends. It started slowly and took time. There were agreements made, boundaries set. We eased back into our relationship with assumed positive intent.

I’m happy to say that I’m now squarely in the pro-Green Lake camp.  And you should be too. Go visit. Take a stroll around and either be glad that you live in a city with such a great public space or if you’re visiting – try to imagine how awesome it would be if this was your daily/weekly/weekend walk where you meet up with friends and soak in a little nature and local culture.

DSC00082

Green Lake Park is located at 7201 E Greenlake Dr N,  Seattle, WA 98115. According to their website, the park is open 24 hours per day. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=307

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