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Not a destination hike, but it offers walkers and runners a green alternative to neighborhood streets and sidewalks.

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371' 113 m


260' 79 m


264' 80 m


263' 80 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Need to Know

Parking near the entrance to Jackson Park Golf Course at NE 135th Street and 11th Ave NE is free. As usual, don't leave valuables in your vehicle.


This trail, which follows the perimeter of Jackson Park Golf Course, may be accessed at many points; however, a chain link fence prevents travel between the golf course and trail. The trailhead shown on the map is where you'll find parking and a kiosk with a trail map. If you like to save the best for last, hike counterclockwise. If you prefer to start with the least urban section or don't want to do the full 2.2 mile loop, or if you want to take a short hike with children, go clockwise.

The entire trail is easy, but it's not particularly family-friendly unless you want to teach your children about urban homelessness. The southern portion of the loop between the trailhead and 5th Ave NE includes a shady forest, native plantings, and a section of thick understory where the waters of Thornton Creek cool off after flowing through the golf course.

The western portion of the trail hugs the golf course fence on one side. On the other side is a buffer strip of vegetation, then Fifth Ave NE (which is closed for elevated light rail construction until the fall of 2022), then I-5. At times there's quite a dumping site midway along this stretch of trail. You'll cross Thornton Creek on a footbridge.

Two longstanding homeless camps with large tents, clotheslines, tables and chairs, and sometimes even campfires are in the northwest and northeast corners of the loop trail. I've never had a problem, but if it makes you uncomfortable, you can bypass the more secluded camp by staying on the busy city street all the way to the intersection of NE 45th and 15th Ave NE. But then you'll miss one of the two prettiest and quietest forested sections of the entire trail. Frankly, I'm more startled by the trail sign that commands, "Golf Tee Quiet Area Ahead. Please respect golfer concentration!"

Flora & Fauna

Native plantings, especially along the southern portion of the loop, include vine maple, twinberry honeysuckle, wild rose, bleeding heart, thimbleberry, salmonberry, snowberry, Oregon grape, sword fern, salal, and others. Forests in the northeast and south sections of the loop contain Douglas fir, Western redcedar, and bigleaf maple. Coyotes, raccoons, and opossums have been seen in the area.


Shared By:

Jennifer Youngman

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in Seattle


  2.0 from 1 vote
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10 Views Last Month
270 Since Jun 10, 2021



This bit of forest is where I feel furthest from the city.
Jun 11, 2021 near Shoreline, WA
"Bounty" sculpture, installed in 2013 "as a threshold for Jackson Park Perimeter Trail," grows more interesting with passing years as vegetation approaches it.
Oct 14, 2023 near Shoreline, WA
Edge of forest in southern portion of trail.
Jun 11, 2021 near Shoreline, WA
Quiet forest in NE corner of loop trail.
Jun 11, 2021 near Shoreline, WA
The trail, protected from golf balls, runs along Thornton Creek and elevated light rail construction.
Jun 11, 2021 near Shoreline, WA
Stepping onto the trail from 15th Ave NE
Jun 11, 2021 near Shoreline, WA



Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 57 days ago
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Oct 17, 2023
Michael Young