Logistics: It's right off of 405 and the main entrance is off 116th Avenue NE, near NE 53rd Street. I believe you need a Discover Pass to park here, but who doesn't have one, right? (get yours here) Getting to the trail head can be a little tricky, at least for directionally challenged individuals like myself. On my first visit, I naturally gravitated towards the restrooms and where the outbuildings are located to find the trail head. This would be a mistake. The main guided trails start from one very subtle entrance by the parking lot.
|view of trail choices from the parking lot - one narrow one off to the right there with the sign obstructed by the trees, and one very inviting one off to the left...|
|Looks like the right way to go, right? Self-guided trails, bathrooms await - but NO! Don't go that way. Take that narrow path up the hill that will lead to this:|
|A map! With lots of details!|
From here you can pick your route and they are SO nicely mapped out, with signs that you can follow throughout the park. I usually do the Coyote Trail, which is the longest at 3.5 miles and either run it once or twice around.
|super easy to navigate signs are placed along the route|
The track is nice and wide, you could easily run two astride and it's not terribly strenuous. Elevation gain is less than 250 feet. If you're a trail newbie (which I still very much am) it's a great place to just enjoy being outside and get a feel for it.
Trail running is a great way to change up your route and find your running mojo if your in a slump. Concentrating on my (beautiful) surroundings drowns out any negative thoughts and it's rather meditative. I feel pretty darn lucky to have a few of these kinds of parks so close to home. So, if they're close to you, get out there and enjoy!