Seattle is a vibrant and diverse city with stunning waterfronts and a prime location in Washington surrounded by lush forests and mountains.
As a result, it’s a runner’s paradise, boasting some of the best running trails in the country!
But whether you prefer flat paved paths, forest trails, or challenging mountain inclines, Seattle has something for every kind of runner.
And that’s why we’ve put together this list of the 15 best running trails in Seattle that you need to check out.
So if you’re ready, lace up your running shoes, grab your water bottle, and visit one of the following Seattle running trails for your next run!
15 Best Running Trails In Seattle
The Elliott Bay Trail runs along the waterfront of Seattle’s Elliott Bay and measures around 7 miles long.
It’s the perfect route for runners who enjoy flat routes with waterfront views, as well as running 10k distances!
Because of its paved, mostly flat path, Elliott Bay Trail is also popular among cyclists, walkers, and dog walkers.
It offers mountain views in addition to views across the bay, and won’t disappoint if you head out in your running shoes in time for the sunset.
Looping all the way around Seattle’s picturesque Green Lake, the Green Lake Trail is the ideal running spot to sightsee and clock in some miles at the same time – 2.8 miles to be exact.
While the area is mountainous, the Green Lake Trails is largely flat, making it great for 5k runs.
The trail offers beautiful views of the lake, plus the surrounding tall trees and mountains, and is the perfect place to run and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Like the Green Lake Trail in the heart of Seattle, the Foster Island Trail is great for 5k runners thanks to its perfect 3.3-mile loop. Route offers stunning views of Lake Washington, complete with the backdrop of Mount Rainier in the distance.
The trail is mostly flat and paved, making it an easy and accessible option for runners of all abilities.
The location is also home to various species of wildlife, including birds and beavers, which can make running this trail even more interesting!
Leading from Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington, the Bellevue Lake to Lake Trail is a must-visit running spot in Seattle for runners who love scenic views. It is around 10 miles long and consists of three joining sections.
These three sections, which can also be run as separate routes, include the Lake Sammamish section, Bellevue section, and Lake Washington section.
Run each section on separate days, or do all three if you’re in the zone for a 16-kilometer run!
The Burke-Gilman Trail is another scenic running route in Seattle that offers views of picturesque parks and forests, the Seattle cityscape, various neighborhoods, and Lake Washington. This is because it measures 20 miles long!
As a result, it’s perfect for half marathons and full marathon training. The Burke-Gilman Trail is flat and paved with just a few light inclines and declines.
There’s a lot to sightsee along this trail, so it’s great for exploring over several running sessions.
South Beach running trail in Seattle’s Discovery Park is not far from Discovery Beach.
It’s a short 1.5-mile trail, offering beautiful views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, as well as Seattle’s surrounding waters.
But don’t think you’re in for a leisurely run due to the short length of the South Beach Trail; it’s a downhill trail with declines that some might find challenging.
However, this also makes it a fun Seattle running trail for runners who prefer elevations to flat routes!
For runners who prefer loops, the Interlaken Park Trail is not to be left unchecked. In fact, it’s a perfect 1.1-mile loop, which makes it ideal for racking up miles while enjoying the peaceful surrounds of Seattle’s Interlaken Park.
Another trail in Interlaken Park worth talking about is the Interlaken Boulevard Trail, which is a 2.2-mile loop. It’s also considered an easy looping route, perfect for zoning out and running on autopilot!
Seattle’s Seward Park also has a great running loop, which measures at 2.4 miles. It’s also popular among walkers and cyclists, which can be attributed to the park’s lush gardens, trees, and birdlife.
For that reason, keep your wits about you as you run so you don’t get hit by passing cyclists!
In addition to being a relatively short trail, the route is flat and beginner-friendly, making it one of Seattle’s best running trails for new and first-time runners.
Carkeek Park in Seattle covers over 200 acres of parkland, woodland, and several must-visit trails.
These include the 3.2-mile Carkeek Park via Piper’s Creek Trail, the 2.4-mile Piper’s Creek Trail, South Bluff Trail, and North Traverse Trail – plus more.
So Carkeek Park is a great location to explore several different running trails of varying lengths and difficulties.
The park also boasts breath-taking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, sure to make your run even more enjoyable.
Lincoln Park is a large park in Seattle, covering 135 acres with a popular beach that stretches along Puget Sound.
The Lincoln Park Trail is a breeze if you’re looking for an easy, scenic run in Seattle, as it’s only 1.4 miles long.
On top of that, this well-known 1.4-mile trail is a loop, making it ideal for running circuits and training pace.
Since Lincoln Park is big, there are other trails to check out in the area – or you can simply run and see where the paths take you!
Remember Elliot Bay Park that we mentioned earlier? Well, this trail heads there from Myrtle Edwards Park, totaling a 4.3-kilometer run that’s open all year-round with great waterfront views – which includes views of Elliott Bay, needless to say.
At 4.3 kilometers, it’s an easy run even for beginners, who can simply complete the trail at their own pace. It’s one of Seattle’s most popular running trails. Cyclists and walkers also head to this spot to get active and soak up the views.
At 2.7 kilometers, Ravenna Park Trail is another straightforward running spot in Seattle that beginner runners won’t find too challenging. It’s located in Ravenna Park, which is also known as one of Seattle’s quieter, more laid-back parks.
Ravenna Park has more than 50 acres of green expanses and paved paths, so you can also take the opportunity to explore the park in any direction you want, and for how long you want, if you want to run a longer distance!
Lake Union is a freshwater lake in central Seattle that measures over 500 acres, popular for its range of recreational activities.
But for runners, the Lake Union Loop Trail is the place to head to, which is a perfect 10.3-kilometer loop!
It should go without saying that this trail is ideal for 10k runs with mostly flat, even paths – whether you’re training for a 10k event or just like to run 10k.
It is one of Seattle’s most picturesque running routes, as it offers views across Lake Union. It’s open year-round.
Find Schmitz Preserve Park in west Seattle, along with 1.7 miles of trails, including a 1-kilometer loop that’s nestled in dense forest.
It’s the perfect route for pace training, for that reason, as well as running among nature away from the noise and traffic of the city.
Schmitz Preserve Park covers over 50 acres and is also popular with cyclists and hikers, alongside trail runners. Just take note, however, that the trails are known to get muddy, even when it hasn’t rained.
Last but definitely not least is the Discovery Park Loop Trail. This popular running trail in Seattle is 2.8 miles long, with breathtaking views of the city’s surrounding mountains and forests.
You’ll find it in Discovery Park, which is just as stunning with its hundreds of acres of natural beauty.
The 5-kilometer trail begins at the south parking lot of Discovery Park and is well-marked so all you have to do is follow the path. It’s great for runners of all fitness levels and is also open year-round!
And that wraps up our list of the 15 best running trails in Seattle that you can visit today – ideal for all fitness levels and types of runners.
The best thing about Seattle is that it offers a mixture of flat city runs and forest trails.
So no matter whether you prefer running on the waterfront or surrounded by nature, Seattle has awesome running spots that won’t disappoint!